Tuesday, July 4, 2006

Looking Back - Gold Coast Airport Marathon 2006

I decided to attempt the Gold Coast Airport Marathon after I chanced upon the thread in SgRunners. Shortlegs, a fellow SgRunners residing in Brisbane, has kindly offered her place to let me stay. And since she's also taking part in the same event, I kindly accepted her invitation.

I took a Singapore Airline night flight from Singapore to Brisbane. By the time I reached Brisbane, it was about 6.45am. Shortlegs rushed up to me as soon as I step out of the arrival gate. I was very happy to see her as most of the time, I travelled alone for overseas marathon which sometimes could be dangerous. We took a short walk to the carpark and then headed straight home. Before moving off from the carpark, Shortlegs fixed up her GPS, which gave her precise instructions on the travelling route. Along the journey, I learnt that Shortlegs tend to get lost when she first arrived in Brisbane so she had to get the very nice-looking but powerful GPS for nagivation. I spent the rest of the day lazing around, using the internet to make more posts @ SgRunners, read some magazines, and chit-chat with Shortlegs.

On Sat, we went to the expo at Gold Coast. It was a long drive which lasted approximately 1hr 15mins. Upon reaching Gold Coast, we immediately went searching for the toilet as I was extremely urgent, due to the large amount of water I drank for the past days. Luckily for us, there was a mobile toilet nearby. After relieving ourselves, we went to the expo. It was not very big but had sufficient variety of exhibitors and products on sale. Shortlegs got a real bargain for a piece of nice and shwe chop-chop at A$40. In between, we collected our goodie bag (really nice one), bib and championchip. Next, we went to the nearest shopping centre for a carbo loading lunch. Both of us choose the smaller plate @ $8.80 but we managed to squeeze so much food that it looked like a mini-mountain.

After our eating spree (I bought a large-sized whipped potato from KFC for dinner), we headed home. And boy! Even though it is supposed to be winter time in Australia, the sun was blazing! I secretly wished that the sun would not be as hot as Sat. When we reached home, I downloaded the photos onto kodak gallery and shared with my friends back home. Soon, it was dinner time! I ate a plate of pasta and helped myself to a 2nd helping as it was rather delicious. I also finished the entire large-sized whipped potato!!! (Yum yum). After dinner, I got my running gear and stuff ready before I went to sleep.

The next morning, I woke up at around 3.30 am for breakfast. Then, I changed into my gear, did some stretching and wait for Shortlegs. We left for Gold Coast at around 4.55am and boy, the air was cold. Both of us wished we could continue sleeping, which eventually, I did along the way to the start point. The air was still pretty cool when we reached Gold Coast. However, as we parked 2 streets away, we had to walk to the start point. By the time we reached, I'm more or less warmed up. The wheelchair event for the marathon was flagged off first followed by the half-marathon event. The full marathon event was flagged off at 6.50am.

As usual, I started off slow. Trying to find my rhythm, my pace, my form. I covered 8.5km in the 1st hour, which was a little short of the planned 9km coverage. In the next hour, I covered an additional 8km, which was still a little short of target. However, I was still pleased with myself overall as i did not train properly in the past few weeks. I reached the 20km mark and the TIMEX reads 2hrs 24mins. Then I knew that I should have no problem in completing the AHM within 2hrs 45mins - the requirement to qualify for a finisher medal. By the 3rd hour, I completed a total of 24km, which was on target. However, by the 4th hour, I began to slow down. As I did not prepare myself sufficiently for this marathon, I wanted to walk as early as possible. Thus, when I reached the 28km marker, I walked the entire 1km. Eventually this helped as I was able to covere 31km by the 4th hour. By the 5th hour, I told myself I had to complete at least 36km and I did 1km better. This meant that if I maintained my current pace, I should complete the remaining 5km well before the 6 hours. At the 41km marker, I gave one last push to ensure I finished below 5hrs 50mins. I did just enough to complete my 13th marathon in 5hrs 48mins.

Gold Coast Airport Marathon was my 11th overseas marathon. However, I was ill-prepared for the event as there were just too many happenings in work, not to mention the corn right underneath my right foot. All in all, i only did 3 serious training runs in which the total distance was equivalent to the marathon distance I covered on 2 Jul 2006. Although I came out of this experience alright, it taught me good lesson on time and self management. Coming up next is the Seattle Marathon on 9 Jul. With this Gold Coast Marathon under my belt, I am confident that I am able to complete within the 6-hour time limit. Wish me luck!!!


Renohtaram said...

all the best for Seattle!!!

run to live said...

wow! i found ur blog!!! hahaa....all the best for your marathon quest

Ripley Runs said...

run to live: how do you find har? i use google, yahoo and the blogger to search but not so easy leh...