1st July 2012
This event just down the coast is the main target of the Redman Runners who I’ve been getting in the long runs with in Brisbane. I’d only ever done the Loch Ness Marathon, in 2004 before joining Westies and becoming a proper runner, but a recent half marathon had gone very well leading me to daydream about paces and split times.
The legendary Rob de Castella, ‘Deek’ gave us a rousing call to action before the national anthem and we were off into the glistening morning. And then it all went wrong for me; straightaway I was running flat-footed with tight shins and sweating at an ‘easy’ pace. It just wasn’t like this in the virtual marathon!! I mean, in that one I cruised to 15 miles, then lifted it to a strong steady effort before a 4-mile fast-finish, like what I’d trained for. Instead I resigned myself to toiling and watched myself drift down the field as we traced our way south past the skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise, the marinas and beach parkland towards the 15k turnaround at Burleigh Heads.
Fortunately my form improved at the turnaround and I could lift my pace slightly and started to claw myself northwards back up the thinning field. Clocks at the 5k points reassured me I was near 4min/km and all hope was not lost. Past Surfers again the road opened out in the sun as the morning heated up. At 30k, a lady I’d seen earlier in a steady group came up and we worked well together sharing the pace to pick off a few more runners, all the while tendons tightening and muscles hardening. It was relief to see the race leaders returning from the north turnaround; the end was in range. At 39k I had to let her go on and put my head down to grind out the last two miles back to the thronging crowds. I finished 64th in 2:47:28, so pleased and overwhelmed to have to held it all together; it really had felt hard all the way.
The winning time was 2:10:35, 35 sec off the course record, the ladies 2:30:36, the first Australian was 5th in 2:20:05. 5100 finishers, including 700 runners from Japan, in what was a very well organised event and great atmosphere.