On Sunday 21st August, the Mudgee Marathon was held. It is an event I had participated in for the previous 3 years. This year, I couldn’t bear the thought of the long drive out to Mudgee by myself, so when I found out there was a Marathon closer to home that I had not run before on the same weekend, I jumped at the chance to try something new. It was an added bonus that Kel Smith, Kel Healey and Ala Cook were running it too.
Glenbrook, in the Blue Mountains, is only 60km from our new home in Sydney, so I stayed at home the night before, and drove out early in the morning.
I registered for the race on race morning. The race was a ‘Running Wild’ event. I had never participated in one of those before.
I ran the first part of the race with Kel and Kel. Ala was running the half marathon.
Soon, I found myself running next to someone I could only describe as a steam train, making all sorts of of horrible noises as he chugged along. I surged to get away from all of the commotion.
Soon I found myself running behind Hailey Maxwell, who I recognised as a Runlab coach. We ran together for quite awhile, along the single track trails and past the cave with the aboriginal hand paintings, known as the ‘red hands cave’.
At the Nepean turn, I saw that Kel Healey was not far behind me. I hoped she would catch up so I could have some company. I also saw Kel Smith, and Ala during this section.
There was one section of the course that I affectionately titled ‘Stickland’. It was only a relatively short out-and-back section, out to the Pisgah turn, but the ground was so uneven, and covered with loose sticks, that it was quite hazardous. I saw a couple of runners take big spills on this section of the course. I was glad when it was over.
I enjoyed the last 7km or so to the finish, all downhill. It was a nice way to finish the race. I finished in 4:09, a time that I was very happy with, given the course profile.
I really enjoyed the race, and the free barbecue at the finish line. The medals were pretty unique too. In the end, I was very glad that I made the choice to try something new instead of heading out to Mudgee this year. I look forward to my next Running Wild event!