The 2012 Melbourne Marathon was on Sunday, October 14. I was very happy to be there.
My training this year had been fairly consistent, but suffered a serious blow the week before the marathon when I came down with a ripper of a head cold. On the Wednesday before the race, I was bed-ridden with a chronic headache and non-stop running nose, and the thought of running a marathon in a few days time seemed highly unrealistic. However I felt reasonable when I woke on the Saturday, so as I waited at the starting line on the Sunday morning with another 7000+ runners, it was a magic moment. The weather was glorious, I had made it to the starting line and knew that I would also make it to the finish.
The first 32kms were a lot of fun: while it was crowded for the first few kilometres, there was a great vibe in the crowd and plenty of interesting runners, including Spartans, superheroes (total respect for anyone who runs 42.2km in a full body suit of spandex) and all shapes and sizes of runners.
This was my first marathon with a GPS watch and it made a big difference: I kept to a consistent 5:20 pace for that first 32km, and that was when the marathon really began!
By the 36km mark, I was starting to fade and walked the (allegedly “gentle”) hill past the Observatory and Shrine of Remembrance before finding my running legs again. The last kilometre from Flinders St, down Wellington Parade South and then around Jolimont Road into the MCG is a magic thousand metres. The highlight of the day was the surprise on the last corner where my family appeared to cheer me on.
Time: 3:56:04. A personal best.