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Part 2 Mcleay River Marathon: Rain, Lightning, Finishing, and a PB


Saturday we did the registration, Bren and Tony picked their race packs and I also did not see any female on my my age category.  I was happy since I was just hoping to at least win the age category, but then who knows who else registers after me.

After a short tourist field trip to the West Rocks Gaol and the lighthouse, we had an early dinner of pasta, steaks and sausages.  Compared to the other night we did retire early this night to get enough rest, straight after lying down, i sure did fell asleep from exhaustion.

Carbo and fat and Protein loading

Carbo and fat and Protein loading

We went for an early bed sleep after that tiring long day at 9 PM, I had a good sleep that I woke up forgetting I was doing a marathon!! Woke up at 540, and went for my coffees, water, cereal and banana.  Had shower, my energy drink and rushing on tabing my pace band to my wrist we are a bit runnin late at 630 we left and drove to the race area.  We were almost running late to the start at 630 leaving the rest of the woodies who are particpating in the shorter distance at home except Terry who took our pictures before the race started.

Had ourselves marked and written off in the calves, in my case since I was wearing my 2xu calf compression, i was written in my hamstrings “FB” – Full Marathon 19-29 Females.

So we arived the race area 10 minutes before the start, marked the category and race we were running behind our legs, stretches, pinned the bins on my chest, Denco rubbed my knees and so we lined at the starting mat, and 7 am whistle was blown.

60 registered, 53 finished

There were 60 of us who started the marathon.  We started easily without the problem of crowding.  I tried my best to do slower at first half and pick up around 10KMish as i as always told from my first Marathon.

It was a slope and subtle hill route going out the roads.  I checked my watch at 1KM marker, I was running a bit fast at 5:06min/km.  I tried to slow down until I reach a comfortable pace that I am not speeding and neither too slow.  I was running alone and not even before the 3KM marker I felt a pebble in my Lunars and i was trying to brush off the road for it to drop.  Have to do a microsecond stop to touch the sole of my shoes feeling wehere was that pebble, but It was not there.  I ignored and was frustrated, I feel it was my shoes must have already worn itself off.  I ignored and just thinking, I should have checked my shoes before goin for a run, just like a check on your car before you do long drives.

I forgot about it, then not long we reached the town proper, went up the hill towards the highway.  I was already thinking bout that hill when we come back on the last lap.  Then not long after, we are running at the ighway, was running in a pack with two other male runners then passed them at a bridge when second pack came as we kept constant pace, shielding each other from head wind from the River and watching out for cars as only half of the road has been closed.

Not even when we reached the 10KM marker, i felt my achilles aching.  I ignored it as I know it will go away.  Never felt this before so I was kind of worried I might just do a DNF.

and then there was rain … It was a scenic road of lands of farms, cows, farm houses, not a single soul but the runners.  Then one of the guy whom we passed caught up and raced on.  At 5Km marker clouds was getting dark and we had our first water staton.  I was wearing my sunnies at first, not long after we reached 10 KMs it started getting darker and droplets started to pur on us.  then comes Rain.  rain drops whipping our face that it hurts, headwinds coming from the river, it was a cold day, and made ’em wonder, I was just suppose to be here to do a long run, which is crazy and running a strong rain is even crazier.

We were hangin on, the ran was good for keeping us cool away from getting overheated.  The rain even made it harder for me to read my time splits as I think it was printed in too small fonts so I gave up and ran on my comfortable pace.

… and lightning…What was left from the 7-8 pack runner was two runners, ultra runners named Jane and Anthony.  I was pacing with them i find it a bit quick but i tried to relax behind them, then suddenly, i felt someone was taking photos of us.  Realizing it was a lightning stroke a tree 2-3 meters ahead of us at the banks of the river, with a crackling noise.  I was scared that I screamed!

Realizing we were close by getting hit by the lightning, beside the Mcleay River, a very huge river, flat farm lands, electricity poles, cows and us, it was a big possibility it could have stroke us, or any other runners.  I felt my life flashed literally in front of my eyes.  Thoughts of ambulance carrying my limp lifeless elecrecuted body, and my Woodstock mates carrying back a dead Woodstock mate back to Sydney!!! I was mortified with that experience that I actually was crying silently, luckily the rain was washing the tears away.  I was praying that I wish there awere no more lightnings coming and hope no runner gets hurt.

It was just an impromptu run … I was just there to do my unintentional marathon race not even wanting to die from marathon but getting hit by the lightning is out of the plan.  The three of us were hoping for no more lightnings ahead as I also prayed no one is in trouble of that electricity from nature.

At 18Kmish I saw the lead car lights coming towards us already, I as hoping it was Brendan.  Sure does! it was Brendan looking strong giving us high fives on his way back to the start line.

