The Great Ocean Road Marathon – a few details

Who would’ve thought that me, the Unsporty Woman, is soon to line up at her third marathon?  Crazy!  Totally crazy!  There are a number of aged physical education teachers (if they were to be told) who would be speechless with disbelief!


Here are a few details about this event on Sunday

1. It’s the only Australian marathon that rates a mention on the World’s Top 30 Marathon list.

Why?  Because quite simply it’s beautiful.  Ocean on the left, hills and bush on the right.  Stunning coastal views are to be seen the entire way.  We wind around the coast, up and down hills and are rewarded with seascape after seascape.  People come from all over the world to drive this spectacular route, we are so lucky that for one day it’s open only to us runners.

2.  It’s a bit more than a marathon.


It’s 44kms, running from the little town of Lorne in Victoria, Australia, to the little town of Apollo Bay.

3. It’s a bit hilly

elevation-map-2015This is the elevation map (aren’t the names cool?).  The hills look more severe than they really are – total elevation is just under 80m.  I would call this nicely undulating.  Although I’m glad it’s all down hill after the 31km mark.  The climb up to Mount Defiance looks challenging but I’m sure it’ll be ok!

4.  It starts at 8am.

Have to love a later start!  We are staying in Lorne really close to the start line.  We can roll out of bed at 7am if we want to.  Of course I won’t!  I’ll be up early.  But best of all I can leave Pauly to get ready and I can indulge my OCD attention to punctuality and being at places early while he can work from Pauly timing.

5. The weather is looking ok at this point.

Sort of sunny.  Could be warmish (19°C).  Could be breezy.  Could be a little rainy.  Will be what it will be.  I have three different outfits ready!

6.  Estimated finish time?


I’m not going out to set any records, not even a PB.  I’m thinking 5:15:00 at fastest but probably more like 5:30:00 (The cutoff is 6:30:00).  The last two buses from Apollo Bay (race finish) to Lorne (race start) are 2pm and 2:30pm.  It would be good to be on one of them!  There is a timing mat at the 42.2km mark and I hope to still be running all the way to the finish line!

7.  This run is dedicated to Ally

Ally is a friend who is working hard at beating bowel cancer.  We aren’t close friends.  Her daughter and my Blondie Daughter #1 were school friends.  Ally always welcomed Isabelle into her home like one of her own.  We are mummy friends.  I was totally devastated when I heard of her diagnosis.  I liked to think of her happy in her world doing her thing; definitely not trying to navigate a new world and trying to beat a nasty disease.  I’ve raised some money for bowel cancer research with thanks to wonderful friends!  It seems every second runner is raising money for something so I’m incredibly humbled and grateful to those who helped me hit the target and then some!


Am I ready for Sunday?  As ready as I’ll ever be.  Those famous words of Coach come to mind, said to me two weeks out from my Holy Grail of running events the Point to Pinnacle in 2013:

‘Trust your training’

Thanks Coach, I’m trusting my training.  Race plan?  Take it easy.  Enjoy the run.  Enjoy the scenery.  Make new friends on the run.  To remember my friend Ally each and every time I think it’s too hard, then keep on running with extra zeal.  I’m so grateful for this opportunity to run The Great Ocean Road Marathon.  I would have to be the luckiest Unsporty Woman around!

Happy running 🙂

PS I know you’ll never believe me but I’m not planning to update social media while running this time.  I’m not even going to stop and take a photo of a koala if I see one.  I’m going to run with my phone off.  I’ll let you know how I go as soon as I can.  Thank you so much for your cheers, I can’t believe it…marathon number three….how ever did that happen?

33 thoughts on “The Great Ocean Road Marathon – a few details

  1. Hi,

    Firstly I really enjoy reading your blogs, I lost my running buddy (she moved away) a year ago and struggling down here in Strahan to find another buddy to match my stride/time slots other than a new dog in training – not the same as someone to chat away the steps with. Your blog provides some of that inspiration I am missing, even when its 20 mm of rain and 40 km winds every day for a week.

