Race Report: Gold Coast Run Festival
Distance Run: 100km
Date: 9th June 2019
The race where the women dominated and I came in last but happy to complete the distance and set an event age group time for 75 – 79 years.
We arrived at the track at around 6.00am got my race pack, hung out our banner and nervously waited for the 6.30 start. Along with 20+ others we were soon on our way on the first loop of 6.25km around the conservation reserve, which was an ideal distance as it meant not having to carry gear or more than a minimal amount of nutrition, with a drink station with water and electrolytes at around 4km and at the start/finish, fluids were never a problem so I could just focus on trying to maintain a steady even pace for the early laps and enjoy the interaction with other runners as they passed as well as having some laughs with the crew at the drink station who were intent on entertaining us as we went through each time.
Right from the start I knew I would be unlikely to complete the distance in the 14hrs but we had decided that regardless of the time, unless something major happened I would carry on until I completed the distance and Bernice advised Ben and Shelley that this was our intention and we did not expect the course to be open beyond the 14hrs and this proved correct as the first 50k was covered in 7hrs 18min and I was getting a little slower at this point.
Through out the day I was impressed by the consistency of some of the runners, Marita Eisler just took control and never looked back with Corrina Black chasing to finish first and second overall in the 100k and then Anderson Moquiute running like a machine to take the 50k and Shannon Leigh Litt in second place, well worth the trip over from New Zealand for her. My own lap times got a little slower over the second 50k but my coach/crew Bernice kept me moving through the start finish area each lap with the right top ups of food and drink always cheerful even though she was feeling the cold and was now waiting around an hour for me to complete each 6.25km loop, then just as everyone was starting to finish and leave good friends Meredith and Ian Tucker arrived to support our efforts and Ian decided to run with me over the last 3 laps and Meredith kept Bernice company while we covered that last 18plus kms.
The course was flat and suited those pushing for a fast time through the day though I had a few problems as darkness fell in the areas where there was no lighting and tired legs did not lift high enough to clear some of the lumpy surface, and there was a speed bump on the entry by the skate park, which I insisted on falling over for the last few laps, but in the end I came through with a time of 15:46:45 and though many younger, faster runners may say why would you bother, for me it’s the personal satisfaction of having the mental strength to meet the challenge and show others what is possible, as well as being out there in the company of all those other amazing runners each doing there very best on the day, but still taking time to interact and encourage myself and others for which I thank them.