Let me start by saying 14.something km – DONE. It wasn’t pretty but who thought that it would be? Thinking back over the day, the start really set the scene.
From the outset, I didn’t plan on running much of the event this year, mainly as a result of the lack of training and the genera feeling of crappiness. I think secretly I wanted to rock up this morning and run/jog my way through the event and miraculously get a better time than last year. Totally delusional I know but something to wish for none the less. The on-day preparations were as good today, if not better than any other year if for no other reason than I managed to go to the loo before we got to the course to make sure I wasn’t standing around for hours wishing that I could go. I had my camera and my phone tied securely around my hips thanks to an old pair of stockings so I was all set to run. We made our way to the start line and began the long wait. Eventually the countdown ended and the run began for the real runners. For the rest of us it was more like 5 – 4 – 3 – 2 – 1 – GO, cheer, take a single step forward and stop and wait some more. Eventually we began the slow shuffle toward the start line. I was quite surprised at how methodical the start was this year there was no pushing of shoving, everyone was relaxed as they prepared to start.
30 odd minutes later, the start line was in sight. There was a sea of runners and walkers ahead of us and I turned around to see how many people were behind us. I was expecting to see a sea of bodies behind us but there were none. Somehow in the shuffle to the start line the thousands of people who were behind us, including those who signed up to walk the entire race had just disappeared. Apparently as we ambled along, pleased at the lack of push and shove, those that wanted to push and shove ran around the outside and snuck back into the line just before the starting point. That may have been the cause for the lack of push and shove but it was quite disconcerting to start right at the very back!
We crossed the start line and picked up the pace, from an amble to a fast walk and immediately began overtaking people. As we walked our way to the Tunnel and the 1km marker we discussed our strategy for the run. Man-child had already ditched us in an attempt to finish a little quicker. We decided that we would alternate between walking and running each kilometre and the plan worked, for the first 2km. In fact, the second km was actually pretty fast. The third km was a pleasant but still fairly speedy stroll through the remainder of the tunnel, toward the first toilet truck. The line was horrendous, so long in fact that we decided the joggle (read: run/jog/walk) to the next bank of toilet trucks would be quicker than waiting. (Year 1, I waited 20 minutes to use the facilities!) We kept on going, but I don’t know about the rest of the world but running when you need to go to the loo is never a great. TMI, but if you add a baby or 3 and the pelvic floor isn’t what it once was so the plans to run were severely stifled.
We managed to make it to the next toilet truck at the 6km mark just as the truck ran out of water. It is always reassuring to enter the truck to the sounds of someone screeching that they have had to disconnect the water from the truck in order to fill up water bins ready for the runners to drink! Upon leaving the truck and waiting for the others, I overheard the security personnel talking to each other about the brawl that were happening further along the course – WTF, fights during a fun run!
Anyway, we kept on going but by this stage we had started to really enjoy the walk and felt little desire to run. I didn’t mind, it gave me and opportunity to send a few messages, tweet and take photos – not a bad deal at all really. Of course by this time, the other people that we travelled in to the city with earlier that morning had already finished their run, cooled down and were sitting in the shade waiting for us. They were in for a really long wait but we were enjoying ourselves!
For the entire fun run, the amount of running that we took part in was actually pretty dismal. If I count all the mini runs that we did whenever we saw an official photographer (if we get any official race photos we want to look like we were running!) we ran perhaps 3km, joggled a further 5km and slowly ambled the remainder of the ‘fun run’. Lil Sis was there at the finish line with those that had already finished and with Billy and my kids. The kids joined us for the last 500 metres as we ran towards the finished line, asking if they could do the real Run 4 the Kids next year.
Despite the feelings of disappointment of the lack of running involved, I actually had a great day. A wander through a beautiful city on a balmy Autumn day, enjoying the sunshine with friends is a great day really. Follow that with a lunch at Southbank and a long soak in the hot tub and it was a pretty darn good day. To make it even better, I don’t even feel sore – YET. I know that despite the lack of running involved, I am still likely to be really sore in a day or so, but for now I am happy to not be too stiff and sore, unlike last year when I could barely move.
My aim, if I do the long Run 4 the Kids next year is to do it in under 2 hours. Surely even an unfit me is capable of doing that with a little training! Next stop though, the is to do the Mothers Day Classic in May with the kids. I don’t think much training will be required if I am joggling with a 6 and 8 year old!