City to Surf Marathon, Perth

Today I ran my first marathon. And I’m proud to say that I completed it in just under 4:17. It’s also my second 12-in-12 Challenge event. I’m a little tired so I’m going to be lazy and just post some photos and videos, rather that typing a lot of words. I hope you don’t mind.

Pre-race breakfast salad

I started the day with a delicious breakfast of salad. I’m finding my body loves being fueled this way. Today’s salad was mesculin lettuce mix, spinach, carrots, beetroot, broccoli stems, slivered almonds and macadamias with a creamy garlic dressing.

I got to go into the ‘marathon’ room

The marshalling room at about 5:15am

I got the marshalling area 15 minutes early, which left me time to calm my nerves with some Qi Gong.

1,201 marathon runners walking to the start

One of the cool costumed runners

It was a long walk to the start line and everyone was chatting nervously to randoms.

Robert de Castella’s motivating and rousing speech at the start of the marathon. I also filmed myself crossing the start line. I was so nervous that I had to stop about 500m down the road at my hotel to use the bathroom in the lobby for a nervous wee.

The view back to Perth at the 12km mark

The run along the river with the sun coming up was amazing!

Somewhere around the 17km mark. I was loving life at this point and running at about 5:40 pace.

I ran through the halfway point (half marathon) at 2:00.53. That’s pretty good for me.

The top of The Terrace at 22km

The 5km from the river, through the half-way point and up to King’s Park were all uphill. But then we got to enjoy running along the boulevard of gum trees that I love so much.

The half marathon runners joined us as we ran through King’s Park. It was tough because they were still fresh and were running so quickly compared with us marathoners. To be honest, it was almost disheartening. Then, just before the 32km mark, as we left King’s Park, the 12km runners came heading up the hill. I felt so emotional when it happened because here I was, settling into my own little world of pleasure and pain when suddenly I became part of something so much bigger. The sound of the tens of thousands of foot steps was surreal.

I won’t lie: I struggled from about 32km onwards. I started needing to walk a lot more; largely because my right hamstring was tight and two toes on my left foot were stinging. But I made it a power walk and still maintained a fairly positive attitude. I didn’t want to get negative like some of the runners around me.

From 37km on I started counting down the kilometres by texting both my partner and a running club friend. It made it seem so real.

And then, at 40km, just when I thought I was almost there, the course had a nasty surprise of four big hills. You can tell the marathoners in this clip: we are the people walking or shuffling. The other runners are the half marathoners.

And then I finished! This was my first marathon. I almost feinted when I crossed the line and struggled to keep my feet. The recovery tent was a long way from the finish line and I couldn’t make it. I lay down and it was all I could do to keep from bursting into tears. I asked two medics for help getting water but they just told me to stand up and walk to the recovery tent. I don’t think they realised that I was in mild trouble. But perhaps they weren’t runners.

My post-race pile of mess

City Beach Perth after the race

After I spent some time in the recovery tent (I eventually got there but it was touch and go), my partner and I walked to nearby City Beach. She waited patiently while I went down to the water and stood thigh deep in the icy cold ocean as a pseudo ice bath.

We then caught the free shuttle bus back to Perth CBD. While waiting in the queue I needed to use a toilet to urinate urgently (for the millionth time since finishing). The bus monitor man got all angry with me telling me that the toilet I used was for staff only. I simply told him that had I not used the bathroom I would have urinated on his bus. He got angry with me so I walked off. I wish I’d taken the inappropriately behaved man’s name because I would have reported him to TransPerth for his behaviour. There were no other toilets anywhere and it really was a matter of use a toilet or wet my pants. And given that I do not have a penis, I can’t just find the nearest tree.

All in all, it was a brilliant event. I had a fantastic run and surprised myself with my time.

Total: Marathon run in 4:17 (gun time)

16 responses to “City to Surf Marathon, Perth

  1. Well Done! Fantastic achievement 😀

    • Thank you Vixx 🙂 . You’re one of my inspirations. Knowing there’s another ordinary person out there who’s running ultras and marathons for pleasure helped give me the confidence to hit the longer runs.

  2. Great Job! Sorry those medics didn’t assist you. They really should have known better.

    • Thank you.

      They should have but after a good night sleep I feel a bit more forgiving. Perhaps they simply weren’t runners. Many people probably think that if you can get yourself across the finish line you can get to the recovery tent. While the danger period is actually the first 5-10m after the finish line when you’re body decides it’s done its job. *shrugs*

      • So very true! I remember my very first half marathon, and the toll it took on my body. I had someone meet me at the end of the race which was a good thing, because I definitely needed their assistance for the first 10 minutes after the finish. Learned so much from that race…what to do/what not to do, that I’ve never suffered like that again. (I made some mistakes *sigh) Had my friend not been there, I would have required a medic.

  3. nice job! Sucks to have a couple bad experiences when you had such a good attitude for the race, but in the end its the satisfaction of finishing 42.2km that you will remember!!! Congrats!

    • That’s right Kent – it’s the satisfaction and good experiences I’ll remember. I don’t like to let the negative ones take over but still felt the need to share them in the interest of giving a full report.

      Am feeling really good today. I strained my right hamstring a bit but have ice so am hoping to be able to go for a light 10km run on Wednesday

  4. A big congrats on your first marathon, you really captured the race with your photos! I’m really surprised that there wasn’t any assistance for you after crossing the finish line, recovery tent or not they really should know better. I’ll be sure to have someone there for me just in case, after all you never know what your body is going to do after crossing that finish line. All that aside well done on such a fantastic achievement, bet your partner is really proud of you 🙂 x

    • Thank you 🙂

      Yeah, my partner was at the finish for me (that’s her who I called out to in the final video) but she wasn’t allowed anywhere near the recovery area (unsurprising really because there were 45,000+ participants across the various events (4km walk, 12km run, 12km walk, wheelchair events, half marathon, marathon). She was brilliant afterwards.

      Other than a slight hamstring strain, which I’m resting, I’m feeling really good post-marathon. I was expecting to be in pain for a few days but if it weren’t for the hammy I’d be out running again this morning. Instead, I’m enjoying to cool morning air on the balcony of teh B&B I’m staying at in the beautiful Swan Valley. 🙂

  5. Congrats on your first marathon! Great finish time! There’s nothing like your first marathon. Enjoy the feeling!

    • Thank you 🙂 It is a fantastic feeling 🙂 And no post-race pain other than a slightly strained hamstring, which I’m confident will heal quickly. The rest of my body and legs feel like I could hit some training already (and it’s only Tuesday)

  6. Congrats!!! And your 12-12 challenge is insane, good luck to you, I can’t wait to hear more!

    • Thank you. And yes, insane it is 🙂 Especially given my lack of experience. But it’s a challenge that excites me and will be excellent preparation for the challenge I am starting to plan for September / October 2013.

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