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
This 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?