Geelong Half Marathon

My 1st half marathon for the year has been officially crossed off the list. Yay :)! But it did mean I missed the first SAAC club meet/run for the season. Nay 🙁

The Geelong Half Marathon was hosted by GCCC (Geelong Cross Country Club).  There were lots of elements of this race that I really liked and really appealed to me over other races I have done. They are of the following:

  • The race is along the Barwon River
  • No Roads
    You do share the track with the public, however, but that being said, that didn’t bother me. 
  • The course is relatively flat, so that means it’s fast. 
  • It’s capped at 1200 runners.
    This is fantastic because it means you aren’t overcrowded on the track and you can actually go at the pace you want to run.  
  • The entry fee isn’t extravagant.  It’s approx $40 (cheaper if you go early bird).
    This is cheap in comparison to other runs out there.  I paid $35 for Run For the Kids, and approx $100 for Tough Mudder. 

So after waking up at 5.45 am, rechecking that I have all my gear, because yes it is important that I have my skins on, my Garmin charged and on my wrist, my iPod and yurbuds with my RockMyRun mix ready to go, and of course the Nuun Hydration in the water bottle ready to go.  Only then can I have my Weetabix breakfast and half a coffee (yes only half, that’s all I could tolerate, and wanted).  

Tom and I piled into the car and drove the 40 minutes to Belmont Park Pavilion alongside the Barwon River.

Stawell Run Club

Happy to start? Why yes of course.  The weather was perfect, it was cool, but not cold.  I was tossing up between wearing my shorts or my skins.  I decided on the skins.  I knew the risks of wearing my skins, that I could get hot.  However, I wore them as a security blanket for my calf.  As mentioned in a previous post, I got a muscle cramp and possible strain in my right calf.  I didn’t want to overdo it, and push my calf and end up hurting myself. I didn’t get hot, and I didn’t hurt my calf.  Win-Win. I’m also glad I decided on a single.  If I wore a short sleeve, I would have been roasting.

Unlike the other halves I have done, I didn’t feel overly nervous on this run.  I’m not too sure why, but I think it was because I knew I had it in me.  The kilometers were already in my legs.  The training was done.  There was nothing else to do but just go out and enjoy myself and the run.  It really is a great feeling not having to worry about how you will do, what your time will be, or even comparing yourself to others.  I mean who doesn’t compare themselves.  We all have at some stage.  At the end of the day, the only person I need to compete against is myself.

So after a warm-up and a stretch, I’m ready to go. We all head down to the start line, and listen to the MC do this thing.

It was awesome to hear that 60% of the runners on the course were not from Geelong.  That meant that I was one of that 60%.  How awesome is that!

The gun went off and we were off! We ran a loop of the oval before we ran along the river.  I noticed a lot of runners (especially females) went out hard.  I didn’t see the point.  I knew that if I went out hard at the start I wouldn’t have enough energy for the distance.  So I went at a pace that was comfortable for me and stuck at it.

For this event, I decided to run with my fuel belt. After doing Run for the Kids, I realised how congested drink stations can be. It also meant that by having my own water I could drink when I wanted to drink and not be limited by where the race director placed the water stations.

The other item that I had in my fuel belt were a couple of gu energy gels. I initially had planned on having one at approx 10km (or around 50mins) and then the 2nd one at the 19km mark.  However, I found that I didn’t want the entire gu gel.  So guess what? I ran with that gu energy gel in my hand from 10km to 19km.  Yes, my hand did get a little sticky, but it didn’t bother me.  I got the energy I needed and wanted, so that’s all that mattered.

At around the 16km mark, I had a chat with a guy running in crocs (he is in one of the images if you look closely).  At first, I thought it was weird, but then I heard his story, and it made sense.  If you are wondering, he runs in thongs (flip flops) because he finds shoes don’t give him the support he needs.  He does run barefooted but prefers crocs or thongs as a barrier. Good on him I say (and each to their own, barefoot running has its place, if it interests you get as much information about it as you can, and don’t overdo it).

By 19km I was starting to fatigue, and wish I still had that gu gel. But decided to dispose of it (rookie error).

On the home stretch, I wanted to go faster, but my legs felt like they didn’t want to go anymore. I gave it what I could.  I could feel my heart rate going up, my breathing was getting heavier.  But there in the distance was the finish line.  I just focused on getting to the end.

Barwon River

I crossed the line.  Yay! What a great day and a great event.  I must say really enjoyed this run.  The course along the river was beautiful, it was also flat, so that means it was fast was fast. So guess what? That means a new personal best (pb) for me.  I ran this course in 1h52m35s.  A whole 3 minutes and 1 second (yes and 1 second) faster than my previous half marathon time in Portland. Gotta be happy with that. In fact I’m really happy with that.

I didn’t win any spot prizes 🙁 so no 2xu or garmin for me, but I did get a medal.

Run club Stawell

A piece of fruit, bottled water, and then a sausage in bread (which was gone like that).

The one thing I did that I didn’t see anyone else doing was soak their feet in the Barwon River.

Geelong Barwon River

Believe me, the coldness is totally worth it, and it felt so good on my feet.

So overall it was a fantastic half marathon experience, and I will say that I will love to run this course again.

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