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Orange Running Festival


Since early this year, woodstock girls, Bridget and Emma sent an invite for thosse who are interested in doing the Orange Running Festival.

And Angela sent a follow-up email saying about the possibilty of organizing a mini-bus if we have enough numbers interested in going. I signed myself in, and asked Tezza and he’s in to.

Orange is a far west, inland country of NSW which I havent been yet ever since I was here in Oz. So I thought its a good time to see the place and do a run.

The Orange Runners Club do this festival every year, which Brendan or John Dawlings go and participate in running the events. The Running event has different length of races: 5, 10 and the 21.5 Km.

Tez registered in the 10Km while I thought I should do the half marathon as a training run since I already registered for the Canberra Running Festival’s Half-marathon, this will be a good training run for me.

I have not been doing any longer decent races since the Cebu half Marathon last January or oke. Training and a road trip sounds good.

So 8 interested woodies teamed up for the trip. With the help of Angela, Bridge and Emma the transpo and the accomodation has ben arranged and sorted out. It was organized we were leaving Saturday just after lunch for the Sunday’s race. Meeting at Angela’s we left for the trip.

It was a good 3 hours and a half and we reached the pretty country just in time for dinner. After sorting out the accomodation, we headed to “hotel” for dinner, hoping a carbo load dinner for the one’s doing the half Marathon, Me, Rebecca, Bridget and Emma. Not knowing it was a steak house, we were still easy and they still had good options of food that will fuel us for tomorrow’s race. I got the steak buffet deal which goves you the all-you can eat salad, and I saw they had pasta salad which is carbs, and the steak comes with potato. we got the cook your own meat which Tezza and Bren cooked for the steaks and the potato for us. The rest had curry, some had fish. It was a good meal.

We left early for board games. We had fun and played pictionary before hitting the sack. We went to bed at 10:30 and all agreed to leave before 7 as we all have not picked our race bibs yet.

Tez, Angela, Bren and Sandra were doing the 10Km and so we run ahead of them. We half-maathon girls did a warm up led by Bren. And less than 10 minutes we were off. Brendan described the course as pretty and flat. Sometimes Brendan’s flat is not for me :D, I have never ran this before so i do not know what i’m putting myself into.

Was planning to run with the girls the first 3 kilometers, but I think I got a bit excited and ran ahead of them.

uh-oh. I was running too quick too soon again! This is not good, at 4 Kms I was already trying to catch my breath! The course reminded me of the Hunter Valley Running festival. Through some gates then to the walk way beside the road, then I did not notice we were already in a country dirt road. Was good and even, no big potholes or anything however, different threading your feet on the ground as I was used running to pavement, tarmac or the grass. It was actually fun hearing your steps for a change, instead of stomp stomp stomp or whisk whisk whisk in the road, all you can hear is crunch crunch crunch whenever I do my steps. I was finding it hard actually, however, suprisingly I was running negative splits (planning to at least do a 1:52-1:50) for around 8 kilometers even with the dirt road.

And then the undulating HILLS started to get into me, I felt I was already fading. However as wha we were talking about at the bus on our way to the event to think fast thoughts … and I should just toughen up and run. I tried to just think and relax and finish the race. Slowly I was passing few, then women competitors. So that’s a good sign, It was not just me feeling tired.

The race course has plenty of water station, th I like the alternate roads of asphalt and dirt. Mommy long legs a female senior runner caught yp to me and I can’t even keep up. She was strong although it was good she pushed me for a bout half a kilometer and left me. There was a part of the race course where farmer dogs, little farmer dogs and its puppies were runnin and heckling us or shall i say cheering us to keep on gong.

I finished 2 Gels and I can’t wait to get into the finish lines. I did walk and stop as a pebble got stuck inn my shoe waffer soles. I was able to catch the lady in the hydration pack who overtook me in the first part of the race and the thought of her breathing on my heels made me not stop and just kept going, even how slow I was going uphill the finish line. As I was nearing the finish line, I saw the time was under 1:50 so I was smiling and I just bolted down the finish. that was a very good time for a very log time like a year and a half!

Location: Orange, NSW
Distance: 21.5 Km
Time: 1:49:47, 6th Age Cat


Photos credits from Nadine Davies

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