It's official

Yes, I am officially a Marathon finisher.

Great weather, a dedicated support crew, the best cheer squad on the coast and a very patient pace runner (well, for a couple of Ks anyway... shhhh!) got me through.

As did an anonymously drawn picture on the road.

I've replicated it here - a smiling stick figure runner, wearing a Gold Coast Marathon Tshirt and medal.

Whoever drew it knows that for some of us out there, all we want is to get our hands on that shirt and medal. But not for the reasons that many would suspect. The "race bling" isn't for show.

Yes, we all wear our Finishers shirts. Sometimes, even in public. But when you pull on a Finisher shirt, it's not for anyone else.

Sure, people will see it and think all kinds of things - some positive, some negative. But none of that matters.

When you pull on a Finishers shirt, whether it be straight after you finish for a happy snap with your loved one, or whether it be weeks, months, or even years later, you can't help but feel something. Pride in a well deserved achievement (perhaps a PB). The memory of a great day in the sunshine. Sometimes, it's just relief that you got through what wasn't such a good day.

When you pull on a Finishers shirt, above anything else, it makes it official.

An explosion, two days early?

So, after getting my "personal refreshments" ready to go last night I arrived at work with a bag full of Coke (rather than a couple of bottles full of Coke). It obviously wasn't as flat as I thought it had been, and had exploded from the small disposable bottles I'd so carefully decanted it into.

My workmate totally misjudged my arrival at work with a bottle of Coke as terrible breakfast nutrition. Luckily, he asked so I could explain why I'd arrived to work at 8am with a bottle of Coke at the ready!

I hope my drink bottles are the only thing that fall apart over the next couple of days.

But what should I wear?

So, it's time to finalise what I'm going to wear for my Marathon debut on Sunday.

I'm thinking I'll go for the Phoenix Adventure jersey with running tights and my new Saucony Hurricanes. I'll have to wear one of my Ironman hats - as multisport is really where my heart lies.

What you wear in a race is always a big decision. This time, I've agonised over the decision to wear the Phoenix Adventure kit, even by my standards. I even asked KKB whether he thought I should ask Andy if he would mind me wearing his new club kit, given that I haven't really trained with him for this race, and also because I wasn't realistically going to set a blistering pace...

KKB wondered why on earth I thought Andy would possibly mind. Doing your best, rather than being the best, has always been Andy's ethos.

Nevertheless, when I got the chance to run it by Andy, I did. As KKB had predicted, Andy looked at me a little blankly, as if he couldn't quite fathom my request. As Andy wondered what to say to me, I kept chattering away, explaining my predicament.

"It's just that I'll be out there for a while... in fact I'm a little bit worried that I might come last. I don't want to be a bad advertisement for you", I continued.

Andy reminded me that his team had finished the recent Geoquest 48hr Race just a couple of minutes before the official cutoff. "Why do you think we did that? Everyone was there waiting for us, the presentations were about to start, it was the best exposure ever!"

Problem solved.