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Month: June 2016

Perth Marathon

Perth Marathon

Running Perth was always going to be a big call as it was only one week after Christchurch. Craig and I flew from Sydney to Perth via Melbourne on the Saturday, going straight to the bib pickup point from the airport. We had a quick walk around the city and then had a nice dinner at the hotel.

The event started in the park near the casino and we caught a taxi there from our hotel. Craig had exams the week after and had his books to continue studying while I was running. The course was two laps, following the river. It was beautiful.

I encountered issues with my right hip flexors about 4km into the run. I knew straight away this wasn’t a good sign! My pace slowed from the usual 5:30 per kilometre to over 6 minutes/km, and I was anxious that I was feeling this bad so early on. Knowing the course was lapping back on itself I concentrated on finding people to chat with and encourage as it would distract me from unhelpful and negative thoughts. My search however was largely fruitless – few people were up for a chat and in fact few people responded to the encouragement. There seemed to be lots of music in ears so I guess maybe they were just focussed and didn’t hear me.

Having fun on my own
Having fun on my own

One highlight of the run was seeing Steve Moneghetti pacing the 3:30 group. Not often you see a legend running by!

In retrospect too I recognise that I saw Simon, also a Marathon Maniac during the run. We didn’t meet properly until Adelaide some weeks later, but I do remember the shirt going past. Richard whom I later met in Uluru, was also in Perth, being a local, but he would have been miles in front of me that day!

Halfway
Halfway

Finishing the marathon was an excellent feeling. I knew despite being slower than normal that knocking over two marathons in quick succession was always going to be hard, and I’d done it.

The finish "sprint"
The finish “sprint”

I’d arranged a local tour operator to take us on a half day tour that same afternoon, and we ended the day at a seaside restaurant recommended by a friend.

Dinner
Dinner

The next morning we had an early flight home. We spent some time in the Qantas lounge at Perth, surrounded initially by more hi-vis workwear than one would see in a King Gee store. It was all the people waiting for their early flights to Karratha! On the final leg home from Melbourne the display on the plane read the destination was Singapore! Photographed that and sent to Emily. Her response was priceless!!

Destination Singapore!
Destination Singapore!
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Perth Marathon was number 15.

Christchurch Airport Marathon

Christchurch Airport Marathon

I had been looking forward to Christchurch Airport Marathon for ages. I’d booked Craig and me Business seats on Emirates from Sydney and back, and had also booked into a nice hotel adjacent to the start. I’d had three weeks to recover from UTA50 and knew the weather would be quite cool – ideal for a marathon.

Things got a little tricky a few weeks prior when Craig’s uni studies saw an exam scheduled for the morning we were departing. Luckily I was able to switch his flight to the afternoon, and I drove to Sydney early Friday morning and had a very pleasant time alone in the Qantas lounge and then as only one of three Business passengers on the flight!

The next day we were up early and walked to Hagley Park where I did the parkrun. I love doing novel parkruns in places we visit and this was no exception. It was really cold and I was glad of my gloves.

Hagley Park
Hagley Park

The city itself remains in the process of rebuilding four years after their last nasty earthquake. Bib collection was from the race start/finish area right next to the Christchurch Cathedral that is still held up with heaps of scaffolding and bracing.

The damaged Cathedral
The damaged Cathedral

We then had a nice day in and around Christchurch, including a ride in their gondola!

 

Christchurch gondola
Christchurch gondola
View from the gondola
View from the gondola
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Christchurch from the top of Port Hills
Container shopping!
Container shopping!

Race morning was super simple – breakfast in the room and then down to the start line. It was very cold but thanks to the number of people there I did my usual trick of snuggling in close to some of the other runners for some added heat.

Action shot!
Action shot!

The first 10km was a lap of the town, including a run around Hagley Park. I started to warm up about 5km in, and stayed with the crowd, enjoying this pretty city. Around 8km I came upon a girl about 10 years old who was running along, crying. I asked her a little bit about herself and she said her name was Cara and that she had never run 10km before. She was an age champion in the area for cross country and athletics, and her mother and sisters were up ahead. She had no idea how far she had run and when I said there was only 2km to go she brightened up. We chatted for the next 2km and I wished her luck and cheered her on when we came to the part where the 10km veered off to the finish and the rest of the field turned for the loops out of town. We saw and waved to Craig at that juncture as well. He had been in the hotel room studying for his next exam and came down in time to cheer me on.

The rest of the race consisted of two loops out from the city. The first loop was longer and took in the outer suburbs, while the second loop retraced some of the first but turned at the river for the finish. I found the suburban running fairly boring but the scenery closer to town was nice. I stopped to speak to Craig at the end of the first loop and then moseyed on out for the second. I enjoyed the second loop because there were other runners who overtook me and then slowed and I overtook them etc etc. I sped up over the last 3km and finished well. I knew backing up with Perth the next weekend I’d be feeling it, so was pleased that I really enjoyed this event!

Yay, finished!
Yay, finished!

We had a late checkout arranged and then went out to the airport where we partook in some refreshments before boarding our plane for the trip home. It’d been fun.

Christchurch Airport Marathon was number 14.