GOLD COAST MARATHON MAGIC

GC-Marathon-2022
Almost to the halfway point at Paradise Point - where's Johnny ?? - **Photo Tony Stretch
Well it’s mission accomplished for myself and most of the other 20,000 competitors who took part in last weekend’s amazing Village Roadshow Theme Parks Gold Coast marathon event.

At 69 years of age my expectations for running as quick as I wish I still could are not as great.

YESSSSSS- the joy and spoils of crossing the finish line
At 69 years of age my expectations for running as quick as I wish I still could are not as great but I was surprised how quickly you do slow down when you are not regularly running long distance. 
 
While I continued running after the 2019 event, I had only been doing up to 7kms at a time just to keep reasonably fit so I started my three month specific half marathon training well behind the eight ball as far as long runs was concerned.
 
The thing about the Gold Coast Marathon event is that it doesn’t matter what time you run, everyone has their own goals and for many just completing whatever event they run in is a major achievement in itself.
 
Starting before dawn - **Photo Tony Stretch
The old saying that just finishing a full marathon (42.2kms) of a half marathon is a big win in itself is so true.
I have run close to 50 half marathon events over the years, most of them in my country of birth New Zealand.
Of all those races, the Gold Coast is quite easily the best. It is superbly run without a hitch. The course is beautiful and flat much of it along the beautiful Broadwater with sea views to die for and is spectator friendly.
 
Waiting at the start line at 6am in pitch dark conditions with 8000 other runners is an experience in itself, the adrenalin buzz is significant. Conditions for running on Saturday were near perfect, cool, no wind, light drizzle although the drizzle meant you were uncomfortably wet by the time the race started.
 
Yes running 21.1kms is painful by the time you get to the finish line but just running in a field that big takes your mind off the pain a little.
Huge shout out to the thousands of spectators who lined the course cheering us on, especially near the turnaround point at Paradise Point and the last few kms to the finish line at Southport, it really is a huge buzz hearing some yell out your name.
 

ANOTHER HALF BITES THE DUST Crossing the finishing line after a gut busting 21.1kms of running

Then a final big sprint over the last couple of hundred metres to the finish line which almost exactly resembles the finish lines used at major International events, and the feeling of euphoria that you’ve done it is something else, something hard to explain unless you’ve experienced it.
 
Once I had recovered sufficiently to breath properly I helped myself to the free drinks and fruit laid on for competitors in the finishing zone. Then it’s a walk 50 metres to the tents where you are presented with race finish medals and a commemorative running shirt and by this time you are feeling pretty chuffed about what you’ve just achieved.
 
Shout out to my star support crew of one, my beautiful wife Cheryl. She’s there with me from 5am in the cold and wet carrying my gear and drinks then waiting up in the grandstand to cheer me on over the finish line, having got up out of bed at 3.45am.
 
NUMBER ONE support crew My wife Cheryl and I after the run and she’s still smiling
So cool a couple of mates Colin Hayes and his wife Ali came down to see the finish as well and all that was left was to head home for a much needed shower and change of clothes then to Paradise Point for a huge breakfast and coffee with some more mates.
 
For anyone looking for a fitness and mental challenge, something to really get the adrenalin going, I highly recommend having a crack at one of the races in this magnificent festival of running.
It’s like nothing most of us have ever experienced before and by entering you give yourself a real target to go for. Like I said, what time you run is of no consequence to anyone, we all have our own goals. The key to successfully doing these events is preparation, a training programme to suit you and a determined mind set.
 
I’m definitely committing for next year and for the first time I will have a coach, my business partner and good mate in absolutelyfamous (AF), former five time New Zealand World triathlon championship representative Tony Stretch.
 

Wheelchair athletes also had their own sections in the marathon and 10km events.

Big congratulations to all the 20,000 runners and wheelchair athletes who took part over the weekend and a massive thanks to all those amazing volunteers, paramedics and security people for making this such a fantastic occasion.
 
So come on my Kiwi friends and relatives back home, get inspired and we’ll see you at the start line next year.
Good to see a few Kiwi's competing...**Photo Tony Stretch
Big congratulations to all the 20,000 runners and wheelchair athletes who took part over the weekend and a massive thanks to all those amazing volunteers, paramedics and security people for making this such a fantastic occasion.
 
So come on my Kiwi friends and relatives back home, get inspired and we’ll see you at the start line next year.
Fantastic support all around this scenic and fast course...**Photo Tony Stretch
A couple of the international speed bunnies competing ....** Photo Tony Stretch
For a full list of results and photos go to goldcoastmarathon.com.au
 

Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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