Then naturally before half marathon marker I picked up my pace leaving Anthony and Jane, I was doing it at slower pace as I am scared of hitting the wall sooner or later.  I was waiting for Jane and Anthony to catch up sooner or later trying to feel if they are behind me without having to look back who are behind me but I do not hear them coming.  So I just continued on.

my first PB of the race … But then later after that I am feeling I need the loo.  This is the after effect of drinking a 300ML of an energy drink which I never had experienced before!  Its a clear open shot of the highway and the runners and motorist.  I was waiting for a water station so I can use the marshall’s car to cover me while I do my leak.  Unfortunately the urge was untolerable that I need to really go pee!  As I was running passing two senior guys behind me looking around my left of a bushy patch of grass where I can do my own thing.  As we reached a big tree, I ran towards the tree and did my business, forgetting about the possibility of lightnig striking it!  However by the 2nd lap anyways, the sun strated shining on us.  I reckon i lost 30 seconds from that PB, pee break as funny and embarassingly, Jane caught up as i rejoined the group.  Ran with them for a while but left again tried to regain the position I had over the two other senior males that took over their positions back on my detour.

Sure enough I got it back.  Maybe for 15 minutes after that, I was running alone in that stretch of road not until I caught up another senior male at the bridge.  Then passed a male of my age group who went passed us at first half.  Afterwhich another younger male of myage category just before the first hill back to the town.  As another hill to the town, A bit discouraged that the folks at the cafes don’t even cheer you on or well maybe they do not have any idea there was a marathon going on in their town!

Running on this marathon was a bit of a challenge having a few marshalls, to direct you and runners you can follow the right direction.  So I am at 35th Kilometer towards the bike path at the bushes. I was running alone, I know it is just 1 bay run to go.  I know I can do that, a few more minutes to finish I kept telling myself.  Anotther water break at the bush, but no gatorade left so I drank water and splashed one cup on my self.  At 38th Kilometer i was alreadyThanking God talking to myself with the trees around, then a few more inclines (why do they have to put this hills in the end?!?!) I passed another runner which I think was the last runner I passed.  I am almost getting lost no Marshalls around, I am plodding, seeing a 5KM walker marker thinking should I be following that direction, and trusting my instincts I should just go straight the road, then back tothe bushes, of an intersection, i did not know what to do, I know I was loosing seconds everytime I had to think and suddenly I saw a runner go the other way, I followed him for a bit then he vanished, so I went back to the path I was going, I cant remember passing this grass going out yet I just kept going as it was a busier roa with cars going towards the direction I am going.  This might be it.  Then I am seeing the Trial Bay Gaol signage, I knew I was on track.  I can’t wait to see last 3 kilometer markers, more or less 15 mins to go.   I was hoping for at least a 3 minutesPB from Canberra’s time but I guess looking around I was loosing my time.

Last water stop, 1.125 kilometer to go, no one was manning that water station, then last Kilometer, I know its just more or less 5 minutes to finish, frustrating to hear the announcer I started to walk run and plod.

few meters to go!

few meters to go!

I can see the beach, its down hill to the loop towards the carpark, I started running my best, before i was about to run down the hill I can hear my Woodstock mates cheering on my name and the team’s name, nearing the finish mats I can hear them announcing my name coming in 3rd female, Brendan is a meter away the chute giving me high fives, and where I was met by my friends at the chute.

I was happy to finish, I did not expect I will be finishing still at the same time I did at Canberra as I havent trained the past few weeks for any long runs.  I knew though I was still feeling strong at the 40Kms not until the last 2 kilometers ++ i can feel my achiles acting up.  I felt I am not as sore as my first Marathon,i learned to relax my limbs more as I ran.

It was a good run.  A good marathon, wonderful weather to finish, wonderful company of friends to celebrate with.  Everyone got finisher medals.  Hearing that Terry and Tami got their PBs in 10KM and Anna got her PB in her half.  Tony also was happy to get his PB in his 2nd marathon.

We waited for the ceremonies, we had beers, had streteches, where Tristan was helping out stretching us out.  Coming in next was Jeff Marounga at 4:29, who also got drawn in the lucky prize.  Brendan also got a tray of fruit which he shared to the group at the cottage.  Brendan got trophy and cash and did the Marathon speech.  Anna got a trophy and cash.  I got trophy and cash.  As we were leaving the ceremonies when it ended, also bizzare a couple approached Brendan, and they introduced themselves as the owner of the house who were also running in the event.  And it also caught their attention when the announcer mentioned where I was living in Sydney they told me they are residents of the same area! Bizarre.  Anyway, We were also offered oranges by the scout master who was manning the water and recovery station and the rego booths last saturday as we left the awarding ceremonies.  We also met a new runner friend from Manly, Joe who won his age category 19-29 in male division.

Well deserve beers with good running mates!

Well deserve beers with good running mates!

Discovered too that I worn out my Lunars already and burning holes in my both right and left shoes.  And their soles are getting worn out.  Still can wear it maybe for a short run or my speed trainings at the grass.  It served me so well!

soles going souls ...

soles going souls ...



balls of my feet burned the shoes

balls of my feet burned the shoes

We left South West Rocks the day after, as it was a holiday, Queen’s birthday.  If given the chance, I would like to go back again and run this event.

Event: Mcleay River Marathon
Location: South West Rocks, NSW
Distance: 42.125 KMs
Time: 3:56:04 – 3rd F/Oall, 1st F 19-29 – PB of 1 second!


What a run – Mcleay Argus

Ever first Marathon prize!

Ever first Marathon prize!

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