Running Happy

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We were watching as each marathoner finished. Cheering. Delighting in witnessing fellow runners achieve this ultimate of goals: finishing a marathon. Some looked like they could do it all over again. Others were completely spent. Their tanks were empty. They were running on pure willpower, pure determination and guts.

I glanced down at my watch.

Fifteen minutes to go until the four hour mark. I turned to Grant and said They might come in close to four hours. They might.

We had paid for a VIP entry for Cadbury Marathon 2016. Chocolate, egg and bacon rolls, coffee, massages. Everything was turned on as well as the best vantage point of the finish line. I wandered and got a coffee then re-entered the finishing chute and stood about 10m from the finish line itself. This is a small event by many standards but large for Tasmania. 800 entrants over all the distances with 300 in the marathon. I stood next to a young lady who was also waiting for a friend. The friend had her phone as a tracker so the lady waiting knew where she was. We had a little chat. I kept scanning the finishers who were coming in dribs and drabs.

Five minutes to go until the four hour mark. Runners have a fairly decent hill to climb to get to the finish line, then about 300m of flat running to the end. I watched as each person appeared on the crest of the hill.

Two minutes to go until the four hour mark. Oh my! Is that Pauly? Nope, another man with grey hair and a mid-blue shirt, not Pauly. I chat a bit more to the lady waiting for her friend.

A man appears over the crest of the hill. His grey-haired head bobs into view. He’s wearing a mid-blue shirt. Those familiar hands held in front of his body with little movement come into range.

It’s Pauly! Just a minute to go until the four hour mark!

I jump up and down. I cheer. Go Pauly, you can make it, sub four hours!!! I’m like a maniac cheering machine as I see my Husband power to the finish. Oh my goodness! Sub four hours! 3:59:24, a Cadbury Marathon PB of nine minutes and the first time sub four hours, Paul’s 4th marathon in 12 months.

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supporting Pauly and cheering at the same time!

I hold him and hug him and support his weary body. His sub-four hour marathoner’s legs are shot. Louie’s not far behind me, he says in exhausted puffs. What??? Close??? Really???

I scan the finish line.

Nothing.

I keep scanning for a few more moments.

Oh my goodness. Here comes the beautiful Louise not just running, she is sprinting. Her form is graceful and her stride is long. She is focused on the finish line with a slight smile. I jump up and down and yell and scream and cry! She powers over that finish line, finishing her third marathon in 12 months!

I hug my weary friend and just can’t believe that she has totally smashed her goal for Cadbury Marathon 2016. She wanted to be faster than her time last year. She took 26 minutes off. She was faster by nearly half an hour!

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She was smiling and happy. She loved her run. She’d met up with a chap who not only has run 70 marathons but also is the only Tasmanian who has run a marathon on every continent of the world. He had given her his wisdom and running experience through encouraging words. Louie ran with him during the time in the marathon when it counts the most. But it was her legs running. Her heart pumping. Her mental toughness not allowing her to quit and slow down. She was just a few brief seconds over the four hour mark. Watch this space. Gold Coast Marathon in July? Sub four hours is looking more than promising.

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The lovely marathoner who supported Louie during the race on Sunday. Thank you!

The lovely marathoner who supported Louie during the later part of the race on Sunday. Thank you!

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How proud of Pauly and Louise am I? I am more proud than I can say. How valuable was it to me to be there and watch these two finish? More valuable and priceless than the capacity of any bank vault.

And what about the lady waiting for her friend? The friend was the very lovely Megan who I’ve met through blogging and got to meet in person for the first time at the marathon. She ran a fantastic marathon too and had the biggest loveliest smile at the end. So proud of you Megan and so happy to have met you x

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Janette ran the half marathon after dealing with some niggles and powered through to finish strong. No PBs but a PB for just being determined not to slow down and not to quit. She cheered and encouraged me at different points of the half marathon. The cheers meant so much but more so her belief that I could keep going at the pace I was attempting to hold. Where would I be without Janette who constantly lifts me up and motivates me?

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And what about the Unsporty Woman? Well she did a great half marathon she loved it! I took six minutes off my Cadbury Half Marathon time from 2014 coming in 2:05:09. Pretty happy with that. But even happier that I loved every step. The longer distance training that I’ve been doing is paying off. I didn’t feel like death at the 16km mark like I so often do. I felt happy and strong.

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Bundaberg Ginger Beer from Queensland - best recovery drink ever. It was hot out there on Sunday.

Bundaberg Ginger Beer from Queensland – best recovery drink ever. It was hot out there on Sunday.  My race bib is fastened with little clips that Shaz sent me – they are so good!  No rattles and gave me ‘British Luck’ – Thanks Shaz (shazruns.wordpress.com)

Smiles. Laughs. Cheers. This was the flavour of Cadbury Marathon 2016. Happy people running happy. Happy runners delighting in the achievements of others no matter what the pace or distance.

At first running is just a way to keep fit. For me it was something that I wanted to be able to do with Pauly. But it’s so much more than the act of putting one foot in front of the other. It’s meditation. It’s freedom. It’s a break from the every day. It’s a challenge that shows us what we are made of. For those of us with doubts it shows us that we are indeed strong, we learn that quitting isn’t part of the scenario. Pace and times don’t matter. It’s crossing the finish line that matters. Running teaches us that we can do so much more than what we think we can AND that we can have a lot of fun along the way.

I will never forget the pure joy of watching Pauly and Louise cross the finish line on Sunday.

