Conquering km 16

Mt Wellington the day before Point to Pinnacle - this was the view from our hotel room at Wrest Point Casino, the start of the race.

Mt Wellington the day before Point to Pinnacle – this was the view from our hotel room at Wrest Point Casino, the start of the Point to Pinnacle.

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Dewey, Huey and Louie at the start – Louise dedicated her kms to special people in her life.  I read her dedication and cried, it was so beautiful.  She is a beautiful lady and no wonder she is surrounded by lovely people.  She dedicated the 7km to Pauly for all his help with nutritional advice and the 12th to me for being her running buddy – from km 12 to 13 I thought of her and how lucky I am to have her as my running buddy x

Despite an ominous forecast the mist in this photo the run turned out to be cool but fine and no rain, wind or snow.  Thanks weather gods and thanks to all who put in a good word to them for me.

Despite an ominous forecast and the mist in this photo the run turned out to be cool but fine.  There was no rain, wind or snow. Thanks weather gods and thanks to all who put in a good word to them for me.

Conquering km 16

As the gradient went up several notches I looked down at the distance I’d run and it said 15.42kms.  I steadied my resolve and calmed my nerves.  Envision the finish line.  You are a Rock Star.  Envision the finish line.  You are Rock Star.  I said this over and over in my head as my feet slowly chipped away at that big mountain; taking me up and up little bit by little bit in running steps.

The gradient - each line represents 1km. It goes up noticeably every 7kms.

The gradient – each line represents 1km. It goes up noticeably every 7kms.

Was that Van Halen playing in the distance?  I could faintly hear the song Jump.  As I got closer, yes I could hear the song.  A walker in front had a small speaker the size of a golf ball swinging from his belt.  I had a giggle.  Not being someone who runs to music I found it oddly motivating and it took my mind off my approaching nemesis.  Kilometre 16.  In fact, I was running my 16th km – it was 16.2kms when I caught up with him and checked the distance.  Jump finished and there was a pause.

I kid you not.

Not a word of a lie.

The next piece of music that was on the walker’s play list was none other than Chariots of Fire.

Chariots of Fire

How did the running gods secure this deal?  The Unsporty Woman, in pursuit of her Holy Running Grail got to run the toughest km of the whole entire mountain to the highly moving and motivating sounds of Chariots of Fire.

Yes.  I conquered km 16 and went on to conquer 17, 18, 19, 20, 21 and 21.4 as well. 

I ran all the way.  The goal to run all the way was achieved.  From sea level to 1250m up.  I ran the Point to Pinnacle, the World’s Toughest Half Marathon. All. The. Way.

My time?  02:51:38 .  One whole minute faster than last year.

My time? 02:51:38 . One whole minute faster than last year.

My heart rate zones - I ran the whole way at conversational pace, I was so concerned that I wouldn't be able to run all the way.

My heart rate zones – I ran the whole way at conversational pace, I was so concerned that I wouldn’t be able to run all the way so I conserved my energy.

Wonderful People On the Point to Pinnacle

The P2P maybe a run up a mountain but it’s about the people.

Sam

Just after the start of the event Sam caught up with me.  Sam is a regular reader and commenter who encourages me so much!  I was so pleased to see her especially after she thought she wasn’t going to make it due to injury.  It was very special to run alongside her from time to time throughout the run.   To watch the joy as she spotted her Husband and Daughter halfway up the mountain and see how proud of her they are.  They were there to cheer her on.  And then finally at the very top she chipped passed me and came in eight seconds in front.  Then we got to enjoy the first thrill of the finish together and receive our medals.  This was Sam’s first half marathon.  What an extremely difficult one to choose as a first but she NAILED it!

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A sea of bubbles at one of the drink stops.

Km 16 Lady

When I was having a giggle about Chariots of Fire another lady right by me was also having a giggle. I told her how much I wanted to run all the way and how just plain funny it was to have my hardest km of all played out to the melody of this epic running theme.  She looked at me and cheered me on and told me that not only would I run km 16 but that I would run all the way.  I could have cried, her encouragement was just right.  I dug deeper and kept running.  Thank you Km 16 Lady you will never know how much your encouragement meant to me.

A cheer squad along the way.

