RACE REPORT: BLACKMORES SYDNEY MARATHON 2016

“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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!!

14 Comments Add yours

  1. Congratulations on your finish and literally “gutting it out”! That looks like a beautiful course with iconic landmarks. I do not ever foresee a marathon in my future, but can definitely see Sydney as a travel destination in my future! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! A stunning course, even when the weather isn’t co-operating 😉 Well, there is a Half Marathon option, as well as a 9KM and 4KM option. Can definitely recommend the Half Marathon. Still starts and finishes at the Sydney Opera House and takes in lots of the cities beautiful scenery. Could be your excuse to visit! September is a nice time of year to visit as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh wow, thats good information! Thank!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re welcome 🙂

        Like

  2. stubbsyblog says:

    Having suffered from a gippy tummy on a race myself, I know all too well the mental battle it is to continue! So well done! It sounds like a practise with some new vegan energy foods is in order, like you say, a change in diet will have definitely played a part, but you did the right thing in slowing down rather than pushing. Over time I’ve worked out it is better to do that and even fast walking if I’m feeling rough for one reason or another rather than stopping entirely..stopping entirely in my case is fatal as it normally ends in me not wanting to carry on at all, whereas keeping moving keeps my legs and mind ticking over until I can get some pace again! Look forward to hearing about the australian trails!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Definitely agree with you there. There will be a bit more trial and error ahead of me, but I’m looking forward to the journey and sharing it with everyone 🙂

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  3. Congratulations! It takes great perseverance pushing yourself to this extreme when feeling unwell…I can’t imagine! The course looks beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The scenery sounds spectacular. Yes, the stomach can be touchy when put under the pressure of the marathon distance. It’s a delicate balance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Very much so! Will definitely be doing lots of research and a bit more trial and error to see what works for me 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Julianne says:

    Congrats on your marathon! I have done two marathons, and used to run a 25K race every year, ran tons of 10k as well, and did many triathlons. Two new knees later, I can’t run anymore and miss it. Now, I walk, hike, backpack and cross country ski, but except for the skiing, nothing gets the heart rate up like running! I loved racing: the camaraderie, the training and anticipation… I never ate breakfast on race days and was very careful to not eat a ton of pasta the night before. I must have slow digestion because eating a lot the night before always gave me issues race morning. It sounds awful, but during a triathlon I drank 1/3 flat coca cola with 2/3 water mixed in. The sugar and caffeine seemed to give me energy–I did this during tri’s more than during running races. For the Birkebeiner ski race (54k) recently I used GU every 10k and found it to be amazing, though the consistency is not something I like–I kept telling myself it was pudding. Here in Montana and Yellowstone National Park, trail running tends to be a bit dangerous. You never know when/if you might run into a grizzly bear! Thank you for liking my post on Writing the Wild, I am glad that I found your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Julianne! I LOVE a Coca Cola after a race, but I tend do avoid it during because of the fizziness, never thought to try it flat. GENIUS! I’ll give it a whirl on my next training run to see how I go. I also feel very heavy if I over indulge on pasta and the like the night before a big race. I tend to just have a piece of toast for breaky – either with avocado or Vegemite. GU doesn’t sit well with me unfortunately 😦 I learnt that the hard way! SO SCARY!! We have snakes and big lizards and that’s enough for me. I get very nervous if I’m out on a really hot day as that’s when the snakes like to come out and sun bake. Can’t imagine coming face to face with a grizzly!!!! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nachthawk says:

    What a fantastic achievement 👍 congrats on finishing the distance despite being a bit sick. Never been to “down under”, from what I read, Sydney must be a lovely place… 👍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! Oh you definitely need to come and visit one day 🙂 it’s a beautiful part of the world!!

      Like

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