My first race

This bald guy passed me and just seconds later was hit by a falling tree branch. It hit his head or neck area but he kept on running. It was a decent chunk of wood about 5 cm in diameter. He surely got a headache from cushioning the fall of that piece of lumber. 😀

Before that I saw rain raining horizontally, which was really cool. I’m not sure I’ve seen anything like that before. Today the radio said the wind gusts were up to 90 km/h with 16,000 lightning bolts. It rained 45mm in 30 minutes in several suburbs. That’s a decent storm!

Since I had already finished my first lap (10 km) I needed to pick up some speed to run a negative split. I was glad when it started to rain. I kept up my mantra “I can, I can, I can” and followed the 1:40 balloons. It actually felt a bit easier to run in these conditions because I wasn’t as hot anymore. It took only several minutes for the rain to form 15 cm deep puddles on the road. It was quite exciting because there were leaves, branches and debris flying all around.

The race track turned around and after the big puddles I lost sight of the balloons. I think they stopped running and were helping an injured runner on the street who was probably hit by a tree branch or something. There was no ambulance near them yet. So it must’ve been a very recent accident.

I felt quite bad about running past them. I told myself that other people were already there with the injured person and let’s be honest I know nothing about first aid. What could I do anyways? Yeah… I’m a selfish bastard. I guess I lost focus on what’s important. This was my first half marathon and I wanted to get a sub 100 minute finishing time. I’ll be a better person in the future.

Several minutes later I saw a man waving his arms and running towards me yelling that the race was over. Everybody should move to the finish. The Twilight half marathon was cancelled. As I jogged along with hundreds of runners I passed two ambulances. For a second I thought about what would happen to me if I needed medical attention? I’ve got no health insurance, I’d be screwed. Oh well… that’s the life of a backpacker.

I ran 5 km in 22:04, my 10K split time is not on the website but I crossed the finish at 1:08:53 and ran a total of 14-15 km (I can’t be sure on the exact distance).

What did I learn from this experience? Firstly, there’s a huge piss-line before the start of the race, everybody needs to take a leak. I didn’t expect that. I strategically positioned myself near the 1:40 balloons and passed them but around the 8th km they passed me and I just kept following them. I was going too fast too early. Some people commented on me running barefoot during and before the race. Nobody said anything bad, here are some examples: “I agree with the concept but not on bitumen” or “What are your split times?” or “Do you get blisters?” or “Wow… barefoot”. I don’t think I deserved any of that extra attention. Nor did I want it. I just wanted to run a half marathon.

Getting back home was a bit of a pain because I spent about 40 minutes in the parking building waiting in line to get out. During that time I didn’t even move an inch. Good times!

I was a bit disappointed because the race was cancelled but I probably ran a 10K personal best and got my first racing experience.

It surely was a very interesting day. I’m looking forward to my next half-marathon in Noosa on Apr 28th.


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