Exercise: 42.2km Gold Coast Marathon (8’s)

Okay, okay, here it is JH 🙄

So what can I say about the Gold Coast – it was bloody wet when we got there and it was wet when we left there

Originally we were going to jump on a shuttle bus from the airport to the hotel, but it actually worked out cheaper to jump into a taxi and it was so much quicker and eaiser 🙂

We stayed at The Islander Resort Hotel. It was cheap and cheerful, with a bar, a pool, some pokies and a restaurant and it was right in the middle of Surfers. Good enough for us!!

We had a bit of a snooze before heading out to the Expo at Southport to pick up our race packs and check out what was on offer to buy. Can you believe that Michelle talked me out of buying anything at all…..how did she do that 😯

We ran into Mr and Mrs Wombat and also Alison from Cool Running. It was good to see some familiar faces before the race.

We got a bit wet on the way back to the hotel as we decided to walk down to the nearest bus stop to jump on the bus. I didn’t realise at the time that the nearest bus stop was about a 2km walk from the Expo and of course the heavens opened up on us while we were walking. At least the legs got a bit of a turnover 🙂

A very quiet Saturday night, spent eating dinner and getting all of our race gear ready for the 5am start to the day 😯

I gave myself a pat on the back for remembering my ear plugs otherwise I would never have slept through the noise outside from passing traffic, police cars and very noisy people at 3am!!

We’d set as many alarms as possible and they all went off within a minute of each other. There was an ominous noise coming from outside. I dreaded to look and see what it was.

Sure enough the wind was howling. The palm trees were blowing sideways and rain was horizontal. Yep, great weather for a marathon 😯

Michelle and I looked at each other and seriously debated not getting out of bed. But adding up how much it had cost us to get there, stay there and enter the event, there was no way I was going to waste that amount of money. So we both got dressed and walked out the door to be met by a huge queue waiting for the bus that would take us to the start line.

There were a few people doing the 1/2 marathon who were still waiting in the queue and this was at about 6.15am. The 1/2 started at 6.30am so they were cutting it really fine. A woman organiser arrived at the bus stop and made sure that the 1/2 marathoners were on the next bus. We then had to wait as she wanted to keep an empty bus for other 1/2 marathoners who had to be picked up along the way. This is probably one 1 of 2 complaints that I had on the day.

We got to the start and walked up the road trying to find a way to get across to the other side so that we could dump our bags, go to the loo and get back to the start line before the gun went off.

I think we must have walked up too far as we just couldn’t get across the road due to all the rails. We ended up going past the start line and found a gap in the rail eventually. The finish area where the bag drop off and loos were had become very muddy due to the rain.

There was a big queue at the bag drop off area for the marathoners bags. We stood in line for a little while and was then told that we could use all the lines (1/2 marathon, 10km etc) as there were people at all of them waiting to take bags.

We just had time to nip to the loos and we then got held up by some people from the Gold Coast Bulletin who wanted to take our photo and interview us. (I’ll scan the article!!).

Just as we were heading back to the start line the gun went off 😯 We ran over to try and get onto the road but couldn’t find an opening anywhere. Luckily we managed to find one a little further down and we ended up just near the 4.30 bus, which is around the time that we were aiming for.

So my second gripe is the lack of signage for people to get across the road. I think we were meant to cross right down the bottom near where we got off the bus, but we just followed the crowd. One good thing, we saw Old Miler along the way which we wouldn’t have done if we’d crossed at the bottom 🙂

So we only have to wait a little while before the crowd starts moving.

The first 10km seemed to fly by, probably because we were just taking in the crowds and the scenery. There were a few showers but they didn’t last too long and I didn’t feel like we were getting soaked at all. We got to the first turnaround point at Miami in fairly good time, still feeling really good.

Had a minor stopoff at the portaloos at Broadbeach and were then quickly back on our way.

I started to tire a bit at the 25km mark, but just around the corner from that we saw the 10km runners and forgot about my tiredness as we both scanned the crowd for Em and her brother. We saw them as we were heading back over the bridge into Southport and we waved and screamed at each other 😀

The pace picked up a bit as we ran past the finish line with loads of people waving and cheering along the road. It slowed again at about the 30km mark and I really started to feel as if I wasn’t going to make it.

Michelle and I both run with our mp3’s when we enter races, but with only one ear piece in so that we can still talk to each other (yes we run that slowly that we can still talk!!). She told me to plug both ears in and turn the music up loud so that it drowned out any pain. It worked a treat for the next few km’s, but all the pain came back again when we got down near Runaway Bay.

I’ve decided that I don’t like that part of the course. It is long and really boring and just feels like forever before the turnaround point. Once we’d hit this point my spirits did lift, knowing that we were pretty much on the home straight, even though there was still at least 6km to go – 6 very slow km’s 🙄

All I could do was keep looking for those km markings and tick each one off as we passed it. I so didn’t want to stop and walk at all and the only time we did this was through the drink stations as we grabbed an Endura drink (we were wearing our camelbacks with water so just needed the Endura).

The final 2km passed by in a blur and I was just so happy to see that finish line. It was almost surreal running through it. I think my head might have been somewhere else as I didn’t really feel that much emotion, just elation that I didn’t have to keep running any more 🙄

We sat down for a little while in the finishing area, took our chips off our trainers, and then walked out, where we were given our medal and our finishers t-shirt 🙂

Michelle’s daugher was waiting there for us and we all wandered down to the edge of the water, where we waded in and soaked the legs for a little while. We then got changed in the loos and headed for the SLSC to meet up with a whole load of Cool Runners for some post race drinks 😀

Hopefully I didn’t bore you stupid yet…..more to follow!!