    I contacted you last year to see if you could give our event Beach to Bay – Strahan a plug on your blog. We have it scheduled for the November long weekend again, Saturday the 5th. There is more info about previous years on our website – still working on this years program, however the events will be the same.

    Goodluck this weekend, look forward to reading all about your experience…

    Kind Regards,

    Susan Harnett ACTIVE Strahan Inc.

    • Hello Susan, lovely to hear from you! I’m sorry to hear that you are running buddy-less. I know how much I rely on and appreciate my lovely running buddies, they really make the difference. I hope someone new moves to the lovely West Coast and needs a running buddy! The weather is epic down there, I’m super impressed that you’re out there running in it. That is pure inspiration!

      The Beach to Bay run is on my list to do. Not sure if it will be this year due to the Ultra, but a number of my running buddies are heading down this year. I shared the Beach to Bay facebook page and a heap of my friends started to follow it. It looks like such a great event. I’ll do the same again this year.

      Thanks so much for your encouragement! I’m so glad that my ramblings are encouraging you. Your comment sure is encouraging me! Thank you so much xxx

  2. Annie I am so excited for you. I would like to refer you back to your previous post-Don’t underestimate yourself-I think you are going to be amazed by what you accomplish. I will be willing you on across here. Have a super run. Go Annie Go. Run run run.

    • Thank you so much Shaz! I’ll here your cheers all the way. I won’t underestimate myself, I can do it. Thanks so much for your support. I’m going to be amazed…run run run….got it (hehe) xxx

  3. WOW! how is that scenery… reminds me of the Two Oceans Marathon they run in Cape Town… also the most scenic of runs ever!!! whoa, the graph of the elevation does look scary! 🙂 but then you ARE THE MOUNTAIN QUEEN Anniebabes… and yeah, like Shazpops says… DO NOT EVER underestimate yourself… look at you now… you are running your THIRD marathon!!!!! You are a PRO babes! Go do yourself proud… i will be awake in the middle of the night cheering you on 🙂 🙂 🙂 !!!!
    best of luck to both you and Pauly!

    (ps – loving ‘Paulty time’ *giggles* 🙂 🙂 🙂 )

    • It’s just beautiful. I’m so lucky to be running it. The elevation does look scary but I promise it’s not so bad…I hope…umm…yes….It’s going to be ok! I am the Mountain Queen (I like that very much, thank you). Thanks for your cheers! I appreciate it very much! (yes I know, Pauly time, way too laid back for me and this time I don’t have compromise, I can just walk down from our accommodation and leave him to wander down with 10 minutes to spare hehe) xxx

  4. Hey Annie I know you are going to get a PB on this one, because it’s 44k not a marathon, so you can’t count it as a marathon time. New distance, new PB! I’m sure that you are going to love it and have fun, that’s the main thing😀 I know what you mean about your Phys ed teacher. If I could meet ‘miss cousins’ now, I would have to say ‘ you were right, I could have done it if I’d made the effort, I’m sorry that I didn’t try harder’. Was yours nice but despairing or did they just write you off?

    • I hadn’t thought about that Julie…it will be a PB for sure. I’m not sure about the PE teachers. At the time I felt written off. But now with adult perspective maybe they were trying to get me to have a go. I could never do all the sports no matter how hard I tried. I’m just not coordinated enough. I wish there had been bootcamp or HIIT in PE lessons, but who knows if I’d have had a go. I never felt like I fitted now. Now I just don’t care. On Monday night at Grit class I was supposed to be backward stepping lunging, I was forward stepping lunging (with gustso I might add and at the very front of the room)…Janette had to point out that I was doing the wrong thing (very sweetly). The difference now is that doing things like this don’t worry me, I just think it’s funny and laugh at myself. Back then I would’ve been mortified. Age is a good thing really. I like myself a whole lot more than I did back then and I’m way kinder to myself too. Actually through this running thing I’ve actually worked out that I like myself a really big enormous lot! Hehe xxx Thanks so much as always for your wonderful encouragement. I can’t wait to return it when you are three sleeps out from your marathon xxx

      • I agree that there’s a lot to be said for getting older in terms of knowing what matters and what doesn’t.😊 I think that understanding that if someone else is going to judge you for making a tiny mistake then that’s their problem not yours is a big step forwards on the maturity front! I also agree that if instead of just being expected to turn up and run 400m ‘because its athletics this term’, someone had said to us, you can do this but there will be homework and explained about walk running like the couch to 5k programme, that would have helped so much!! I wonder if things are better now?

