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.
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.