A cheer squad along the way.

Rodney

At the start of races do you see the dudes with the tags on their running tops sticking up and you just have to tuck them down?  I see them and the urge to tuck them down is so STRONG I have to physically restrain myself!  Rodney was one of these chaps with his tag sticking up.  How I wished I’d tucked it down because we travelled together for a while up that mountain.  When I say travelled, he is a big tall man and he was run/walking and I was running.  His big man walking steps and my little woman running steps basically had us at the same pace for a while.  Finally I got the giggles and I introduced myself and said that if I was going to travel with him up the mountain that firstly I had to introduce myself and secondly I HAD TO tuck his tag down.  Fortunately for me Rodney was a good sport and we had a laugh together about my OCD.

After a while my little woman running steps actually travelled me faster up the mountain and we parted.  Thanks Rodney for the fun conversation.

For the first half the course winds up through residential areas.  The locals are wonderful - this is a 'drinks stop' outside one house!

For the first half the course winds up through residential areas. The locals are wonderful – this is a ‘drinks stop’ outside one house! Coffee? Cocktail?

Mr Yellow Shirt

Mr Yellow Shirt was also run/walking.  He was running fast then having a slow walk to recover before he started to run again.  We did this catch-up thing off and on together for a long time – for about the last 8kms.  Finally, after catching up on his walk break for about the 10th time or so, I said We have to stop meeting like this.  He laughed and before he ran off he said he’d save me a seat on the bus (all participants are bussed back down the mountain after they finish).  Next time I passed him he called out to me and said I would have to save him a seat.  We did this exchange so many times after this.  But finally the Unsporty Woman’s little running steps got her in front and over the line ahead of Mr Yellow Shirt.  What a cool running dude.  He made those toughest kms of all so much happier.

There is so much about this event and this whole weekend I could honestly write a book.  The way it all came together was mysterious and magical, a bit like the mystery of the Holy Grail itself.

An extra massage that Pauly booked me on Saturday as a surprise turned out to be the best thing ever.  I’d had an excellent remedial one on Friday but this one was pure relaxation and sort of energising.  The masseuse bent down and put her arms around me at the end of the massage and told me that I was in peak physical condition but that I needed to let my anxiety go.  I did.

John McLean was the speaker at the dinner the night before.  He has completed the Hawaiian Iron Man.  The amazing thing is that he has been in a wheel chair for 25 years – he completed the Ironman with only the use of his arms.  He told us to think of the finish line and be prepared to change the way we think.  I shall post more about this another day.

Debbie came and introduced herself to me at the dinner.  She reads the blog but has her own very inspirational story to tell – she has said it very briefly but beautifully in a comment on the About page.  I didn’t see her on race day but I looked up her time – Miss Speedy!!!  Your little Daisy would be so proud of you xxx

Paul from Running Wild wrote a wonderful post just before P2P and encouraged me greatly.  That’s where my Rock Star mantra comes from.  If you haven’t read his blog please do, I gain so much inspiration from his writing.  Thanks Paul x (and an awesome manly man sort of name, Paul – not that I’m biased).

Then of course there are those amazing people who I have trained with for P2P.  They all nailed it.  My beautiful friend Louise ran all the way in a time of 2:39:15.  Janette, despite the knee niggle did the smoking time of 2:41:23 and Bruce 2:44:50. And my Pauly’s time was 2:33:04.  And Louise’s husband Grant walked, yes WALKED in 3:08:02!!!  Leigh and Leanne also nailed the P2P, Leanne took 8 minutes off her time from last year and Leigh had a happy run and enjoyed it all the way.  They are all Rock Stars!  Pinnacle Rock Stars!

“Come to Tasmania. Come to run. Come to have fun. This could be the best time of your life.”

– Bryce Courtenay (Point to Pinnacle Event Patron)

Yes Bryce Courtenay, you are so right.  Point to Pinnacle has made memories that will never be forgotten.

We did it!

We did it!

Thank you to everyone who has believed in my P2P journey.  To be the Unsporty Woman and to dream of doing something like this is so outside the comfort zone it’s on another planet.  To be here now, at home on the farm with two P2P finisher’s medals is totally unbelievable.  I wanted to do this event for my 50th Birthday but brought it forward a year and did it for my 49th.  To be 10 days away from turning 50 with TWO P2Ps completed is beyond what I thought possible.

