But better late than never.
Let's be honest, not only do you, dear readers, deserve a race report, so does 50ks.
The first 5ks: the localsWell, it was the Goldie so the locals had to play a part. At the early 4am start, there were a few blokes who were having a late finish. They stretched with us at the start and then sprinted for 100m or so. Then stopped. They were funny. At about 4ks in, as I had fallen behind the main early start pack by a couple of hundred metres, another well dressed party goer assured me, "if you dig deep you can catch them!" I thanked him and smiled. A few hundred metres along from there, a gang of youngsters tried to stop me - one even put his clapped out BMX on the path in front of me! KKB was only a few hundred metres up the path and started to ride back as I ran off the path to avoid them, saying "I can't stop, I'm in a race!" Only on the Goldie.
5ks to 15ks: the timing chip incidentI had to stop less than 10ks in to adjust my timing chip. I'm not so experienced at lacing timing chips through my shoe laces and I'd affixed it too high up. It dug in. When I stopped to adjust it, and started to thread it by just the top rather than all four corners, KKB told me helpfully, "it will flap around." I responded with "it can flap around all it wants." I was right, it was much better after that.
15ks: the passYes, I was passed by the lead runners from the regular start (45 minutes later than me) at the 15k mark. I was kind of embarrassed by this but the 4th placed man gave me a word of encouragement as he flew past me as if I was standing still.
25ks: the hillOK so I kind of knew there would be a couple of hills over Miami, and then at Greenmount but I didn't expect the hill I got. It was steep. And then when you got to what you thought was the top, it kept going. And then you ran down the other side, which meant only one thing - running back up it again. Well, for the record, I walked. Both ascents, and both descents. Well, 90% of it.
26ks: the painI think the 10% of the hills I ran (either up or down) did something funky to my right quad. It started hurting. Each step hurt. At one stage I said to KKB, "I think I'm doing damage!" But there were plenty more steps to do so I kept going. (Besides which KKB said something really helpful, like, "you'll be right.")
40ks: my personal cheer squadKKB had ridden the full length of the race on a mountain bike, stopping at aid stations to give me drinks and gels to keep me going. When I got to the 40k mark my own personal cheer squad was waiting - Mark and his nephew Henry, who'd ridden down from Burleigh on their pushies. I mustered the breath to thank them for coming and kept on running.
42ks: the tears finally comeWhenever you get to the point (in training or in a race) where you go where you haven't before, things get real. I found this out in training, when I ran my first 36k training run. So on race day, there was probably never going to be any chance of not being emotional at the 42k mark. When I reached the Burleigh Surf Club and turned right to run up the hill at Goodwin Terrace, it was hard for me to hold back a tear or two as I thanked the volunteers. At the top of the hill, there was my cheer squad again - Mark and Henry, joined by Craig and Matilda. And of course, KKB. Hold it together woman!
45ks: Miami HillYes, of course I walked up the hill. Everything was, of course, still hurting. The cheer squad had ridden up to this point and as I slowed to a walk, Craig asked me how my first 8ks had gone. I told him that they were easy, but I was now counting down the last magic eight. This wasn't the plan. But maybe my magic eight plan was flawed from the start, with it being an out and back course and all. To make matters worse, hobbling down the stairs on the other (north) side of Miami Hill was hell.
47.5ks: the last aid station of deathI stopped to take one last drink of water and it was all I could do to start walking, let alone running. After at least a few hundred metres, maybe even longer, I started into a jog. I think I was to scared to stop until I finished.
50ks: the finish linePresentations were underway by the time I crossed the finish line but I didn't care. Someone was there to make sure my time was recorded (I've emailed the race organiser because it's still wrong on the official results, which has a time calculated from the real start, not the early start). The Tshirt lady was still there to make sure I got my finishers shirt. And most importantly KKB was there to make sure I got something to eat and drink and take an obligatory photo.
After which, I cried like a baby with the enormity of what I'd just done.
What happens next: your questions answered
- What is it like to run 50ks? It's hard.
- Yes, but what does it *feel* like to run 50ks? It *feels* hard. At the end I felt, done. I didn't feel happy, and not even all that satisfied. I was just... done.
- Anything I wish I'd done differently? I wish I'd cut my toenails before the race.
- Did I take the GastroStop? Yes and I'm glad I did.
- Will I do it again? Stay tuned friends, because that indeed is the plan.