Thursday, December 5, 2019

Day 4 - Run for the Young marathon (Race Recap) & Frankston beach

Sunday, November 24
Marathon #32
Continent #5
Lilydale, Vic, Australia
Weather - Sunny and warm

When I booked flights for Australia WAY back in February, I had two weekends in which I could look for a race somewhere. Initially I had planned on maybe finding a race north of Sydney, but that one was going to be too difficult to get to with traffic, so the Run for the Young marathon outside Melbourne looked to be a great option. There was a variety of distances, so Ariel was going to run the half marathon and Lisa and Julia planned to walk the 5K. A no frills race, shirts would only be available for purchase, but with the promise of medals, we signed up - my marathon costing a whopping $38ish USD.

Anyway, we obviously had done a TON the day before, and luckily I actually got some sleep. The marathon was scheduled to start at 7:00, so with a planned 40 minute drive, the goal was to be out the door by 5:45 to allow for normal pre-race rituals.

We got out within a few minutes of goal time, and I spent the early miles of the drive braiding my hair. As we are approaching the race, it seems like we are heading into the city, which seems weird to me since we are supposed to be running on a trail...

Lisa is the only one of us that has phone service, so I am using her phone to verify the address. We discovered very early on that everything is VERY slow, even when she has full bars, so it took well over 10 minutes (no exaggeration) to get the website to open. And then I realize that we are NOT going to the right location and the new estimate for arrival is THREE MINUTES AFTER THE RACE STARTS.

I'm almost immediately hysterical, freaking out about not being able to miss this race, as it's taken me more than 7 years to get to a new continent to race. Lisa kept her cool, drove a tad over the speed limit and dropped me and Ariel off at 6:57 am. We had to sprint to the start line, which thankfully is where bib pick up also was. The gun went off as I was pinning my bib on. I had hoped to get a pre-race picture with Ariel, but I had to head out. Very last person to cross the line, but at least I was able to star the race.

I had looked at the elevation profile briefly (and looked up the rail on google earth) and determined it should be "mostly flat" and not technical. Well, that first mile pretty much kicked my ass, as there was a very large hill in a residential neighborhood before we actually got to the trail section, so I took my first walk break less than 10 minutes in. It was not too long before the faster half marathon runners caught me (although they only started a few minutes after the marathon).

It took a few miles before I started to pass some of the slower marathon runners, including an old guy who just walked really fast.


Ariel caught up with me between miles 2 and 3, and it was nice to run with her for a bit. We parted ways when I stopped to use the bathroom somewhere around 4 miles in (you know, since I hadn't had time at the start).
There was a nice few miles of shaded downhill, and I thought it was going to suck pretty bad coming back up that later.

A looked great when I saw her on her way back
Although I have rarely been racing with music, I did wear headphones for most of this race, and I think it probably helped quite a bit. Since Tahoe, my training was very inconsistent (at best), and once I hit double digits I was basically in survival mode.

I definitely ended up doing intervals, but I can't remember how far into the race I was before I set those up. My super secret A goal was going to be a sub 5 hour marathon, but that quickly faded away when the heat really set in. The trees that had provided some shade in the early miles disappeared and the suffering really set in.

At the turnaround there were popsicles, which was pretty much the best thing ever.





Miles 13-23 are pretty much a blur of varied levels of misery, since it was hot and a gradual climb. Once I got to 23, there was some downhill, so I was actually able to run for longer stretches and I was not quite as miserable. The last picture I took was of the cute runner signs that were in the early miles on the course.
The last mile was a little confusing though, and there were no longer volunteers at key points to ensure we were going the right way. We were in a public park area and people were having birthday parties, BBQs and playing sports. Chaotic.

Lisa, Julia & Ariel were waiting under a pavilion near-ish the finish line, where they reminded me that there was a hill into the finish line. Oh, good.

Thankfully I had barely enough left in the tank that I was actually able to run it in. Not anywhere close to getting under 5 hours, but this was my first real marathon in almost 3 years and it certainly could have been much worse.

Official Time - 5:18:57
Garmin Time - 5:19:04
Garmin Distance - 26.28 miles
Garmin Pace - 12:09
Elevation Gain - 1,155'
Miles 1-5 - 10:54, 12:54, 12:42, 12:33, 10:49
Miles 6-10 - 10:53, 11:46, 10:58, 11:34, 11:09
Miles 11-15 - 11:32, 11:38, 11:26, 12:59, 12:23
Miles 16-20 - 11:48, 12:03, 12:10, 12:51, 13:06
Miles 21-26.2 - 12:50, 14:09, 15:02, 12:14, 11:39, 11:40, 12:12

I have no idea what is happening, other than the guy announcing people told me I should dance
Lisa got a few cute pictures of A crossing the finish line - this was my favorite one.
 
Thoughts:

  • What an incredibly reasonable price tag. The race is 100% a charity fundraiser by  Bridge Builders Youth Organization.
  • Lots of aid stations, although fairly basic, they had cool water and Powerade of various flavors at all of them. Friendly volunteers.
  • Course was a little confusing nearer to the start/finish, additional signage might have helped, or a volunteer at a key point could have helped.
  • I liked that the shirt was optional for purchase, keeping the price low.
  • No frills, and not technical.
  • Probably a pretty decent first time marathon, and they even had a separate "first timer" marathon division.
  • Variety of distances for the whole family.
  • A bit more information on the main website so it's not necessary to look in the runner guide for basic things. It would have been soooo much more helpful to have a physical address for the start instead of a campus, that's part of what got us lost getting to the start line.
  • Overall, decent.

There wasn't any food or drinks at the finish, and I was so hot and tired I wasn't especially hungry anyway. It was still quite a drive back to the hotel, so we stopped at a shopping center and split some pizzas and garlic bread.

Everyone else decided they wanted to shower and nap. Like usual, I couldn't seem to shut down enough to nap, although I did enjoy relaxing in the air conditioning.

Driving around looking for dinner and we found another brewery to eat at for dinner. This time we enjoyed some delicious BBQ in addition to my beer. Yum.



We drove around closer to Frankston and found some street parking near the beach. The kids ran around we took pictures.





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