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M7 Westlink Marathon: Half-marathon relay


(Backdate: July 31, 2011,  after missing Sutherland2Surf this year from last week July 24 … I was not feeling well )

Calling interested runners. I have announced amongst the members of the Woodstock for anyone who was keen to run the relay on the M7 Westlink marathon.  I thought of having a long run before the City to Surf.  Few people gave me their interest including Tez but numbers backed out due to valid acceptable reasons.  Elmarie stayed on and wanted to do the run with me.  Brendan reckon we should make up the Woodstock women team relay.  Due to the chores of packing for our home moving and arranging stuff for the moving, and the death of a family member, my mind was too preoccupied and realized that I missed the date of when the M7 organizers will send the race packs before the event, otherwise, you will have to pick the packs on the day.  Which we did not have any other choice.  El and I decided that I be the first runner and I will meet her half way for her to finish the race.

Unprepared: Due to consequences from last week, i did not have many runs and not even a long run, not sure if I am or will be able to comfortably finish the half marathon.  That week I did a last 16 KMs around the bay and was planning to take it easy on gym etc.  I did run at TNT so that was just two running days before M7.  Although I know that and I was told that the M7 is undulating hills, and I did check the course profile in mapmyrun, the first half seem to be harder than the 2nd half.  Rebecca who did her Marathon said she remembers she likes the 1st half better as you run along the paddocks and the 2nd hald is around residential areas.  I did have a deep tissue massage on Friday which I ussually do hoping I recover from it on Saturday doing no excercise at all.  BUt at the remmedial massage session, I did not feel so much pain and tightness for a very  long time.  My angles and the side of my legs is so tight that it hurts.  I can feel my hamstrings tight before the session and it did hurt too during that day.  It hurts taht Saturday I did go to the pool to do easy laps and recover the soreness of the legs.  it did help and I feel better.

Daunting travel to venue. Having not much preparation, due to a almost 3/4 packed house, I ate junk before the race.  Which I am not sure is good for me the following morning.  The logistics for this run is a bit tricky.  As it starts in point A and finishes in point B.  Meet runner in the middle.  We were suggested to park cars at the finish, buses will shuttle marathon runners and first runners to the start, our warm clothes will be at the halfway point.  Elmarie will come later and will meet me when I reach half way.  Tez was tired that night before I decided to just drive myself instead.  Although that would take lots of courage, as I never have driven in a 100 zone without any supervision in Oz.  I was nervous.  The last shuttle leaves the start at 5:45.  Travel takes 45 minutes so I sholdn’t be leaving home later than 4:30.  I left and 4:30 and my driving started!  I was praying hard it should be easy and I will be taking the left most lane where the slower cars are.  It was all good, except that the highways is so dark during that time of the day.  Not much road lights.

So glad to reach Blacktown Olympic park at 04:23 and the buses are already there waiting for runners.   Gathered my stuff and hopped on the first bus.  So different doing it on your own.  The travel was 30 minutes to the start.  I went to pick my race pack.  And they ahanded me over the pack and but I opened the envelope to read Elmarie’s last name written on the bib.  And I brought it to the attention of the ladies doing the registration and I was told that is my bib and that is correct, although I told them it isn’t me, its my partner’s name, they said No I should take it and that is my bib. I was so hesitant I have a feeling they stuffed up, but I shrugged it off, hoping that they are right.  Convened with the rest of the Woodies, Jeef who was running the full, Steve who will be doing his Marathon Debut, Brendan who is pacing for 3 hours, Martin and Peter who is running as a team.  Gave my arms a good rub of vaseline to keep it warm and changed my jumper as I am always told that this run is cold.  I changed my jumper to something I could just chuck away it gets warmer.  Although at the end before the start I decided to give it to Pete who is also holdin Martin’s warm clothes to hand my jacket when we do the change.  Jeff, Martin and I went for a warm up jog, raised to the loo, and  waited till the start.  glad we did the warm up jog, it did keep me warm.  And I saw Lee at the start who has old socks as mits.  Why did I not think about that?!? clever! I knew I have gloves somewhere but I couldn’t find and I was hoping i will survive the temperature.  Also I did not consider, I did decide to wear my skin full tights as it is cold although i did decide to wear my crop top, hoping id get warmer.  It was chilly.  And so the race started!

So cold, It took me 30 minutes to warm up! WIth the course, and the training I have, I am looking at 1:47/1:48 if lucky and sholud not go beyond 1:50.  And one thing more, I left my watch at home so it will be a run-feel how i go this time.  Gee It was so so cold, you can see mist coming out from the mouths and noses of the runners, it is so cold my legs did not want to move it was complaining.  I was praying the sun should rise a litlle bit higher.  It did took like 3  or 4 kilometers for me to warm up.  I did not know the walkway/bike path behind that walls along M7 exists! I was picturing us doing the run along the M7 highway!  It was actually nice.  Although I can now see the undulation starting, and ever incline or small hill, I pray that would be the last, as the course provile shows hills at the first bit and flatish till the halfway.  I don’t think so.  The more we go farther, the hills gets longer or steeper.  At 10 kilometer marker or 11th My tummy wasn’t feeling well, I was having sticthes too since the 4th kilometer or so, I was feeling I wanted to go pee.  And so I did a Pee Break amongst the bushes and there goes few seconds lost.  My legs were getting tired on the hills i was getting slower.  I wasn’t liking the hills   I just started to talk to myself and pray.  it took the agony away.  And then I just can not wait to see the half way.  I was told we finish at a bridge.  So I am hoping the bridge will come soon!