I love running.  I love that it inspires us to go further than we ever thought we could.

Running explodes the concept of possible and makes the impossible a reality.

If you can dream it you can achieve it.  I am proof.

To everyone who has encouraged me on my P2P journey, thank you so much.  This year I dedicated my run to my Mum and Dad.  Thanks Mum and Dad.  Thanks to my beautiful, wonderful encouraging (and sometimes long suffering) training buddies, Janette and Bruce, Louise and Grant AND my beautiful Pauly.  AND big big thanks to the running blogging community – we may be separated by oceans and countries but we know each other’s hearts and we echo our feelings around the globe one to another.

I did it – I ran all the way.  Thank you Point to Pinnacle.

A view from the top of Mt Wellington - the only way is up!

A view from the top of Mt Wellington – the only way was up!

Happy running 🙂

PS unlike last year I’m not currently walking like tin man – Pauly and I even managed a 4km recovery run this morning.

And there they are - P2P Finishers Medals.  If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

And there they are – P2P Finishers Medals. If you can dream it, you can achieve it.

47 thoughts on “Conquering km 16

  1. Well done. You all did an amazing job! Such a privilege to watch you and many others tackle ‘the big hill’.

    Such an inspiration. Love this post x

  2. It was an absolute joy to meet you again (1st time was at the City to Casino earlier in the year) and your encouragement certainly helped me to believe I could do it!
    I love your blog which I first discovered when I was searching for advice on the P2P last year, has been inspirational for me and obviously many others too.
    I’ve been walking on air all day, I can’t believe I did it and to have a hug from you at the finish was perfect!
    Your comments above (and the photos, esp the one with me with a mouthful of lollies!) make me feel all warm and fuzzy, thank you xx

    • Thanks so much Sam 🙂 you really do encourage me right back! It was fun to see you on the race and I loved your encouragement along the way. I think if you hadn’t stopped to greet your family you would have been streaks ahead of me but I have to admit that sharing the end with you was AWESOME! It’s such a great feeling to accomplish a goal, So very well done to you. (I hadn’t noticed that you were munching on lollies in that photo – I hope you don’t mind me using it!) I really do love the shot of you with the bubbles and the one of you looking down at the view. Such a great day and special day 🙂 thanks for your company x

      • I’m always telling my family about lovely running lady from ” up north” and was able to show them the photo of us together near the top, both of us looking very happy 🙂
        Stopping to see my family was definitely worth it, I then had you as my rabbit to catch up to again!

      • If you hadn’t stopped we wouldn’t have finished together, so for me that’s bonus. You are way to kind Sam, just love that you found your blog and now we are running buddies. I won’t forget the look on your face as you saw your family and practically bounded up to see them. What a wonderful day and I hope there are many more like this to come for both of us x

  3. WOW! What an amazing experience. Congratulations. I love reading your run and race reports – they are always so positive and encouraging. Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    • My pleasure and thanks for the lovely comment, it was a long one today and there was so much more I wanted to say (never short for a word or three). It was a really positive day. I was so expecting terrible weather and then for it to turn out like it did was pure magic!

  4. Well done, congratulations for beating your mountain. Am disappointed I didn’t get to say hello before the event, and it seems you were the one constantly in front of me. Is defiantly a friendly happy half marathon!

    • I am sad I didn’t get to meet you too. I can’t wait to read about your race. I hope it went well. Were you happy with it. The weather was more than we could’ve expected but I do hope you weren’t too cold. We popped over to visit Pauly’s son and his family and he had his mum and dad-in-law from WA staying – they thought the day was pretty cold.

      • Actually forgot to mention the weather in blog, that will be in the edit. considering the Thursday re-con up there I was very pleased with the weather, couldn’t of asked for a better day really, except a little less cloud cover at top for an awesome view finishes photo.
        Was happy with time too – under my 3 hour goal. I wasn’t prepared mentally for the constant hill, thought I was but reality proved I wasn’t.

