Canberra Marathon was an obvious choice for the Australian Capital Territory. There were a couple of others to choose from however one was right at the end of the season and there was no doubt it could have been very hot. Craig and I had run in Canberra before, with the Mothers Day classic 10km in 2011 and the Canberra half in 2013. We have always loved Canberra and look forward to spending time there whenever we have the opportunity.
The start was right near our favourite hotel – the Hyatt Hotel Canberra that never fails to disappoint. We had a lovely meal in the restaurant the night before and I know that following the start of the marathon, Craig and Verity had a wonderful time at the breakfast buffet!
Four ladies from our running group were also running the marathon. I looked for them at the start but it wasn’t until we were out on the course near one of the turnarounds that I saw them. They were flying! I’d had a pretty good first half as well. I’d found the 4 hour pacers and stuck with them for the first 21km, making for easy, stress free running with others making decisions about the pace. I had never tried this technique before and on the day it was excellent.
Crowd support was a bit light-on, particularly when we went out west of the city centre around the University area. Craig and Verity had attempted to drive there but the roads were closed. Around 30km I came upon Kath who was using the event as a training run for UTA50. We ran together for approximately 2km and then at a drink stop I told her to go on without me. I walked the next kilometre and phoned Craig for a quick chat before setting off again.
I felt pretty good as we came up behind the Hyatt Hotel with about 3km to go. I increased my speed and at the same time the crowd support also picked up. The finishing kilometre was really fun with cheering, plenty of space to run, and even some shade on the course. Waving to my friends who were on the sides of the finishing chute (they had all done awesome times), I came across the line in 4:17 – my second fastest time ever and fastest since 2013. It was thrilling and completely unexpected! I’d had a very good day and I think the pacing group made the most difference.
Canberra Marathon was number 12.