Monday, 20 September 2010

Sydney Marathon: Getting to the Start Line

What a day! So much to record that I'm not really sure where to begin. I've decided to split my memories of the day into three posts. Getting to the Start Line, Race Notes and Post-race Celebrations.

The journey to my marathon started back in January last year when I arrived in Thailand and my good buddie John got me into the gym for the first time in my life and thinking about my diet. This helped to get me fit, but I only started running in earnest in June this year. 785km of training later and I've just completed my first marathon!

As you'd expect I didn't sleep that well the night before. I was pretty restless from 4am and finally got up at 5am to have something to eat, get changed and stick my pace tattoo onto my arm. This only took about fifteen minutes and having packed my bag the night before I didn't have anything else to keep me occupied. I had a pretty nervous time pacing round the flat before I was due to set off to meet Trish at 6am to catch the train over to North Sydney. Eventually listening to some music to calm me down.

As I walked into the city I was surprised how many people were still out on the streets having partied through from the night before. How do they do it? I'm definitely too old to dance all the way through until 6am! My tiny marathon shorts and pale white English legs drew a few comments from drunks in taxis as they went past. "This isn't my usual wear, I am about to run a marathon you know!"

When we arrived at Milsons Point there seemed to be a lot of people milling about, including some who were running the half marathon which had just departed! A casual atmosphere compared to the City2Surf was prevailing. We weren't being marshaled into different starting areas and there were no clear signs to the bag drop etc..., but being a comparatively small event it was easy enough to look around find what you were looking for. There seemed to be at least two Japanese tour groups who had flown over for the race. They were more organised than the race promoters themselves with flags erected to coordinate their runners.

Trish and I did some light jogging, stretching and I had the obligatory visit to a porta-loo, which was on an unnerving slope, while we were waiting for our race to begin. Trish had brought along a space blanket from work so that we could keep warm on the start line and it was amazing how effective such a tiny thing could be even if, as Trish observed, it made me look like a Turkey about to go in the oven!

The advantage of being such a small race was that we didn't have to hang around on the start line for an hour before the race. We started queuing about fifteen minutes before the start and there was an atmosphere of quiet confidence permeating through the crowd. This was it.

4 comments:

  1. looking forward to hearing how you went. did you take photos along the way??? :-)

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  2. I was carrying my front door key and that was it, you don't want any extra weight running 42km!

    I've purchased the official event photos, so I'll be uploading some pictures soon hopefully.

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  3. I want to know more about the training regime!!

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  4. Aww good on you Richard! Maybe I need to come out with you one day and you can whip my butt back into shape! =p

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