Friday, July 22, 2016

GCAM 2016

A plan was hatched before Christmas 2015 by a couple of my newer running buddies to go to the Gold Coast for the Gold Coast Airport Marathon running festival in July 2016. This would be all of our first interstate event - how could I say no!  We were a posse of 1 Marathon runner, 1 Half Marathon runner (me) & 3 x 10km runners.  Us 4 girls stayed in an apartment right in Surfers Paradise, about a 5 minute walk from the beach & our Marathon runner stayed with his family out in the burbs taking an extended 2 week vacation.

I managed to fit 3 nights/4 days worth of clothes in here (+ an over sized handbag) & took both as cabin luggage.  Did not want them losing my stuff!  Had a bit of time to kill at Melbourne Airport.

And at Coolongatta hanging out with this guy & getting some rays waiting for another of my travelling companions to arrive.

Marathon runner picked us up at the airport & we swung by the convention centre to pick up his race packet & have a look at the expo.

 Found our names on the event wall of runners...........

Then headed to our accommodation, a wander around & a late lunch/early dinner as we had 3 runners starting @ 6.30am Saturday morning for the 10km.

Our accommodation was approximately 20 minutes travel time from the event precinct & the recommendation was to arrive an hour before your event start time.  

The tram was a 2 minute walk from our building & supposedly running every 7 minutes from 4.30am.  The runners were up before 4am, I rolled out of bed around 4.15am & we walked out the door at 4.30.  It was bloody freezing!!!  We made it to the start line with out incident; runners lined up for the portaloo & then we went for a bit of a walk, warm up (runners) & to watch the beginnings of the sunrise before making our way to the start line.

One more portaloo stop & it was time to head to the starting chute.  Instead of carrying all the jumpers in the bags I was now in charge of, I put them all on trying to warm up!!!  Finally our wave was off & the girls took off.  M was hoping for a PB, of the other two, one had come down with a rotten cold & the other hadn't trained much so they had a walk/run strategy & planned on taking lots of photo's & have a bit of fun with it.

I went in search of HOT coffee still not being able to feel my hands or feet & then back to the road hoping to see M on the back leg of the first out & back section.  I had given up waiting thinking I'd missed her as I didn't want to miss her at the finish line when I saw her out of the corner of my eye!!  I yelled & cheered, but was stuck on the other side of the dual carriage way & she didn't hear or see me.

Raced around to the finish line & settled in to a good spot half way down the finishing corral to wait for M.  I missed the winner, but saw the first girls over the line & had lots of fun cheering runners of all shapes, sizes & abilities!  Finally I spotted M.  By this time there were a lot of runners in the chute & I had been worried I'd miss her!  Waved my arms wildly & cheered - Bam - she saw me!  Big grin & down to the finish line.

I headed back to the rendezvous point to meet her, knowing the other two were together & would be a while yet + I had all their phones & warm clothes :-)

M achieved her PB & was stoked with her time & the run overall, but was a little annoyed that the drink stations weren't set up when she went through the first 2 - the cups were all empty with the volunteers only just starting to fill them.  I don't worry about drink stations for 10kms, but for those who do, that can really throw you off your run.

By the time the other 2 finished & met us the sun was out & I had finally defrosted.  Back to Surfers for well earned breakfast & showers for the sweaty mob & a wander around the shops (& a sleep for the snotty one who was looking rather pale post run).

We pretty much chilled out for the rest of the day with the other girls in recovery mode & me yet to run.  Some of us took the opportunity to make happy feet before an early dinner. I was in bed by 8pm after laying out my gear as another early start was required!!

My start time was 6am & after yesterdays chilly start there was no way I wanted to wait around at the start line for an hour.  I was happy to aim for 5.30am.  This morning however the trams were a little more packed & the girls shoved me into a sardine packed tram on my own worried I wouldn't make it there on time.  I was then worried they wouldn't make it to grab my bag back off me LOL!

All was well & it was finally time to donate my warmest layers to our sickie & head for my start wave.  The girls saw me off & then went in search of Marathon runner who's event didn't start until 7.20am - MADNESS!!!  I have no idea why they don't start the Marathon first -making them run in the heat of the day wasn't very nice (in my opinion).

Finally I was off & settled into a reasonable pace (5.35).  I haven't done any speed training since the Great Ocean Road Marathon & have still been plagued with ITB pain - the longest run I'd done between the two was 15kms & the pain set in about then so I had no idea how I'd fare today.

It didn't seem long before the front runners were coming back & we cheered them on as they flew by heading back towards the finish line (the course is an out & back).  There were lots of people out cheering & I high fived as many kids (& adults) as possible & almost came to a flying face plant focusing on a bunch of kids on the back of a ute.....who were parked over a speed hump.......that I didn't see. 

Thankfully it was only a stumble for me & I continued on keeping my eyes peeled for further trip hazards.  I took a little detour @ about 7kms into a public toilet block @ a sports ground - much better than a portaloo &; no queue!!  

