Before the race I'd had a few issues with accommodation which meant that I wasn't staying at my parent's unit with Iven, which is what usually happens. I'd ended up asking my BFF Natalie if I could crash with her and of course she let me - probably because I'm a charming, low-effort guest who has cake decorating skills. Yes, the cake decorating part was actually relevant and will definitely score me an invite back (but next time I'll be bringing my own piping bag with me, packed in amongst the Garmin and running shoes)
It wasn't only Natalie that was happy to have me. Cuddles was also happy to have me and my sweaty Mizunos share her space. I'm not totally sure why she was so obsessed with my shoes but I think she was sending the message home to my dogs on behalf of all cats that cats rule and dogs drool. I'd definitely agree with her on the drool part.
After our race we had breakfast but then Natalie had a birthday party to go to. This was where my cake decorating skills came in. I'd never iced brownies before. Never used a piping gun before either but after a failed attempt to squeeze the chocolate ganache out of a makeshift piping bag and have that plastic bag split and ganache end up all over the place, the piping gun seemed a pretty good option.
Once she was off I was left on my lonesome with the afternoon to fill and no real plans to fill it - apart from a nap. But it turned out that I wasn't that tired and by 3:30 I was out the door for a walk.
Natalie lives really close to the Broadwater in Labrador and it was just a lovely place to walk in the late afternoon. She also lives very close to a lot of cafes and restaurants, one being a Baskin and Robbins - mmm, ice cream. I made a mental note of that one in capitals and bold print and highlighted it. My race was over and I was thinking to hell with the lactose intolerance.
I walked up towards the race precinct. Enjoying the views. Relishing having the time to myself with no responsibility. Feeling happy and at peace with the world. And marvelling that I actually had the energy to walk after such a good race - I wouldn't have been able to do it last year.
I stopped every so often to take happy snaps.
|Things that amuse me - all the seagulls were facing the same direction except one. Respect to that seagull not afraid to do his own thing.|
|Surfers Paradise in the distance.|
|The view looks even prettier once God starts to play with his paint box.|
This is always the best part of the weekend. Seeing all the GaleForce runners giving it their best. Hanging out with people who are like family. Talking. Cheering. Clapping. Watching strangers reaching for their goal. More talking. More cheering. More clapping. Trying to take photos of the squad and ending up with pictures of the road - thank goodness for Facebook or I wouldn't have any. Marvelling at the elite runners. And at the runners who'll run a marathon carrying a tuba. Or wearing a cat suit. Or a superhero suit complete with muscles.
It's a day that brings out the best in people. Determination. Pride. Joy. Courage. Selflessness. The smiles and tears are infectious.
Natalie and I walked back to her place once a lot of the runners had made it back. Via the ice cream place. I threw caution to the wind (remember the word wind because my whole family will be remembering it for years to come) and ordered a double scoop of the most delicious and decadent flavours on the menu. Then we raced back to her place and I hopped into the car to hopefully get home before any side effects hit me.
The drive home was uneventful and apart from some disturbing noises coming from somewhere down deep, the afternoon was uneventful too. I thought I had dodged a bullet. But apparently intestinal bacteria needs extra time to ferment all that lovely lactose and the pain didn't really start for 24 hours. Some days I'm grateful that I work alone.
So Gold Coast 2013 was another roaring success. Can't wait till next year.