      • Just getting to the top is awesome, no matter what the time 🙂 It’s a bit huge battle against wanting to stop and wanting to keep going. And what about that finisher’s medal? Just gorgeous. Well done, I hope we get to meet one day.

  5. So fun! What a journey! Well, a run, but hell, it’s a journey! Way to go chickie!!! I sat on my butt while my hubs mountain bike raced. C’mon knee!!! Really happy for you.

  6. Ah, well first of all, a hearty congratulations for another fine finish! Job well done, Rock Star! Thanks too, for the blog shout out. I find motivation daily in reading the stories of others in our running community, and you are no exception. Even though you are a billion miles away, your stories put me right there beside you on the same course. You are an inspiration to many, including myself.

    • Thanks Tahnee 🙂 Your thoughts were obviously a big help to me – the weather was good and at last I had the mental toughness to get up that mountain in running steps. Thanks xxx

  7. Congrats to you Annie! I love the coincidence of the Chariots of Fire. Good karma I think. Now on to the next big goal which will be no problem for you!

    • Thanks Sue 🙂 The young chap with Chariots of Fire playing was THE most amazing thing. It really did help me to see the funny side of km 16. Next goal no problem – I hope you’re right 🙂 I am feeling positive after such a great event. Thanks again 🙂

  8. Well done again on yet another amazing milestone, funny about the OCD thingo and tags hate them lol. The lovely people you meet along the way from different backgrounds though the common goal is to get up that hill and how great it is to meet people who write on your page. I giggle with your recap of how it went on the day, only can imagine the happy smily face, chatter chatter along the way to. Chariots of Fire I may need to put that on my playlist lol. Once again good on you and to Paul and all your running buddies. Looking forward to reading about your next adventure. X

    • Thanks Leanne 🙂 I’m glad I’m not the only one with OCD about tags. Chariots of Fire was completely awesome to run that tough km 16 to. I would recommend it! I really appreciate your encouragement very much xxx

  9. Well done Annie on kicking the butt of that mountain..;) A job well done. I’ve been so busy lately haven’t had chance to read many blogs so here I am to congratulate you. Its truly inspiring to see someone put in the effort and accomplish something so epic;) Next ..your 21st b’day and then a marathon to look forward to.. you totally rock!!!

  10. Sue Slaght the WonderWoman sent me over here, and I’m somewhat overawed. She said that once you couldn’t run to your letterbox. Will I find the transition here on the blog ? Will it terrify me?
    That run seems to go through the Huon Valley, yes ? – my younger sister lives there …
    You’re looking pretty damned good for a nearly 50-y-o ! {grin}

    • Thank you so much. I was completely overwhelmed by Sue’s lovely post! Our letter box is 1.2kms from our farm house so a bit longer than the average distance. But it did take me months and months to run to our hay barn which is only 200m from the house. I do tell my story on the blog but I might rewrite it with an update soon. Mt Wellington shadows the capital city of the state of Tasmania, Hobart. The Huon Valley (such a beautiful place) is just a little further south. Running was terrifying but now it’s fun. I simply can’t believe that I can run and more unbelievable that I love it so much. Thanks so much for the encouraging comment 🙂

    • I’m sure it will taper in a few weeks xmas break;);) just been chaotic assessments are keeping me extremely busy and there’s mathematics which I have to admit is really tough but I’m managing by the skin of me teeth;);).

      • I dont think there’s anything smart about doing mathematics 20yrs later at leaving cert level??! Thanks for boosting me ego a little ;););) and I will definitely have to make the Xmas break lovely;) Family time is awesome;) Even though they’re a bunch of crazy little people hee hee

  11. I just hopped over from Sue’s to say hi and well done. 🙂 What first struck me about this post was the spectacular scenery you had to run in! And then I read on and saw the warm hearted lady who’d done all that running. Fantastic accomplishment, Annie and lots of joy shared. 🙂

    • Thank you so much, that is such a lovely thing to say 🙂 It’s a beautiful place to run and right on the doorstep of our capital city. At one point when I was slowly chugging up that mountain a walker caught my eye and smiled at me. She pointed towards the Derwent River and said ‘Look’. It was so lovely of her to remind me of where I was running and how far up we’d come. I’m blessed to be surrounded by wonderfully encouraging people. Thank you so much again 🙂

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