23 Aug 2013

Alice Springs Marathon, outback time!

Alice Springs Marathon (running festival actually), one of only two marathons in the Northern Territory, was chosen partly because of its date but also because it's cheaper to get to. This is my ninth race for the year, and fifth in my Aussie sweep!

This week has been less insane than others and I'm feeling better prepared for this race. I've had a little bit of training and even popped a long run in on the weekend. My flight to Alice was at 8.45 am on Saturday. This was the first time I've ever been running late for a flight! For starters I slept (very well) in my car at a rest area near both the Melbourne Airport and an Anytime Fitness club. I was up at 5.45, but it took me longer than expected to get moving because my car windows were all frosted up!
The plan was to get to the gym, have a short run then shower and head to the airport parking. So I went for a run, probably ran longer than I should've, but I felt like I needed it.
After my shower and forgetting a few things I'd almost left at the gym, I was on the road. By the time I got to the airport I didn't have enough time for parking at long term and checking in. So I parked at short term, ran to the terminal, checked in, then ran back to my car and drove out to find long term. After 20mins getting lost around the terminal area trying to find the long term parking entrance, I snapped up a park in the "D" area. Buses come through every 10 mins or so to take you straight to the airport, of course the next two buses were full so I was waiting. By the time I caught a bus and got to the terminal, they were calling my name for boarding my flight! So another run all though the airport to my gate just in time to get onto the dang plane!
I managed to get what was probably another 3km of running in for the day, yay me!
I'm starving now as I type this on the flight to Alice Springs, bring me my food I haven't eaten all morning!!!
The lesson I've learnt from this, always use the web check in and book-ahead for parking!!
checking out the 'Anzac Hill' lookout
(a popular hill training spot in Alice Springs)
The weather for Alice in winter is typically super cold at night with near 30s during the day. Humidity is really low and that's probably my biggest concern coming into this event. Keeping hydrated!

The race course for the Alice Springs marathon is very simple. We start at Araluen Arts Centre (which is a few k's out of town) and run out the highway about 15km before turning left onto a secondary road that runs passed a caravan park before turning around at the half way mark (also the half marathon start line) and heading back into town on the opposite side of the road. It is pretty flat for the most part, a little rise and fall on your way out of town but gentle enough to go almost unnoticed.

19 Aug 2013

Brisbane Marathon 2013, not quite the GCM

I've had a quiet two weeks prep for this race, with a lot of focus on getting some issues with my hip/quads sorted after you yangs. I've done some good quality short runs and feeling really fresh.
I flew in earlier than I normally would, so I had the whole day Saturday to relax and eat! After a big sleep in and a dip in a lake I was feeling excited for this one.
a little lake in the 'chilly' Queensland winter :P
I was put up by a friend I had met at comrades 2011. It was super awesome of him and his whole family to give me somewhere to stay and run me around the place. Their kids were ace, the youngest gave me a little love heart sticker that said "all my love" which I wore for the whole race :) I'm wearing two little Aussie flag stickers on my hands now which she gave me as a parting gift! I really can't thank them enough for their hospitality, hopefully I can return the favour sometime, somehow!

Well it's Brisbane, compared to Warrnambool it was guaranteed to be awesome. But it seems it really has turned it on for me! Forecast was for a clear day with mid 20s. Perfect running for many I'm sure, a little on the hot side for what I'm used to! Checking the forecast it seems there are similar conditions ahead for Alice Springs in two weeks!

I checked the profile of this course before the race, figured it wouldn't be too bad, but best check first. It's a hilly course but nothing really crazy. There is essentially a 21km loop for the half and the full basically do two laps of this. Over the bridge is probably the worst section of the race, with maybe the finish area being the other tough part. Interesting point to note, the council doesn't allow a lot of the roads to be closed including the bridge, and as a result the course runs on public paths that have to be shared with pedestrians and cyclists. The bridge was the worst since it is about 2m wide and fairly early in the race, making for quite a bottleneck.