Finally 4.30am on Oct 18 arrives, and I am out of bed after a nervous night’s sleep. The countdown to the 7.30am start for the 10km run as part of the Medibank Melbourne Marathon Series begins. Get your running gear on, apply Finalgon to calves, hamstrings, and quads, put on “trakkies”, down the litre of high carb drink, enjoy a banana for breakfast, and head off to Glenn’s (my son) in Ivanhoe for a lift to the MCG before public transport begins.
When I finally get to the “G” with around 30,000 other competitors in the Series, the atmosphere is electric. I have plenty of time, so walk out through the Stands to see the “G” lit up and empty. This is what all the training is about.
The time passes quickly, as I strip off and put my warm clothing into safe storage. I know about the queue at the toilet so get there early to avoid the growing throng of nervous nellies! Again I have plenty of time to go through my extensive pre-race warm up exercises, and I couldn’t have felt better walking down to the start line adjacent to Rod Laver Arena on the banks of the Yarra. A “pep talk” over the loudspeaker from Steve Monoghetti who was also competing in the 10km run was perfect.
The gun goes on time and the 7000+ competitors walk, then jog, the run up to the start line…..and we are off. It is a perfect morning for running, cool, still, and overcast. We run up Flinders St, over the Bridge, down around the Arts Centre precinct, then back to the “tan”, up to Linlithgow Ave, back to St. Kilda Rd, over Barrack Bridge, past the “G” tunnel for a hairpin return to the tunnel, then a lap of the “G” to finish.
I ran 1:06:04 two years ago, and hoped for around 1:03 this year, but I felt good and ran strongly (for me), so was elated with my official time of 1:00:15, placed 12th of 47 in my age group of 65-69. Overall I finished 2905 of 6126 finishers. I do this as reward for hard training and meaningful endeavour, testing myself to ensure better physical and mental health for the wonderful years ahead. Bring on the Triathlon, Open Water Swimming, and Road Cycling Seasons.