Sunday, July 1, 2012

Gold Coast Marathon 2012

Amazing is the only way I can describe the group of people that I run with.We come from all around Brisbane and even a little further and we are all different ages, sizes, abilities. But we all share one thing - the love of running.

For the last couple of days I've been down on the Gold Coast for the Gold Coast marathon. The races are held over two days - with the 10k, 5.7k and the children's races on the Saturday, the half and full marathon on the Sunday.

This was a very special event for our squad. It's always the one that most people work towards but this year it had special meaning. Earlier this year we lost one of our runners - a beautiful, talented runner who'd been suffering from severe depression. She was best friends to another of our runners who, along with her husband, was inspired to run the marathon for the first time in Steff's honour and to raise money for Sane - a charity that helps people with mental illness. Quite a few of the other runners hopped on board with her. Yesterday was the culmination of all their hard work.

It was a very excited group of pink-clad runners that were at the GaleForce tent at 6:45 yesterday morning. Pink was Steff's favourite colour and I must say that everyone looked very special. They'd trained together and they were planning on running together. Andrew had his phone with him and was updating us via Facebook and phone calls to his wife. We wouldn't be seeing them until they ran past at about 32k.

It's a long morning, watching a marathon. We amused ourselves on the sidelines chatting, eating, cheering, mentally rating the shirtless runners into the 'should' or 'shouldn't have' categories. Some of the squad had headed down the course to let us know when our runners were coming. And finally they were. Their plan to stick together hadn't panned out. But none of the virgin runners was running alone.

From where we were there was still an out and back loop of 10k and for one of the runners in particular this must have felt endless. One of the girls, Heather, was struggling - it was hot by late morning and when she reached us she was walking. But there was no way that she was going to quit and there was no way that she would be out there alone.

An hour or so passed and a lot of our runners came past for the second time. And each was cheered on raucously. We heard from Andrew that he, Simon and Heather were still a way off so some of the cheer squad headed up the course to help bring Heather home. It was a strange, pink procession that came chanting their way up the course towards the finishing line. Heather was probably a little embarrassed to have so much fuss made but all I saw was friendship, respect, support and an individual sport becoming a team sport.

That was probably the best moment of the weekend for me but coming a very close second was seeing Jenni and Brett, the couple who'd inspired so many of the group to run and helped raise almost $6000 for charity, running to the finish line together. You guys were amazing!

And the third best moment was my own race on the Saturday. I'd nominated to run in the 50-60min and all I wanted to do was not make a liar of myself. I ran a 9 minute PW and I was as excited as the day that I ran my PB. Net time - 55:28. It's so great when you exceed your expectations!

10k Runners

So that's #8 done and dusted. Two years to go till I get my 10 year award!

PS - My guest post on how to make these is up here.


  1. Sounds exciting and meaningful. Glad you were so excited about your PW. It's all relative to what is going on in our lives.

  2. Congratulations Char! It sounds like it couldn't have been a better PW - and it sounds like you have the best running group ever - definitely a real team.

  3. It's beautiful the way running unites people! People you might otherwise not have met.

  4. Char, I LOVE marathon and running stories and what I LOVE even more is how fitness brings everyone together. It's more that just running, it's "family"

    xx Great job Gale Force!

  5. This is really awesome! Congratulations to all of you! Running is a very special sport with very special people.

  6. What a special group you are part of, Char. Sounds like a very inspirational weekend, including your own race. Congrats!

  7. Nice running group! Congrats!
    Running for a scial cause is really great!

  8. What a fantastic squad and what a special race! Sounds like you've all enjoyed a tremendous year together. Here's to many more!

  9. New follower...sounds like such a nice group to be a part of. Good job on the PW!

  10. Fantastic Char! Everyone I talk to recommends doing the Gold Coast event, whether it be the marathon or one of the other distances so I would love to get there one day!
    Way to go with the time :)

  11. That sounds like a great weekend. This is a really nice example of the running community, and how sociable a sport it can be. Congrats on running the full 10k.

  12. What an awesome experience. Such a great way to support a very wonderful cause.


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