Sunday, July 3, 2011

All kinds of awesome - the race

With all of you behind me ... how could I fail?
From the moment I got there I felt as though I had wings.

(I say from when I got there - let us not talk about almost being dropped off 4 k from the start line)

We had the most perfect day for it too...

There is one thing about the Gold Coast marathon series that cannot be put in words. The atmosphere is indescribable. Right from the moment you arrive you feel like you are something BIG. There were over 8000 runners doing the 10k across two waves. Yet you felt like you were amongst friends. It was amazing!

Actually ... I was amongst friends! I have no idea how she did it but Jess from 12wbt found me in amongst that sea of thousands! We lined up for the second wave together ... and nervously talked the wait away. It made such a difference. Helped me really calm my nerves! Thank you so much!

And then ... after the planning, the fundraising, the training, the travel , (the final nervous loo stops!) ... we were off!

And it was all kinds of awesome.

Normally when I run I find the first 3 .. 4, sometimes 5 km hard. I can't get a rhythm. My breathing struggles, my mind tells me to stop. I have to battle till I find that groove.

Not this time.
This race I was surrounded by so many like minded people. My family was backing me. My 12 week family had been tweeting, facebooking, emailing and posting their support all week. I had a message from Mish reminding me that 80% of the race is in my mind. And I was running for all those who had donated ... and for my Uncle John and for Vicki ... and that cancer might one day be beaten.
How could I possibly struggle with all that going for me??

My plan was to go out slow and run the race slower. My plan was to aim for 7min/km pace.
Problem was ... 6min 30 was feeling so good.
I checked my breathing, my heart rate, my body, and my mind ... all good.
It was easy.
I was smiling.
I could maintain it ... so I just focussed on running.

The first km went fast. I was running for Uncle John. He's the reason behind this. He is why I trained so hard and couldn't drop out. And it went fast too - because in the sea of people I was concentrating on not tripping, not falling over and not running into anyone ;)
The first km was easy.

The second km the crowd started to thin. We found our rhythm. I checked my speed again and was still maintaining around 6"30 pace. I thought about slowing down but still felt so good so just kept going. I absorbed the atmosphere ... breathed and looked around. I was running!

Around about the 3rd and 4th kms I had that realisation again. The one where I look around. I see so many people around me running strong, running with purpose, with a rhythm, finding their strides. They look like runners. They are awesome. And then I realise, that I am keeping up with them. I must look like them too. And if they are runners, I must be a runner too. Love that realisation! Wish I could bottle it!

I was thrilled when Sharon from 12wbt caught up with me at this stage. She is an awesome 12wbter - taking on challenges left and right. She inspires me! Thanks for finding me in the crowd! It was awesome to run with you girl!

Km 5 was nearing ... and I was starting to realise I had to do the whole thing again. I had to come back. I knew I would be teary at this stage of the race. Which is why km 5 was for Angela's aunt Vicki.

Just before I ran Mother's Day Classic we found out that Vicki had been diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a mum first and foremost, and described by Angela to me as an aunt/sister/friend to her. And I know she is a fighter. Km 5 I was going to fight for her.

When I got tired I would think "If Vicki can fight so can I" and I would feel like my legs had springs again. When we had a small hill to climb I would think that if she can battle on I am not going to let my legs get weaker. And when we turned the corner to come home I thought of the day her family will rejoice when her treatment turns a corner. It was not an easy km for me. But I ran it for her and I am proud to say I ran strong.

And you may not believe me ... but when I came to the end of my km ... I looked up ... and above the buildings of the Gold Coast there was a rainbow. Angela,Vicki, God always sends a rainbow after rain. Hang onto that. Promise me.

Things from here became a bit of a blur in my memories. I was running for 12 weekers who had asked me to run for their aunts, their sisters, their mum's, their dad's, their nans.
I was still shocked to be running strong. I started to believe that I may even beat 65 min for the 10 k (my initial goal was 70min!). I started to push a little harder.

The crowd at Gold Coast is awesome. Just as you get weary a kid comes out for a high 5. Or you turn a corner and find a band. And that is just the 10k!! The marathon must be such a buzz!!!

I ran and thought of my uncle - the boxer when I tired. I reckon I found some of his fight left in me. I thought of my mum, and how she has stood by me every step of this. And of my girl ... I want this to be her normal. I reckon it just might be.

As I neared that final km I was tiring. My pace was slowing on and off to that 7min/km pace. But I wanted to finish strong. I had dedicated my final km to "Coach Rell". Rell has been my "twitter coach" giving me running tips, running programs, inspiration and swift kicks when I needed it. But above all - she calls me a runner. She believes in me. She knows that I can even when I doubt. I am one of RellsRunners and I was going to finish strong for her.

I was counting down every one of the last 500, 400, 300 m of that race.

The crowd were awesome. "Only 500 to go!! You can do it!"

And then as I entered the final straight I heard a "GO KATH YOU CAN DO IT" from the side!
Jess had seen me and was cheering me on. I was SO going to finish hard!

And then it was done. Over the line. The ending happened so fast. I knew I was sooooo close to breaking 65. Depending when I crossed the start line I just might do it.

I was a finisher! I had run hard, strong and done what I set out to do. I believed I honoured my supporters and those I was running for ... and I raised $1100 in the process!

And then the official time came through.
I ran the Gold Coast Marathon series 10km race in 1 hr 4min and 53 sec
UNDER 65!!!

I smashed my 70 min goal!!

Reckon that really makes me a runner!!! Bring on the next challenge!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


  1. Such an awesome read, well done Kath, YOU ARE AMAZING!!!

  2. I loved reading this post - just amazing! Congratulations on a run well done and even more congrats on the money you raised!
    Thanks for sharing with us. :)

  3. Kath you are a ROCK STAR!!! Thank you for dedicating kilometre 5 to Vicki. Words just cannot capture the gratitude and joy we feel!! Yep - you are right. After the hurricane, comes the rainbow!! So so proud of you hon, I hope you are still walking on air! xxx

  4. Definitely all kinds of AWESOME!! Fantastic!

  5. I got teary reading this, you my girl, are a strong and determined RUNNER! I dont know you personally, only from online, but I am so proud of you.