This weekend didn’t go according to plan. And that’s not a bad thing!
I had originally signed up to do a midnight marathon on Sunday morning (ie starting at midnight Saturday night!) – for some reason I thought it might be a bit of fun! (I know. Marathon and fun do not belong in the same sentence!) I had requested bib number 6 as it was to be my 6th marathon (that honour will now go to a little event you may have heard of called the ‘Boston Marathon’).
Then my friend Tracie, who despite my best efforts is not a runner, announced she was going to have her 40th birthday party that Saturday night. Try as I might, I could not conjure up a scenario in which she would forgive me for bailing on her party early to go run a marathon! So I did the only sensible thing and withdrew from the marathon. People tried to convince me to do the 6am marathon (yes, there was a 6am marathon as well and some crazy people were doing BOTH!) but I thought that would be just asking for trouble!
THEN I heard about this new event happening on Sunday, put on by the City of Tea Tree Gully and organised by Yumigo! A free fun run, with 5k and 10k options plus a 2k family fun run, and best of all (or so I thought) the 10k started at 10:30 and the 5k at 11! So with little hesitation I entered the 5k.
As it turned out I got home at about 3:30am after the party, having been kicked out of 3 venues (only because they were closing) and having to make the decision – to go to the Casino or to go home? Thankfully we chose the latter! It was a great night!
So I was able to set my alarm for the very civilised time of 9am, although I was awake by 8:30. I opted for the aqua lulu skirt with the extremely well colour coordinated Mekong singlet. The forecast was for 35 degrees – first hot day for a long while! And of course the 11am start would mean it would be hotter than normal for a fun run, as they mostly tend to start between 8 and 9am. The Mekong top has a mesh back which is great for keeping cool!
I got to the designated car parking spot just after 10. There were frequent (also free) shuttle buses ferrying participants to the start/finish area – it was all very well organised! At the race location there was music and an MC from Fresh FM adding to the atmosphere. The 2k run was already in progress and the 10k was about to start. I collected my bib and found a shady spot to sit for a moment and attach it to my Spibelt.
I watched the start of the 10k, once again very glad I’d opted for the 5 (and like last weekend, I lost count of the number of people who said “ONLY the 5k?”)
There were a lot of familiar faces there, but most of the people I saw there that I knew, were volunteers rather than participants!
I went and did a quick warmup (might have seemed a little unnecessary as I was already warm, but the legs needed loosening!) and before long the 5k runners were being called to the start line. I didn’t see anyone I recognised in the 5k.
And then came the race itself. It couldn’t really have been more different from last weekend’s Glenelg Classic! Out and back on a cool morning with and then into a strong wind, versus a loop on a hot, still morning! I didn’t really have a time in mind but I set off reasonably quickly, 4:33 for the first k. It only got slower from there! After the first few hundred metres there was only one runner ahead of me, another female. She was a fair way ahead but I was happy to let her lead the way – I didn’t know the course at all so did not fancy being the leader! (Not that that was ever likely to happen!)
Along the way I saw more familiar faces as marshals – one of them, Annie, took these pics a bit before the 2k mark.
I’d opted to carry a drink bottle due to the heat. Even though it wasn’t the bottle I would normally run with (I have one with a handle) this one was comfortable to hold and the water, albeit warm Adelaide tap water, was like the nectar of the gods!
I lost the leader after a while and got a bit confused by the kilometre markers – I saw one that said 4km when I had only done about 2.5. Of course that was a marker for the 10k event which shared part of the same course, but for a while there I wondered if I might have missed a turn somewhere! I soon got back on track when I saw the 3k marker.
The course was easy to follow – wherever there was any doubt about which way to go, there would be a marshal.
I started passing some of the 10k runners/walkers. I was aware that there were no 5k runners anywhere near me, and I admit I did contemplate walking up some hills – been a while since I’ve thought about walking in a 5k!
We passed one drink station (I think there were 3 in the 10k but just the one in the 5k) but with my water bottle in hand there was no need for me to stop.
Eventually, after what felt like an eternity, I got to the last kilometre, which I’d already seen when I’d done my warmup. I was checking my watch every 30 seconds and was disappointed to see I’d only progressed about 50 metres each time! The last kilometre ended up being 5:03, the first time I’ve done over 5 minutes for a km in a 5k race in a LONG time!
My official time was 24:01 (d’oh!) beaten only by first placegetter Susan (by 2 minutes as it turned out!) – and a good minute and a half slower than my windy 5k last weekend! I’d forgotten that this race also had finisher medals for all distances – not bad for a free event!
So despite being quite a bit slower than usual (the heat undoubtedly being the major reason) I was pretty happy to be 2nd – 2nd overall, 2nd female and 2nd in the 20-49 age group!
It was a really well organised run, especially being the inaugural event and given the hot conditions. Thanks to all the volunteers and everyone who helped make it happen! My 2 pieces of feedback (and I’m sure I’m not alone here) would be an earlier start to beat the heat, and possibly labelling the kilometre markers with the relevant distance (eg ‘4k in the 10k’) to avoid confusion in the easily confused! But really overall these are just minor things and I’m sure next year will be bigger and better!