Finishing the year in style

It was almost too early today at 4.45am and waiting for a taxi which never turn-up was not the ideal start for a race day. Luckily a friend borrowed me her car so I was able to drive into town to catch the train to the start in time.

Ben & Ellis were already waiting for me and we had 15 minutes to get ready…race number on front-check, name tag on back-check, blind runner tag on back-check, race chip on foot-check, so we were all good to go. Moving down the hill to the start block of our group we ran into Marathon Man and Susie – a few minutes to chat and before we knew the gun went off and….nothing happened.

It took us another 8 minutes to start moving and crossing the start line. The start is always challenging for Ben and me, as the crowed is still too packed together and everyone is too excited and rushing forward.

Thanks to the excellent help of Ellis, who moved the slower runners in front of us two out of our way, we had literally a free run all the way to the finish.

I decided to carry two water bottle with me during the race so we don’t have to stop at the drink station for water and could run through – saved certainly a couple of minutes. The excellent weather conditions and the flatter course were no doubt reason too that Ben finished his 2nd marathon in a new personal best time of 2 hrs 08 min. Ben is already dreaming of the full marathon now….maybe next year?

Running over the bridge is always a great experience and having a helicopter hovering just above our heads add to all the excitement. We cleared the bridge rather quickly and moved on towards Darling Harbour but this course had many surprised in stall – quite a few sharp and unexpected 180 degress U-turns we had to maneuver – not easy when we had to look out for all those cat-eyes (ankle twisters), checking which way to go avoiding having faster runners trying to run between us. Needless to say we managed all those challenges in style and Ben kept up his great form and pace almost to the end – we both hated that last bit along the wharf on Hickson Road, and this time we had to do it out to Pyrmont and back to Opera House – 4 very long and booooring kilometers. Ellis and I kept encouraging Ben to find that extra strength and together with the help of cheering, clapping, drumming and music playing spectators he dug deep and found some extra power to spring onto the forecourt of the Opera House and finishing the race in just a bit over two hours! Well done, Ben – as always an inspiration to many out there today.

Ben and I would love to say thank you to all our supporter next Friday, 24th September when we have a drink and chat before watching Michael Douglas in ‘Wall Street 2’ at the Ritz Cinema in Randwick.

Please join us for a night out from 7.30pm and support two great charities – The Fred Hollows Foundation and The Achilles Running Club. Your $25 will get you a drink and movie ticket and will help needlessly blind people see again and support people with disabilities.

We hope to see as many as possible of you Friday night.

Thanks and happy feet
Markus

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