It was a bit of a multi tasking stop as I needed a bit of a costume change.  I really didn't pack very well for the run.  The singlet I'd packed was more for 25 degrees, not 9 & the long sleeved top I ran in was more for 5 degrees & now I was a little warm.

Not wanting to put my belly on display I'd noted another lady with the same problem & followed her lead - pulled my zip down the whole way & shimmied my arms out of the sleeves & through the neck, sliding my top down just below my crop top & tied the arms around my waist.  Problem solved.  Top half nice & cool, belly covered :-)

At 12kms the ITB pain kicked in & I had to stop & stretch every 2kms thereafter crossing the finishing line 2.03.39 my watch; official 2.03.37.  Collected my medal & finishers shirt & headed to the rendezvous point to meet the girls.  

After around 20 minutes one of them came looking for me, the other two still looking for me on the finishing chute - they'd been waiting but didn't see me!!!  Luckily I had my dry t-shirt to change into & the sun had come out otherwise I'd have been a shivering crying mess (they had my warm clothes & phone)!!!!

After some finishing photo's it was back to Surfers for breakfast & a hot shower.  As we headed to the cafe we noticed the Marathon runners along the foreshore.  Checked the time & decided to go down & see if we could see our Marathon runner.  3.40 pacer went past, 3.50 pacer, then the 4hr pacer - he can't be far away (although went in with a lower back/hip strain & wasn't sure how he'd go).

Our wait paid off with big cheers & massive high fives as he came past us at around the 25km mark.  On to breakfast & a quick shower as we wanted to get back to the finishing line.  Perfect timing - waited around 5 minutes along the finishing chute before he came through - not so happy & said he would have stopped & walked & possibly thrown up if we hadn't been there.

Spent the afternoon walking back home along the beach taking in the warmth of the sun & the beauty of the ocean.

Then it was time for some recovery & celebration!

Hot epsom salts/radox bath, followed by legs up the wall.

A play on the foam roller

Some bubbles

And one last sunset

Once again early to bed & an early start for flights home.  Mine was the latest flight to leave GC & I had a little time to kill @ the airport.

A little bit of shopping, finished reading my book & started the next in the series.  Finally it was time to board & before I knew it I was back in Melbourne.  I met two of the girls at the baggage carousel (they'd had a stop over in Sydney) & after a long wait & a visit to the lost luggage counter we were on our way home with 1 less bag (still in Sydney - to be delivered to their home the following day).  

It was a great weekend away with friends & we are already planning our next interstate running adventure: Cadbury Half Marathon event in Tasmania in January 2017 (& 2 of the girls first attempt at the half distance!!!!).

I did learn a few things about running an interstate event:

1. Do not under any circumstance pay heed to other peoples interpretation of the weather or humidity conditions.  Read the forecast your self & go by experience.  It will be hot they said, 21 up their is like 27 at home they said, its the humidity, you'll only need a light cardi for nights they said.  The humidity was the same as Melbourne.  We were up at 4am & it was 9 degrees & very cold.  I had to buy another jumper & packed the wrong running attire. 

2. The scenic route was the Marathon route.  For some reason I was expecting to run along the beach.  My bad.  The half was through suburbia with only the last 4kms? along the water.

3. Look where you are going.    This isn't really an interstate lesson though, just a running lesson in general!!!!  That speed hump almost undid me.

I have a pretty medal to add to the collection.  The Marathon medal is MUCH bigger............& I may just want one...........


Char said...

Must have been the same speed bump that bit me too. Not fun! I'm in total agreement about the marathon start time. It's awful for the marathoners to have to be running in the middle of the day. It can be mid-20s and that's just too hot. And as for the course - boring! You'd expect to run along with beach and sea views when you're running on the Gold Coast but no one apart from the marathoners get them. But, having said that, it's my local event so I'll continue to do it.

AlleyCat said...

hahahaha glad I didn't offend you with my scenic route comment! Melbourne events get a tad boring too with most events following the same route. I think I ran pretty much the same route 3 times last year - but you do continue to do it because it's your local!!! I guess because it was such a big event & build up I was expecting more water & less Woolworths.

I just don't get the arse about start times. Completely illogical & potentially dangerous.

That bloody speed hump - I was a lot luckier than you!!!

Carol said...

Terrific recap, I'm aiming for GC next year. Sounds like you had a great weekend away with friends, and that's what it's all about. Mind you, Tassie would be great, always falls on the Surf T Surf weekend. I saw the medals from this year as a couple from our running group did it, oh boy they are really pretty! Not to mention purple! What's not to love.

PS: Good luck for Sunday!

AlleyCat said...

Thanks Carol! Yes, you should go & do it (GCAM) - i think we are all heading back next year :-)

Guess I'll have to miss surf2surf this year..............I needs that purple medal!!! I may have ordered a purple & silver tutu to run it in.................

Blue Grumpster said...

That's pretty cool to see your name on that wall. Not wanting to put my belly on display... I know what that is like haha. Minor difference though: you've got no belly.

I love walking along the beach. Especially when I've got some peace and quiet.

Check out those bubbles!