“ENDURANCE IS ONE OF THE MOST DIFFICULT DISCIPLINES, BUT IT IS THE ONE WHO ENDURES THAT THE FINAL VICTORY COMES” – BUDDHA
On Sunday 18th September 2016 I took part in the famous Blackmores Sydney Marathon. This marathon is one of the world’s most scenic courses, taking in some of Sydney’s most spectacular and historic landmarks including the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
The course starts in Milsons Point on the North side of Sydney beneath the Harbour Bridge. I was rearing and ready to go, surrounded by 1000’s of other runners and spectators preparing for the next 42KMS. The weather wasn’t looking too promising, but I kept my fingers crossed, hoping it wouldn’t start bucketing down.
As mentioned, the race starts under the Harbour Bridge on the northern side of Sydney, once the gun goes, runners run up over the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, past the Royal Botanic Gardens and into Hyde Park. Once through Hyde Park, runners continue into Moore Park and the beautiful Centennial Park and follow the same route back into Circular Quay.
It was around here that I started to feel very sick in my tummy. The stomach is a very sensitive organ I’ve come to learn! I tend to purposely run with the same supplements and eat the same meals leading up to race day, but due to recently transitioning to a vegan diet, I had to adjust my usual meals, which may or may not have played a part in my not feeling so well.
There were quite a few moments where I had to slow right down to a walk as I was on the verge of vomiting, and knew if I did, I would have given myself an excuse not to finish; so slowing down helped take the stress off my body for a moment and allowed me to get back to a semi-normal state before I would start up running again.
Before heading out to Pyrmont and Barangaroo, runners come through Circular Quay away from the finish line at the Sydney Opera House; such a tease!! Especially when you see the super-human-even-more-crazy-than-you-elite-athletes running in the opposite direction pushing out their last few kilometers towards the finish line; knowing full well, you still have 20KM to go.
The rain started to come in a bit heavier towards the finish, having only been spitting here and there since going through Centennial Park. The run through Pyrmont is quite lovely as you run along Sydney Harbour into the Barangaroo precinct on the southern end of the Harbour Bridge. From here, it’s straight on through to the Sydney Opera House where the 1000’s of spectators have joined to cheer on finishing runners. It’s a wonderful atmosphere! I’m always tearing up at the finish line. I just love and appreciate all the kind words and support that come from complete strangers pushing you through those last few kilometers.
I was feeling pretty disappointed when I crossed the finish line, blaming my tummy for my not-so-desirable finishing time, but looking back now, I’m so grateful for the opportunity to have run the Sydney Marathon. Road running is tough enough, so pushing through when I was feeling so unwell shows how strong I have become both mentally and physically in my running journey. I’ll be getting back on the trails now that the Great Ocean Road Marathon and Sydney Marathon have been ticked off the Bucket List. Looking forward to getting back out into the wilderness and running wild!
Anybody else race in the Marathon or the other distances this year? How did you go? Anyone thinking they might give it a go in 2017?
Be sure to follow my adventures on my Instagram!!