Along the course their is this male veteran runner who caught up with me he has a stride that shuffles that sounds heavy.  He overtook me by the 7 Kilometer mark, but then by the 12 KM i caught up with him and overtook him.  He seemed to have slowed down himself.  Another runner though I was runing for the marathon and asked me if I was going for the time of 3:45.  I was flattered, but told him no I was just doing the half marathon, he told me he was trying to catch me for a long time.  So he did. and he raced ahead.

So bloated

Running along the walk-way beside the M7 Motorway, the walk way I never thought it exisited!

Finished. There were number of cheerers from  Cool running and family members of runners along the course.  Manals’ friend Barbara was at the last 500M mark and cheered on told e to push harder its just few meters away.  As i reach the I feel the half way point, I can’t see Elmarie.  I already see runners walking back and I thought the halfway is somewhere, but where’s my partner.  I saw Martin already, but no elmarie, she might have backed out last minute as I look around while I run toards where the mats are which I don’t have any clue, there she is, Elmarie 20 meters away from the start she was jumping up and own cheering me on telling me to run quicker, did not even say anything I can remember I think I slapped her hand and said good luck have fun.  I was tired and legs was so over those hills.  I think that is one of the hardest halves I can remember.  My legs is feeling niggly.  Martin met me and kind enough took my chip off my shoes before I cross the finish.  Gave me my warm jumper as we walked towards the bus we cheered on runners who are continuing to do the marathon or crossing the halfway mark.

We got our checked-in bags and took the bus to the finish.  As we waited forour relay partners I went to change for warmer clothing while Martin went for a massage.  And Got one myself while waiting!!  My calves was so sore the massage hurts.  The first Marathon runner came through at 2 hours 37 minutes. Then amongst the Woodies, Peter came under 3 hours.  After 1 hour and 34 minutes, Elmarie arrived, whom I encouraged and ran with her in the last 300 meters on track encouraging her that the lady behind her do not beat us!  Elmarie did a good time saving our team in the ranks and we finished 3:22 for the relay.  I wish one day that would be my Marathon time! 😀

We did not wait till the ceremony ended.  We all thought we did average, but good efforts.  It was Elmarie’s first half marathon too.

It was actually different and I enjoyed it in away that it was a relay, it feels so good to run for a team and knowing you do your best so you don’t let your partner down.  I did not have a watch and I did not know what time I finished.  And learned I just made it on my estimated time, so I am happy with that, slow and not the quickest at least not way-off my estimate!

Results came out Monday and learned that our times were not complete! Elmarie’s split time were not there and so we came in 2nd to the last.  We were both disappointed! The males took 4th place however.

Another time stuff up for the nth consecutive week!! And so Elmarie and I had to email the organizer asking what happened with our times.  We learned that because the registration desk gave me EL’s Bib and they insited I should run with it and El, ran with my bib, the splits came wrong.  Well, they have fixed it after my email, and took the results down from the website but until now they never have placed it back.  As we have observed, that it wasn’t just us who were victims of the stuff up, they probably are still fixing it up.

El Marie finishing

Distance: Half-Marathon
Time: 1:47:58
Location: Blacktown, NSW
Woodstock Female Team, 4th: 3:22:18 – from the last email results they sent us, we were 5th.. and they just updated the website results and we were moved to 4th place! I will not complain with that 😉 … wonders where did the 3rd place pair go?

5 CHARISSA  & ELMARIE 568 ELMARIE O’REGAN F 01:34:25 00:50:39 03:22:18

Results Relay – sent via our email
Official Results from website
Results Marathon

5 Comments leave one →
  1. 15/08/2011 9:40 pm

    Results are up on the web now Chaia…

    Thanks Bren! Noticed we moved a place up!

  2. 20/08/2011 12:20 am

    congratulations on your journey you inspire me to join that kind of activity keep up the good work

    Thank you!

  3. 29/08/2011 1:30 am

    Witchkitty, your events really inspire me to engage in activities and exercise. Keep it up and nice blog.

    My pleasure, I try to inspire if possible 🙂

  4. 29/08/2011 7:09 am

    Thanks for a great article.

    Thank you!

  5. 01/09/2011 2:33 am

    Wow sound like your really training hard, I am currently working my way up to run in next years London Marathon so this story is really useful. I am also taking part in local half marathons which are definately getting much more easy than a year ago.

    Thanks. Good luck on your training I hope you finish in the results you want for London Marathon!

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