I AM A MARATHONER!!!
I did it! I became a marathoner at the Gold Coast Marathon on Sunday 1st July, 2018.
I wrote a race recount for facebook:
"What I enjoyed about the race so much, was the people I knew out on course. At one stage I was running with a couple I hadn't met. We went past Wayne Fels & Nicole Fels, then I caught up with Reece Eberhard of Running Paparazzi, and not long after Rebecca Bell pulled up on her motorbike & said hello. The couple said "wow you've got a lot of support out on the road!" It made me realise how many friends I have made through running. It was great to see Corey from Calamvale parkrun early in the race coming back from the turn around. Then I spotted Simon Christen. I ran alongside Maree from Calamvale for a while, and Ryan Stoddart caught me for a chat and a selfie.
Wayne Fels took this photo of me as I ran past.
I made the Running Guy (Ryan Stoddart) selfie reel
Of course Janice Woolf was out on course with the kids at the start, and I had set myself a goal to not walk until I saw them on the return at 29km. It was great to see Rob Scott and the family coming back through there, I was still feeling strong at that stage!
My family supporting me as I passed by
Travis from Run Down Under was obviously supporting some runners, we crossed paths at Miami. There was heaps of banter with other runners through the race, I was trying to keep a positive frame of mind by making jokes with other runners and spectators. Groups of spectators brought packs of lollies to share with the runners, and one spectator offered us watermelon from his house on the course!
Heading back toward Surfers I passed Jen Flip Cow - and I was so pleased when she passed me later on because I knew she was in better form than me coning into the race! I am super proud of how she recovered from things not going her way to finish so strongly. I think her race was a true testament to the courage and spirit needed to overcome the obstacles in a marathon to finish the race!
At about 29km I started to get cramps, and crossing the bridge over the broadwater I realised I was going to have to slow things down to finish. I was overheating and the cramps were popping up every time I tried to push a little. I knew that I was going to finish at that point though, because I had enough time to walk the final 12km if I needed to.
Not long after I came across Daniel Legge who had a few words of advice as always. Then the Team Hummingbird Gold Coast Marathon 2018 motivator Taking the long option Graham found me and ran a good few k's "out the back" where it was desperately needed. Everyone had told me how hard it was for the last 12km after the finish line. But that turn around point feels like it's never coming!
I had a good chat with some runners from Papua New Guinea. Every time I saw them I would cheer them on and them me. It's those little things out on course that make it enjoyable.
Coming back toward the finish I had a wonderful surprise of spotting an old school friend Jodie Gunders who ran with me for a few k's, after doing her 10k the day before and supporting her husband earlier that morning. Again, to run & chat with someone at that point in the race makes it a little easier!
In the last few k's I spotted Chris Stainer & co., where I may have used a few profanities to explain how I felt about the distance covered.
Then in the home stretch the Calamvale parkrunners were all lined up Simon Christen, Mike Butler and others - it was just brilliant to give everyone a high 5 going through the tent. The home stretch is brilliant with all the supporters yelling your name & giving high 5's. I just wanted to keep running at this point. Every time I tried to go just a little faster the legs would cramp, so had to dial it back to a shuffle to prevent walking!
Coming round the bend I spotted Rob Scott & Anne.... then saw Janice Woolf, Alison & the kids. Hugs all round as Janice had a few tears. I was feeling a bit emotional coming up the home stretch, thinking how I was told I would never be able to run 12 years ago; and realising I was about to become a marathon finisher!
I soaked up the last 250m with some fist pumps. I wanted to raise my arms but my biceps were so sore I couldn't quite get them there. I shuffled over that line with the ecstasy of knowing I AM A MARATHONER!!!!
Finishers medal. 800 participants didn't finish the race to get this bad boy.
Thanks to everyone I saw out there & sorry if I forgot anyone. You helped me make the most of this experience and really enjoy my day finishing the Gold Coast Marathon.
Oh I forgot Michael Lennon! Riding beside me telling me that I WILL finish. But the best advice was the night before, suggesting I aim to finish within myself rather than collapsing at the end of the line. I knew the exact moment when I had to dial back, and walked up the bridge and following hill. Sage advice oh wise one :)
Also forgot Grantley AndrewFiddyment! Good to see your smiling face & asking if I needed anything 👍"
After having a few days to think about it all, it was about what I could do, rather than what I can't. I was told 12 years ago that I couldn't run. I chose to ignore that advice, and I just finished 42.195km in 5 hrs 18 min!!!! We are capable of so much more than we ever thought we could achieve. Get out there and chase your goals peeps.
Music by bensound.com