Run Melbourne – race recap

One of my favourite races on the Melbourne running calendar was held this morning – Run Melbourne, which attracted thousands of runners. I ran the 10km – my third event but a little different to the others as I was with a bunch of running friends from my local parkrun.

The weather forecast for the morning hadn’t looked good but, when I emerged from my hotel at 7.30am, it was actually quite a pleasant (crisp) Melbourne Winter morning. No rain and no wind. I trammed it down to the event village and checked in to the Runners’ World VIP tent which I was lucky enough to have a pass to. This was a great way to spend some time before the run – chatting to other runners and the Runners’ World staff and generally avoiding that moment where I would have to ditch the layers and face the ‘crispness’ of the morning.

Soon enough, I headed off (minus layers) and met my friends up in Federation Square along with a fellow five30runner, Matthew who was down from Newcastle, had spotted my shirt and came over to have a chat. I absolutely love meeting up with people from this group – every encounter I have has been so friendly and supportive, as if you’re meeting up with an old friend rather than someone you’ve only ever chatted to online.

We all headed down to the start line which is always a bit of a scrum at this event. I don’t like that feeling of being boxed in but we weren’t held for too long before our wave was starting and the crowds thinned out pretty much within the first 500 metres.

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hanging out for the start

I didn’t really go into this with a plan – I hadn’t specifically trained but had been running regularly so I wasn’t really sure what I was capable of. I quickly fell into a 2 minute run/1 minute walk pattern and felt good, with no pain in my achilles and lots of energy.

The course is great with a few switchbacks which allow you to really feel like you’re part of a big event as you are always surrounded by other runners and supporters. There are also lots of volunteers, charity crews and Nova staff out there who really add to the atmosphere – holding up hilarious signs, chanting and offering high fives when needed. As your name is printed on your race bib, you also tend to hear your name called out a lot which is often the incentive you need when you’re running low on energy.

My favourite part of the course is the bridge lined with windsock men and air filled with bubbles – such a fun place to run through and you can’t help but smile.

At about the 8km mark, I realised that I was not only feeling good, I was actually running well and very close to my PB time. I ran hard in the last 2kms and managed to cross the line in my 2nd best 10km time, knocking 2 minutes off last year’s Run Melbourne time so I was really pleased. For once, I also felt like I really gave it my all and couldn’t have run any faster – a good feeling to know I’d given it everything I had.

Afterwards, I picked up my bag (and my showbag of goodies!) from the VIP tent then headed off for breakfast with my friends. I love running big events but it really does add an extra element to do that with such great company to share the experience with.

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Pancake breakfast 🙂

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Bendigo parkrun launch

I really am working hard at my goal of being a parkrun tourist as often as possible with further proof this weekend. Two fabulous running friends from my local parkrun sprung out of bed at ridiculous o’clock (it had a 4 at the start and an ‘am’ at the end!) and picked me up for our roadtrip to Bendigo.

Our drive took about 2.5 hours although we had a stop, leg stretch and coffee break on the way. We’d allowed extra time due to the supposed rubbish weather that was supposed to be hitting (the so called ‘Antarctic vortex’ that the media are going on about) but it was a relatively balmy 8 degrees so nothing to be upset about.

The Bendigo parkrun course loops around Kennington reservoir and is very picturesque. You get a great mix of pretty regional suburbia around the edges and feeling like you’re in the wilderness as you’re running through the middle. It starts with one shortened loop then the second lap is a full one – the course is very easy to follow with marshals at all appropriate points. It does have some ‘undulations’ which don’t seem that big until you’re running them, particularly on the second lap. Somewhere around the 4km mark, things start feeling a bit hard but the finish line is in sight which gets you through.

While I was unfortunately lapped by a few of the front runners at the end of my first lap, the atmosphere was lovely – the front running female tapped me on the shoulder and gave me words of encouragement as she passed. You have to love the camaraderie of the running community.

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Clearly I’m a happy person when I run 🙂

Despite the weather doomsayers, we had only had a few spots of rain and a good crowd turned out to kick off this event. It has such a good community feel and I’m sure it will be very popular with both locals and tourists. And it’s certainly a course I’d be happy to do again. Although possibly not if I have to get up quite so early 😉

parkrun tourism @ Tuggeranong

I’m always looking for chances to fit in runs in new places and get especially excited if it’s a Saturday and I can make it to a different parkrun.

On the weekend, I was in Canberra for a conference and decided to skip the first session of the day so that I could be a parkrun tourist at Tuggeranong. When I arrived, it was a balmy -2 degrees (which wasn’t as cold as the forecast of -6) but I was ready for it and was heavily rugged up. The run director was very welcoming and made sure I knew where to go through the first timers’ briefing. I was surprised to be the only tourist – I figured that school holidays might bring out a few but perhaps the cold had people staying in bed! I was also really pleased to meet a fellow five30runner who came over to say hi – made me feel very welcome!

The course at Tuggeranong is easy to follow and picturesque, hugging the lake. There were plenty of marshals on course which was great for a visitor – no way I could lose my way. I wasn’t particularly fast as I didn’t want to stress out my achilles too much. I’m happy to report that I didn’t stress it at all – no pain either during or after the run, despite the cold and concrete that I was running on.

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I know it looks like I’m running on my own but I really was part of parkrun (and I wasn’t quite last this week!)

I didn’t get to hang around for breakfast after the run as I figured I really did need to make it to the conference – it was bad enough that I’d missed the first session! But I’d definitely recommend Tuggeranong parkrun and will be back if I’m in the neighbourhood again 🙂