Happy running 🙂

And now for some happy snaps courtesy of Malcolm, Tina, Janette and some of mine too 🙂

A few of The Running Group with our wonderful Coach who smashed out a fabulous time in the Half Marathon.

A few of The Running Group with our wonderful Coach who smashed out a fabulous time in the Half Marathon.  The Running Group has faster and slower people but the thing I love about it is the genuine joy that everyone has in the successes of each other.

Marathon start. Thank heavens for an overcast sky. Saturday had been in the low 30s C, Race day was just a little cooler.

Marathon start. Thank heavens for an overcast sky. Saturday had been in the low 30s C, Race day was just a little cooler.

Pauly at the start

Pauly at the start along with Craig B who ran his very first marathon! Well done Craig.

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Janette, Cathy and the Unsporty Woman. Cathy had been sick with a virus and nearly pulled out but managed a fantastic run anyway!

Janette, Cathy and the Unsporty Woman. Cathy had been sick with a virus and nearly pulled out but managed a fantastic run anyway!

A Dairy Farmer who loves milk - post run recovery.

A Dairy Farmer who loves milk – post run recovery.

Grant and Louise. The medal ribbon looks like pieces of chocolate. The medal itself is a map of Tasmania with glittering numbers. Bling with bling! Pretty!

Grant and Louise. The medal ribbon looks like pieces of chocolate. The medal itself is a map of Tasmania with glittering numbers. Bling with bling! Pretty and couldn’t be worn by anyone more deserving of it.

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If you haven't had a yummy Caramello Koala you are missing out. A chocolate Koala filled with caramel. Heaven!

If you haven’t had a yummy Caramello Koala you are missing out. A chocolate Koala filled with caramel. Heaven!

Where in the world can you receive a massage from your favourite chocolate? Cheeky Caramello!

Where in the world can you receive a massage from your favourite chocolate? Cheeky Caramello!

And just a bit proud of myself too. Slowly getting stronger!

And just a bit proud of myself too. Slowly getting stronger!

 

24 thoughts on “Running Happy

  1. Awesome post as always, I was so excited to meet you – it was like meeting a group of celebrities, you were all so welcoming and lovely 🙂

    Loved seeing yourself, Pauly and Louie out on the course, you are all very inspiring and I hope I can use this inspiration to also improve on my time when I run Melbourne Marathon in October.

    Congrats on your run and also to Pauly & Louie – absolutely amazing!!

    I just loved running down in Tassie – it’s a great run and I hope to return one day.

    Hopefully we might bump into each other again at another running event in the future 🙂

    • It was so so so lovely to meet you Megan! Very well done on your marathon. I hope you are recovering well. Keep going the way you’re going and Melbourne is going to be a PB for you. And not so many hills thankfully. I hope we can bump into each other again soon too. It really was a wonderful day on Sunday for so many reasons. Who was to know that running would provide so many unexpected delights. It just keeps getting better and better this running thing xxx

  2. Lovely to hear that you all such a great and successful day! I’m glad I saw you, enjoying your bit of luxury in the VIP area 😉 You all did so well in different ways, how lovely it must have been to be there at the finish supporting Paul and Louise 😊
    By the time I ran that sun had well and truly come out, it felt so hot out there, first time ever I had a little vomit mid course, not nice!

    • Lovely to see you too Sam and very well done on that stinking hot 10kms. I can’t believe how warm it was out there especially with you getting the full force of the sun. I’m not surprised it make you vomit! I hope all the triathlon training goes well…NZ…Wow!

  3. I love the description of you cheering for Pauly and Louise at the finish line. I would be just like that going wild with encouragement. Sounds like an awesome run for all. Congrats on feeling so good the whole way and your great time!

    • Thanks Sue, I was so encouraged by my run on Sunday, so good to have a really fantastic one. It was special to be at the finish for the marathoners. There were a few times where I nearly switched to the marathon but I’m glad I kept with the half (Louise really wanted me to do the marathon too). It was the first time ever I’ve seen Louise finish a race, so nice to return the support for a change.

    • Thanks CJ x I just can’t believe how well Pauly and Louie did on the day. It was really hot and yet they just smashed it. It’s a day that created such wonderful running memories to hold on to,

  4. Absolutely great post – well done to all of you for your achievements! I am pleased to say that I knocked 11 minutes off my half marathon PB and had an amazing time – I think this comment you made sums it up….

    “Running teaches us that we can do so much more than what we think we can AND that we can have a lot of fun along the way.”

    Believe it or not, I was also in the VIP area – such a small world in the blogosphere! Hopefully we can cross paths at some event in the future 🙂

    • Wow 11 minutes, very well done Gill! I can’t believe you were in VIP area too! I do remember seeing you. Hopefully we’ll catch up at another event and recognise each other. I hope that runner’s high continues.

  5. What a great result for everyone and having you cheering them on would have helped immensely! Well done to you all – another great post!

  6. Wow! Such a nice, positive, inspiring post!! Now you’ve got me thinking about another marathon…. And I wasn’t going to do one this year!

  7. What a great day 😄 I had the most enjoyable run ever. As I ran up the final stretch of the course all I could hear was GO LOUIE 😄 Thank you so much for wanting to be there and see me finish it was amazing. A great day full of lovely memories. You had such a great run to a PB for that course. Love to meet you Megan and see you on course. Great post as usual 😄xo

    • Thanks Lovely Louie xxx it was a wonderful day, I’m still thinking about it and smiling a lot. I had the bestest day and I’m so glad I thought to be at that finish line ‘early’ – you and Pauly sure surprised us with those amazing finishes!!!!

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