Saturday, May 17, 2014


For those 'in the know' that stands for Great Ocean Road and for those REALLY 'in the know' we know that a person is talking about the Great Ocean Road Marathon carnival at Apollo Bay.

I decided to enter the 14km Paradise Run and it was fantastic.  I am so proud of myself too, Mike couldn't make it and I didn't know anyone else from my neck of the woods going to it so I took myself off on the 2.5 hour drive (through some hairy roads through the Otways).  And look at the day!  It was spectacular.  I popped across the road to check out the water, absolutely gorgeous.


The only thing about going to these events alone is that unless you find a kind soul to help out you end up with selfies!  The other thing is tha you just end up wandering around and making some chit chat with people as you pass by.  And coming back over the finish line and you are all elated and you just want to hug someone and share the moment and there's no one.  But I can't expect Mike to come to all the events with me, I just need to find a like minded local that wants to do these events as well and share the experience.

Pretty soon we were lining up on the Main Street to start, crowds had lined the street, I was a bit closer to the start than I was comfortable with so I kept way over to the side so I didn't get in the way with too many people, and then we were off.

Up the Main Street and soon enough we had left town and were making our way out to a paradise.  Kind of a cool,ring to it, hey today I ran to Paradise!  What a gorgeous setting to run in, lush green vista on each side of the roadway, beautiful country scenes.  We passed a paddock with some amazing looking horses and they were having such fun galloping up and down the fence line as the runners ran past.  

It was hot!  And looking ahead in the sweeping road it was amazing how quickly the pack had spread out.  I was just past the the 4km mark and the front runners, two guys, were already passing us on the way back (the 10km Mark for them).  They were positively sprinting, I can't wait to see the results to see how close they finished.  All the runners around me, myself included, broke out in spontaneous applause as we all passed them.  It was amazing seeing their stride.

I continued m plod, the water stops were very welcome, I was drinking a cup then dowsing myself with another cup.  Soon enough though we were up in the beautiful fern filled shady treed area, the shade was bliss!  I hit the 7km turnaround point and was slightly ahead of my goal.  I wanted to finish by 2 hours, yes I am a plodder!

It's funny, I look at the elevation and it looks horrendously steep, but I would more say it was undulating, although obviously gradually raising.  It was nice thinking I was homeward bound, and not last by a long shot, there were still plenty of runners making their way to the turnaround point.

At one stage the ambulance went past and shortly after we saw a fellow in distress being worked on.  This is obviously a wonderfully run event, a number of motor bikes up and down the road checking on runners, and St Johns Ambulance were out in force.  I was also taken with the support by the people.  People were out and about calling encouragement. The Main Street was positively packed with people cheering as you were coming down the straight.  I heard "Another one Bites the Dust" being played over the loudspeaker and I sprinted to the end.  1 hour 45 mins or so I saw up on the board, I'll have to wait to get the official time.  I was rapt, well within the 2 hour limit I had said.  Not a cracking pace, but on target for me.

And I finally got bling!  It's been a running joke with my friends that I sooooooo wanted a medal.  Not a convertible keyring, not an embroidered facewasher, but a medal, undeniably a medal.  And I now have one.  And it's beautiful and quite heavy for it's size.  I wandered back around to the finish and snapped this photo.  I had just run 14km and I think I was on a high, I didn't look as exhausted as I felt.

Oh, you'd like a closer look ;-)

And here's the course...

I wanted to get going home pretty quick smart, to get through the curly bit through to Colac before dark, and I did, but not before stopping at the bakery and buying a chocolate milk and a sausage roll!  I deserved it.  2.5 hours later and I was home.  And now about ready to drop.  What a great day.  Fantastically run event, completely enjoyable with amazing scenery, I would certainly do it again in a heartbeat.

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