Monday, 17 September 2012

Racing, Running and Surviving!

Why do I run?

Its a question you ask yourself a bit when things aren't going well or you are injured.Thoughts like 'This is hard, what am I training for?' can be common.

Well the reason I RUN is the finish line. More specifically that awesome feeling of accomplishment as you power down the finish chute and under the finish arch. Crossing the line, telling yourself "never again" only to tell yourself 5 minutes later "where can I sign up for another?".

Did you have that feeling yesterday? Did it come mid way through your run, where it got hard, and the body started to tell you to ease up, slow down a little, that you can't push any harder? But you didn't listen? You kept going, and you got to experience that flood of emotion coming down the finish chute.

Words cant normally express what it means to go to that point and overcome it, to finish when the going gets tough. I saw it yesterday, on the faces of people who I have never met. You achieved something quite remarkable, a Personal Best or your first race a new distance goal. You are all champions.

I have gone into a bit of sensory overload from yesterday, so many people, so much adrenaline and excitement. The vibe is very addictive.

With so many moments, it it hard to pick out clear images or details of the actual races. Here's a few of my own personal snapshots, I hope you have your own:

From the HRE Kids Dash I was just so proud of all of the kids who gave it a go. I know many adults who would never attempt a 2k race, and watching the kids just have a crack, was so rewarding. Obviously both of my boys running really made my heart swell. Seeing my youngest son Joel run his first race, and smash it up down the finish chute is simply awesome. He slept with his medal last night - an Athlete for Life.

In the 5km - Miles pipped Rodney in a reversal of last years event, and I am so proud of them both. Miles has really been training hard, and will be a force over the next few years when he steps up to the longer distances. Rodney just coming back from his 1600km "warm up" ride, shows what sort of insane runner he is to get so close. 

The women's 5K also saw athletes who we haven't seen at other events dominate and also repeated podium efforts. Many in the 5K walked the event; for some this may be the start of an athletic career. For others, your valued support is greatly appreciated.

In the 10km defending champs Paul and Alice were back to dominate, different preparation to last year, with a number of weddings and bucks/hens parties hampering their preparation. Paul really looked comfortable up the front each time I saw him. Both are champions and deserve their respective wins. Paul also holds his title of NEVER being beat here in Rocky.

Second place in the men's 10k Raleigh continues his meteoric rise locally. He obviously got the memo that Paul was keen for someone to challenge him, and he absolutely buried himself yesterday at the race. If you want to see what it looks like to push yourself past your limit, you should of seen him at the pool after the race. Insane. Hard work pays off!

Ladies 3rd place in the 10k Hanah who was making her debut was also very impressive, she is another of the young group of local State Cross Country finalists. There is some serious talent coming through the ranks.

In the half marathon, there were some really awesome stories. Somehow people managed to PB on the course, as course director, I know it wasn't going to be the fastest course in the world with the grassed section - so for anyone that PB'ed congratulations to you, you should be very proud.

Greg ran another PB - he continues to improve on the run less run faster program. Well done on your 1.45 PB.

Greg Wilkes part of "Team Wilkes" ran his first half marathon, and I am so impressed - he never looked like he was having a bad day. He just locked into his pace and kept knocking the km's off. Very solid.

Up the pointy end it was great to have a high quality ladies field assembled, Michelle and Catherine were in a battle for 2nd and 3rd. It was a very close finish. Well done to the ladies winner Emily.

The most impressive run of the day though, was the race win by the Queensland Telegraph Sports Editor and all round good guy/dad of the year Aaron Kelly. I honestly thought he was going to blow himself up when I saw him, I said to Fallon at the 3.5km turn around "there is no way he can keep this pace up, Michael will catch him for sure...." but it never happened, he just kept running hard and actually lengthened his lead on the last lap! For his debut half marathon, off very little training, I was extremely surprised. Time to ditch the beers and start training with Lawto!! Jason said whetever you do just don't buy a bike - you have him running scared! You are officially "Undefeated" at the half marathon distance!

My friend Joe from The Marathon Show in the USA has a quote which we live by at HRE the quote is "Its not about the finish time, but about the finish line". Its very true - we aim to bring you an experience which makes you hungry to do more races.

For Jason, you contributed something that is more personal and rewarding than many will know. He and his brother are Type 1 Diabetics. Everyone who raced know knows a little bit more about Type 1 Diabetes or about our charity partner JDRF. Awareness is powerfull

We aim to inspire you to do other events, maybe the Pink Ribbon Run, or race in the Frogs Triathlon Series, maybe join the new Cap Coast Road Runners or come and race me at the Toowoomba Marathon in October....DO SOMETHING!

Use your positive race experience as fuel to do another.

Thank-you for the memories, it truly was one of the best days of my life. 



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