      • Totally agree with you Julie. I don’t think things have changed enough but they have a bit. I had all manner of discussions with PE teachers about my unsporty children. I will never forget the argument about sport teaching team work. I know it does. But so does playing in an orchestra and taking a part in a musical or being in a group science experiment…I so agree with you about something like the Coach to 5k being there for children. Imagine if they were able to do a 5km running event and then receive a finisher’s medal? What wonders that would do for self esteem and confidence rather than watching only the sporty types get the trophies…

  5. Your coach’s advice ‘trust your training’ is a good one. Run, Annie, Run. This will be an awesome race – it’s an amazing venue and you have the good fortune to be healthy and strong! I’m cheering for you heartily from the other side of the world 🙂

  6. You are going to have a ball and smash a brand new PB for the longest distance you have ever ran 😄 WOW. You have done all the right training and now it’s time to enjoy the ride, I’ll be thinking of you for ever one of those 44 KM wishing I was there. Never forget that your amazing xo
    PS I don’t believe that you won’t look at your phone at least once,especially if you see a koala, you just might set a new PB for not looking at your phone 🙈

    • A PB! Yes I will! A 44km PB! Thank so much lovely Louie, I will send you a message as soon as I’ve finished. 😛 I am going to try and leave my phone in my running belt, going to run like a grown up. I am, promise! It will be a new PB for leaving my phone alone…that’s if I can do it! xxx

  7. I know you will have a great run and a wonderful day, such a beautiful place to run, I’d love to go back one day to do it!
    I have a feeling you will be surprised by your time but as long as you enjoy the run that’s all that really matters, anything else is just a bonus!
    Run strong marathon lady xx

    • Happy Birthday Lovely Sam! I hope you get to come back and run the marathon, it will feel like a little walk about an Ironman! I will run strong, and will be enjoying the run. I will! Thanks so much for your encouragement xxx

  8. Not even a photo of a koala?! Wow you are dedicated. You go Annie and wonderful to be running in support of your friend. It keeps our own journeys and challenges in perspective doesn’t it? We will be waiting to hear how things go when you are able. Like Joanne we will be cheering here on the other side of the planet. Run like the wind and have fun!

  9. All the very best to you Annie! I think the thing I like most about this post is how you are going to make new friends on your run, I can’t imagine anything nicer than meeting you on a run! I think anyone who gets to run with you is very lucky!

    You will fly up those hills, I just know it!

    Save your energy for Cape Patton, I think that’s the sneaky hill. But you’ve run that one before when you did the half, so you’re laughing, knowing what to expect certainly helps.

    Can’t wait to hear how you go and I hope the weather continues to stay nice for you, it’s certainly looking great!

    Have a wonderful time and enjoy every moment. I’m so excited for you to be doing marathon number 3! Well done! You’re truly an inspiration 🙂

    • Thank you so much Megan x I’m a little wobbly today – your lovely wishes have come right at the right time! I am soaking them up and feeling better. Will go back and check out Cape Patton and be a little more ready for it. The weather is looking great. Thanks so very very very much for your wonderful wishes xxx

  10. Hope you had an amazing run and that you managed to smile through the ‘4 seasons in a day’ weather that we had thrown at us! I did the half which was enough of a challenge – I take my hat off to those of you tough enough for the marathon!

    • Thanks Gill! It was a pretty awesome day weather wise. Well done on the half! I’m sure you’ll want to have a go at running the full one day…the first half of the course is much easier than the second half that you did.

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