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One Hell of a Journey, VLM 2011 Part 1

April 26, 2011
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It’s been a while since my last blog so apologies for that.

From the moment I was accepted by The Ron Pickering Memorial Fund to run in this years marathon I had been dreaming of the moment when that medal was placed over my head at the finish. Through all the training, discussions with different coaches and previous runners of the event, nothing could have prepared me for what was to unfold during the race.

I set my alarm on race day for 5am which was pretty usual for me after all the early morning training I was having to fit in around a busy work load and family schedule. I had to be ready for a pick up at five to six just down the road. I had got everything ready the night before, all laid out and bag packed. Sue had left me a note wishing me good luck which was a nice touch. I wasn’t as nervous as I thought I would be but that soon changed when I left the house thinking “it’s gonna be a long day”. Steve was there on the button so we went to collect Nick and Andy before heading to the coach pick up. There were plenty of runners with the same anxious looks on their faces when we got on the coach.

Andy had a plan to sleep on the way down to the start line, so that soon went out of the window. There was no way we were going to let him sleep, not for a second !. I hadn’t eaten any breakfast before leaving home as I planned to eat in transit. Cereal bars and a carb / protien shake for me, which was a result after seeing Andy fighting with his virgin thermos flask and his kids portion of porridge  with his grand daughters spoon and Michelle with her ready made porridge in a flask and a spoon the size of a builders shovel. She even had me try and bend the spoon Uri Gellar style to make it fit. Due to my un popeye like strength, I failed with that task !. The rest of the journey went without a hitch and as we drove into the park we saw the hive of activity in the distance. So onwards to the red start line which was the furthest away from where we were dropped off and I really needed to find the little boys room. We got into the red start enclosure and set up our FVS base camp which was handily situated between the porta loo’s and the mens urinals, and yes there were a female version as well, not sure with the mechanics on that one ? We all got our things ready, gel belts, gadget belts, petrolium jelly all over the shop in Nick’s case. Team photo’s done and off to the baggage trucks to drop off the bags.

Most of us were starting from pen No9 and on our arrival we went our seperate ways after a few hugs and hand shakes. Andy, Karina and Lisa J went off to tag onto the 11 minute per mile pace group and Steve, Nick and Michelle went to tag onto the run / walk pace group. I had my own plan and was left on my Jack Jones. I wasn’t alone because there were hundreds of others around me but for the moments leading up to the start I felt like I was. The klaxxon went off to signal the start of the race and well all moved forward at a snails pace which was good because there was a bloke dressed like one just over the way. My bladder had filled up again with the waiting around so I dashed off again and rejoined the group in the same place once I was empty again. Finally after 20 minutes or so I started to run, I crossed the start line and started my watch, the race was on ……..

To be continued………

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