What a fantastic day for a half marathon in Sydney. Raylene Boyle started the event with Martin Dent taking out line honours. I was a little behind his 64:28 with a 1:49:33. I did make a personal course record and was really happy that my race went to plan.
Support was great, the only downside this year was that the fruit stand had run out of bananas by the time I finished.
Great event with the Australian record for participants in a half marathon event with over 10,000.
This was my first "big race". I had only ever done races with between 8 and a couple of hundred participants before, so having over 10,000 standing with you at the start line was just awesome!
The weather was a bit cool at the start, but it warmed up nicely by the end. The course was good and a bit challenging, especially Hunter Street hill, as I'm sure everyone found. My first goal was to make it past the 11k in 75min cutoff point. I got to 13k in 75mins, so that was great. Next challenge was when I got to the end of the first lap and saw the sign pointing "finishers" to the left. A little voice told me to stop and rest as I had already run more than I ever had before...but I kept going.
My only other goal was to finish. Not in a set time, just get over the line either running, walking or crawling, whatever was needed. As it happened I ran over the finish line being watched by my family, which was just fantastic to see them there cheering me on!
It was great to have the drinks stations there, although they were a bit overrun a couple of times, quite understandable. Free Gatorade and GU packs were a big plus!
The crowds lining the streets were just amazing, a lot of the time they weren't cheering anyone in particular, just egging us all on. I saw a sign along the way - twice, that read, "Run, the zombies are catching you!"
It was fantastic to be part of such a big race, and to finish too! My first running medal :-)
I'll definitely be doing more of these!