Sunday morning, 15 of Nov, I lined up with I don’t know how many other runners to go on a 10 k run which was titled, Run for Ruan. Ruan Burger (yep, his real name) is a local finance advisor, and had the idea to host a run for charity, namely childrens cancer. Good for him.
I have never run 10 k’s, ever. And I still haven’t. I have run, jogged, walked, crab-walked, and staggered 10 k’s though.
On the day I was feeling pretty good, ate brekky, took the dogs for a walk to the shops, then drove down to the carpark at Bunnings with my wife and mate Rob from Brissy. There were a stack of people lining up for the 5 k event, and what seemed to be an equal number doing the 10 k.
It was hot. So I downed a stack of water. I also asked where the water stops were along the route. The consensus seemed to be that there was one at the 2.5 k mark, and possibly another at the 5 k turnaround mark. No worries. I was glad I had not decided to carry a water bottle. I had another couple of cups of water.
After some group stretching / warmups we were given a briefing of the route, which I possibly should have listened to… instead I was giggling at a mate who was telling jokes. Then came the countdown… and we were off.
My goal was to run for as long as possible before walking, and by the 2 k mark I was still feeling pretty good. Lo and behold I pulled up alongside a walking Ruan, clapped him on the back and said, “Go slower mate, it’s not a race, the goal is to finish, not win it.” Speaking of which, some superfit young fellas had streaked ahead from the get go, and were moving like greased lightning at a pace that I could have sustained for about 40 metres before dropping dead. Oh, to be ‘that’ fit!
At the 2.5 k mark I scoffed down a couple of cups of water as the heat built up. Crossing the Police Creek bridge the water sloshing about in my stomach made its’ presence felt lower down… I pulled up at the set of toilets in the park, then thought, ‘Nah, keep running, you’ll be right.’ I hit the track again, but my bladder sent out another emergency warning signal, so back to the dunnies I fled. A minute or so later I burst back out through the door, a relieved and slightly lighter man.
The track wound on, and I got to the 3 k, then the 4 k mark. Lots of runners were walking, and we were being passed by the runners returning to the start. Geez they were still moving quick, and many of them waved and smiled, or offered a ‘Goodonya mate!’ as they passed. Runners are certainly a friendly bunch…
The 5 k mark beckoned, and when it came into view I was slighty dismayed to see that there was no water on offer… should have been listening to the race briefing, because I can’t remember the jokes now. Turned and kept going. But something else was wrong ‘downstairs’. Chafing on my upper left leg on the inner thigh. I hadn’t counted on this. And it was starting to hurt. Add to that the heat from the rising sun and the lack of a cool breeze and things were starting to hurt much more. At this point I stopped running and had my first walk, about a hundred metres later I started to run again. My plan was to take it easy until I could find a tap to get a drink from, then up the pace again.
The path wound on, and when I got back to the shady park I found a tap, guzzled down several litres of water, wet my head and back, and took off. I was feeling supercharged by now, and on my MP3 player, Aerosmith were hammering out ‘Living on the Edge’.The 7 k mark passed, then the 8. I passed some people! At the 9 k mark, my MP3 player died. So did I. I strode for about another 100 metres, then lifted for the last 800 metre run to the line. My wife and mate would be waiting for me and I didn’t want to cross the line at a snails crawl. As I hit the carpark, I could hear people clapping and yelling out encouragement… LIFT! I crossed the line, as a nice lady took a snap, and made my way straight to the drinks truck where I consumed my body weight in water.
My wife took a snap on her mobile phone (don’t ask me how to get it onto the computer) while my mate patted me on the back. Home to the pool where I peeled off and dived in. Did a few laps walking, swimming, feeling great. Later that day we hit the beach, where the salt water stung my chafed leg, but did it a world of good.
The end result? Well, I’m mentally ready for the Gold Coast Marathon. As an added bonus I will be better prepared because I’ll buy a pair of those running pants to prevent the dreaded chafing (or hopefully lose enough weight and the tops of my legs will stop rubbing together), and get an MP3 player with a longer life battery! Also the GCM is held in the middle of Winter, so overheating won’t be a problem… probably, and I hear they have thousands of toilets available, so I’ll empty ‘the tank’ before the run this time!