The Adelaide Marathon is organised by the South Australian Road Runners Club and has some quirky features, from a static website and slightly complex entry system, to the bib collection process operating on an honour system in an unmanned office in the city – runners walked into the office and found their bib in a stack in numerical order – picked it up, and left!
Initially I thought I was going alone to this event, however closer to time Craig decided he wanted to come along, and thus we flew into Adelaide Saturday afternoon, staying near the start in the lovely Intercontinental Adelaide. We had a little excursion to a nearby running store where Craig tried on and subsequently ordered a pair of Hoka One shoes. Craig and I both live in hope that he can find a way to start running once again despite his nasty ankle issues, and trying out these padded shoes is the latest idea to try to facilitate this!
The event had a very casual feel with easy access to the start line. Just prior to the start I spied Richard whom I had met just weeks before in Uluru. Richard was in Adelaide with his daughter and confirmed that he had entered the Ross marathon in Tasmania that we had discussed in Uluru.
I was wearing my Marathon Maniacs race t-shirt and because of this did not want for company for much of the event. Male runners in particular ran with me for several kilometres at a time chatting about marathons – many of these guys had multiple marathons under their belts and were keen to share information about different events. It certainly helped the time go by! A fellow ran up to me at one point whom I immediately identified as Simon, also a Marathon Maniac – he was wearing the shirt and had indicated on the Maniacs website that he would be attending Adelaide. Simon is a crazy marathon runner who ran his first marathon in February 2016 and has already completed three marathons in three days! He is trialing the Ketogenic diet as his preferred diet for marathons. This diet is one that is high in fat and low in carbohydrates and was developed for use in those with epilepsy. There is some research about it being useful for distance running. Simon ran a massive PB in Adelaide, going under 4 hours for the first time so if you can stomach drinking cream before an event it might be worth a go!
Adelaide marathon is a beautiful course consisting of two laps – each lap is almost a figure eight, meandering around the Botanic Gardens and along the River Torrens. Our accommodation was in the cross over of this figure eight and thus Craig came down to wave and take photos each time I crossed it. My running friends were also sending messages of support which was lovely.
My toe was something of a disaster in Adelaide and the issues were not helped by my ridiculous decision to pack shoes I’d only worn for 100km. I’d thrown out the shoes I’d worn in Uluru because of the amount of sand they’d retained in that event. My shoes I’d been breaking in (they’d done about 300km) still weren’t overly comfortable and thus I decided to take the newest pair. What a crazy decision! The degloved toe quickly developed massive blisters while the stiffness of the non worn in shoes made for pain in the arch of my foot. Despite having sworn I would never cry in a marathon again I did actually think crying would help, but no tears would come!
Finishing in Adelaide Oval made up for all the trouble I had in the last 10km. Running into the Oval was very exciting and the crowd support was wonderful. There was something quite special about it!
I hobbled with Craig back to the taxi zone outside our hotel and, still in my running gear, we went straight to the airport. Once through security we headed to the Qantas Lounge with my fingers crossed they wouldn’t turn me away because of my attire! The lady at the desk was amazing and handed over a towel and toiletries so I could shower, even offering Craig his own as well. I managed to shower and freshen up and hobble again out to find Craig who was extremely helpful in finding food and drinks to help my recovery.
Another fateful decision was made at that point, and that was to leave the blisters intact until we got home. This was done because of the perceived issues with potential infection by breaking the blister but in retrospect was not a good idea. It was quite some hours before we arrived home and in that time the blisters grew larger and larger and within 24 hours of returning home all of the skin had again peeled off my toe leaving it red and angry and painful. Such is the lesson from this that I now have a travel specific range of Betadine products to apply as required!
So I’d say my experience in Adelaide had largely good, with bad and ugly moments! The new shoe problem was a rookie mistake one wouldn’t expect from someone who had run 17 marathons prior to this one.
And thus, one marathon to go for the Australian states challenge and also for the ANZAC sweep. Ross marathon, in three weeks.
Adelaide Marathon was number 18.