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Part 2: Blackmore’s Sydney Bridge Marathon – 21 on the 21st


Its September 21 and i am doing my first 21 kms, half marathon, in my running life in the Blackmore’s Sydney Marathon Running Festival I can remember myself saying last year, I will be coming back to Sydney to do the half. And i did. I did not plan for it, but it seem like i was fated to do the half on this event as I am really meant to be in Sydney on this date.

I arrived at the same time almost all of the runners doing the half marathon arrived, so it was busy going through the gates. Finishing my energy drink as i realized i only have 2 GUs left that i had to reserve during the run, which i stuck on my shorts pocket.

Then, I started looking first for my Woodstock mates, but unfortunately unable to find them. Did another stretching routine and queued on the portaloos. Was standing there for 15 minutes! Too many people. Just i got out from it its 1 minute before the gun start, few seconds just took off my long sleeved top ready for the baggage trucks, i heard the gun start!hurrying i placed my waist bag on the bag provided and literally chuck it so fast in the truck that i cant remember if i did knot the bag twice or once and i was worried. Anyway I did run at the start shoot i am glad to hear the announcer saying that it would be a few meters walk until the runners start running ahead as there are quite a lot of participants for the half marathon. The Half starts earliest amongst the 4 events on this race day.

I am glad i was not really the last runner to start so i did my slow pace as b3n suggested at 6km/hr. Although i intended not to wear my watch i did guage myself if i was running too fast or slow. As I remembered Stephen, of Woodstock, told me that the toughest is the uphill from Millers point park going up the Australian landmark Sydney bridge. I did it slow, pacing with other runners and still end up panting.

As we are bout to pass the old Pyrmont Bridge road, i realized my sunnies is not on my head! i did lost my sunnies while taking off my top! there goes one of my only favorite sunglasses! So that took out my focus. Anyway i did continue running as when we arrived Norton Road, the sun is already up and it is getting really HOT not warm and not humid. That’s the point when we saw the elite runners doing there turn about. Led by a Kenyan runner. I was doing well, although there were a quite few hills, which i tried to concentrate on. Short steady steps.

It is when we arrived at Sussex street, i started to psychologically give up! As i remember this route whenever i do my weekend training long runs from Rozelle to the city, as this is where my legs always start to hurt. Well i was alternately doing a jog and a run trying to keep up. Marking the the runners i was trying to keep up with. Well i did stop in the water stations except two, where one was too overcrowded. Took 3 GUs (took 1 from one of the water stations). I think i had too much liquid as i can feel my stomach having reflux that i wanted to barf so i slowed my pace as i don’t want to embarass myself. Aside from that, I saw a number of runners fainting! I do not want to be carried off the stretcher with thousands of crowd watching! There were no more markers after the 38th(Full Marathon) Marker so the effort of my brain doing the calculation of the distance did take off my mind i was already exhausted, which is good. I can see the Opera house in about 1 Km. I did gauge i can sprint to the finish yet. Arriving the opera house, I did sprint but just like what happened last year, i almost choked and barfed! I slowed down coughed but still continued running. 50 more meters i told myself to just run as fast as i could. Reaching the shoot at clock time 1:54:xx. I was pleased with my time as i was trying to gauge i was going to run it at 2 hours for my first half. Not much pain but i was tired. Lungs was tired, legs were not.

Reached the baggage area, and yes as i expected my bag is missing! i stood there for 10 minutes and i would have guessed it was misplaced. My ATM, my phone, my camera and my change clothes!! Well i can not afford to loose more things after loosing my sunnies i told myself. Thankfully before i started to panick, one of the volunteers did handed me my baggage and everything is there, well minus my sunnies- boohoo!

After the race

After the race

Japanese elite half marathon runners

Japanese elite half marathon runners

I handed my timing chip and disappointed to receive a keyring medallion compared to what i got last year which was really a medal and the registration is even more dearer than of last year. So i did line up for all the freebies as i thought the registration fee was a rip-off. I also did register to receive my time through SMS, i was notified i did the race at 1:53:02 hours. I did not see any of my Woodie mates so i decided to just wait and watch at the finish shoot to await Martin Amy, one of our Woodie mates doing the Full marathon with a sub 3 goal. Had a few of our mates who were not running the even waiting for him and to cheer for him for support at the Norton-city west link at the 32km marker. I was told by John he just crossed it around 915am so he prolly be making his goal at sub 3. He did arrive the shoot at 2:55:59, very focused and not looking tired with full on Woodstock colors. Congratulations Martin Amy!

Congratulations too to all the Woodstock runners to did the run, well run :). Good work for all the volunteers at the water stations. Thank you as well for the well wishes and the cheerers 😉 for keeping the runner’s spirits up. The event was participated by 25, 300 runners for the four events. Full Marathon, Half marathon, 9KM Bridge Run and the 4KM family fun run and is participated by 960 international runners.

The event did have enough water station, enough energy drink, GUs and Jelly beans. (although, ive heard that in the marathon if you were at the pace of 5 hours plus, there would be not enough water for you to hydrate on.)

After which we proceeded after midday at Martin’s crib for drinks and bar-b. Next year? don’t know, if the weather is as hot as yesterday, I am not sure if i would be running the full marathon.

Distance: 21.0975km
Chip Time: 1:53:02
Clock Time: 1:54:59


Photos by Marathon-Photos

01, breaking his own record

Kenya’s Julius Maritim who won the 2008 Blackmores Marathon for the fourth year in a row with a time of 02:19:01, breaking his own record

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Bobby Cruz permalink
    25/09/2008 3:36 am

    hello chai, congrats on your first 21k, ang bilis mo talaga.
    miss ka na ng h@ppy feet family, hope to see you in december pag may impromptu_session ;-). some of us sa group are also targetting to do the half in feb next year (but not as fast as you though, but just for the experience hehehe…). ang dami na ring newbies at pang international na talaga ang h@ppy feet, woohoo, sikat! ingats and God bless…bob

  2. witchkitty permalink*
    25/09/2008 5:35 am

    Hi Bob! Salamat :). I think it is when you are wearing your club colors, you always try to run faster, at di patatalo ang pinoy! 😀 probably its not the fastest but i am happy to have finish it without pain and injuries and i did reach more than my goal which is 2 hours.

    I am sure you will enjoy your half marathon, i was told before hand that half mara would be the best race distance, well i do agree. Start looking forward to your half, train for it, and tell yourself, you will finish the race, all 21kms! I do miss h@ppy feet very much, iba ang samahan ng noypi :D. Keep on running!

  3. sara lockwood permalink
    19/09/2009 11:21 pm

    Good luck to Jo lockwood and Natasha George doing the bridge run this morning… xx

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