Sydney Marathon '14

Run - 21 Sep 2014

Running is a shit sport…

Sorry to be all doom and gloom, but it is. Physically, the stress and strain is unparalleled, and mentally it is torturous. Great days are few and far between; so, when you have a good one, boy oh boy do you need to treasure it. Hold onto that moment tight and remember it.

Sydney marathon was my wee moment to treasure — my fourth marathon attempt. My first three were shrouded by typical marathon treats: blown calves, foot injuries, stitch …. the usual suspects. For those of you with too much free-time and who are remotely interested, I’ve jotted down a brief timeline of events from my 2014 Sydney Marathon:

  • The day prior to the big race, my buddy and I went walkabouts. We walked approx. 10 km along the Manly beachfront, sat on the beach in the hot sun and stuffed our faces with fish and chips and ginger beer — ideal marathon prep, right?
  • The day of the event, I arrived early and managed to sneak my way into the elite tent. Walking authoritatively up to the security guard at the elite tent, I grunted the word “elite” and slipped inside.
  • While laying down to keep the legs fresh, I noticed I was the only white dude; the place was filled with Africans - where was I?!?
  • With a sharp crack the gun sounded. Cruising over the harbour bridge I decided to catch the female runners. 
  • 5km - I was running with the lead chicks, but being slightly embarrassed I ran 2m to the left or behind as to not to steal their camera time from the police motorcade which was tracking their every movement 10m in front.
  • 9km - I decided that I didn’t care much about the cameras anymore and wanted to use the buzz of being in the pack to my advantage. So, I started to race the African chicks.
  • Reaching the half way mark I was running side-by-side with the lead woman, I think she was Ethiopian. 
  • 21.5km - She asked me to get her water. Confused, with thoughts of getting myself a gel my mind went blank - I picked up the gel, then put it back down… Then picked up a cup of water for her - as I grabbed it, it I spilled the water everywhere. I handed my Ethiopian companion the empty cup and was left with nothing for myself. Naturally, she hiffed the cup away in disgust.
  • 25km - she once again asked me to be the water boy. ‘Okay, this time I thought’. Reaching out, I picked a gel up, and then threw it away. Again, I picked up the water for her and handed it over, but no gel for me... Ever the gentleman.
  • 27.5km - I got myself a gel.
  • 30km - we headed back into town. The Ethiopian lady drops a 3:17km then starts spewing all over herself while running (I’m not making this up). Shocked and slightly impressed by her ability to throw up and run quick, our pace remained steady.
  • 32km - she spews all over herself again. “WTF!!!” I was thinking, “Who is this woman?!?”
  • 35km - at a steady incline, with a sudden surge my Ethiopian friend dropped a bomb up the rise and dropped me. My pace slows to just under 4min/per km and by this point I was absolutely stuffed!
  • 38km - somehow I got a second wind and started the desperate attempt to catch Miss Ethiopia.
  • 40km - running deliriously a sign passed by as I caught my Ethiopian lady.
  • 41km - the rest was pretty much a blur; I honestly thought I was going to pass out and die.
  • 42km - the finish; 2:29:11 I placed 8th and was the first Australasian. Success. 
  • My Ethiopian goddess came in 20 seconds later. I walk over to her to give her a big hug as she crossed the line. As I got close enough with my arms outstretched, she leant forward and once again spewed everywhere. Standing there with my arms out, I turned and walked off - ON LIVE TV. 

 Such a dick.