Howzat? Not Good….Let’s Fix Australian Cricket

The fall from grace has been as swift as has it has been ugly, gone are the days of the 2000s where we were blessed with generational talents like Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Ricky Ponting dominating summers on end and making Australian test cricket must watch viewing.

Fast forward to today and I’d honestly barely muster up the effort to cross the street to watch this Australian team let alone make the trip to Melbourne or anywhere else to see what appears on the surface to be a disorganised group of batsman who struggle with the moving ball and are unable to consistently produce big scores. How can things be fixed?

Well here’s how I’d do it, and it’s not as simple as just picking a different group of players, the damage runs much deeper than that, merely replacing the current line up is akin to shuffling the deck chairs on the Titanic, I’m sure it would look nice but the end result won’t change much….

Domestic Cricket Scheduling

Problems – Playing the  One Day competition in bulk at the start of October over 4 weeks gives it a preseason practice match feel, the spectators don’t really care and a week after its done nobody remembers much about it – can you remember who won the final and the standout performances along the way without using google? The packed schedule limits the opportunity for injured players or players on National duty to represent their states in one day cricket, without some of the big name players, its hard to get excited about it. Lack of tv exposure hurts the chance to learn about future stars and see their development.

The big bash competition is too long – currently 6 weeks

Not enough Shield games before Test Series starts – only 1 this season

The gap between Shield Cricket over Christmas is too long – December 9th to February 1st

Solutions – Sheffield Shield starts October 4th,  games would be scheduled so that they run for 4 days Tuesday to Friday, players get a rest day and then play a One Day game against the same team on the Sunday, televise the best game of the round and pump it up. Nobody cares about the AFL preseason competition, but when you put on a big game in the middle of the season, everybody takes notice.

3 Shield  and One day games played before the First test of the Summer in first week of November, let’s find out who is and isn’t in form before we get 2 Tests into a series and wonder what is going on?

6 Shield  and one day games played before December 18, this gives 13 weeks to play the games and allowing the Big Bash window to open.

Big Bash for as successful at generating money as it is, I feel it takes up too much time on the calendar and by the time the final comes around it feels like the tournament is dragging a bit. Sometimes less is more and I feel by shortening the competition that it would create even more interest in it, bigger crowds and TV audience due to the “watch now or miss out” factor, much the same as the NFL in America – 32 teams only play 16 games in a season and the fans can’t get enough.

Shield games recommence by mid January with 4 rounds to play with the Finals to be played for both the One Day Competition and Sheffield Shield to be completed in early March.

This gives plenty of games before the test series, a look at the one day specialists at regular intervals before the Big Bash and One Day Internationals commence and a chance for any injured or international players to play in all 3 formats if good enough.

 

2nd XI Cricket

Problem – Currently there are age restrictions in 2nd xi state cricket, only 6 players per team are allowed to be over the age of 24 – some of the best cricketers are being lost to the game too early,  thus handing out games to undeserving players.

Solution – No age restriction  on players, pick the best team that is available form the players left over from the state team, if a young kid misses an opportunity… well bad luck, make more runs and take more wickets, reward performance, not a birth certificate.

 

Games Against Touring Nations

Problem – The bulk of practice games played against touring nations are against state second XI’s or against a squad called “Cricket Australia XI” this is a squad of junior players who have potential but haven’t been good enough to be picked in the current round of state games…. what message does this send? You’re not good enough to play for your state yet, but how about you go see if you can stand up against South Africa and show us what you can do?

Solution – Touring countries play against Australia A or full strength State teams, not Cricket Australia XI or a mix of state second and third XI’s- this also gives us more of an indication of which players can stand up at international level without having to use a test match as a guessing game. This would also help the public get exposure to see who are the next group of International players are and help create more interest in the game, playing for Australia A would be something to strive for and a reward for strong performance, as opposed to some 19 year old being given a Cricket Australia game because he has potential to play for his state in the next few years.

By giving this added incentive to players I believe it would help in development but also showing cricketers that by performing you will be rewarded and given a platform to represent your country it would lead to better results.

 

Earlier today I mentioned the squad I would pick for the next test and I’d keep this squad barring injury or until someone from Shield cricket was performing to the level where they demanded a spot and one was available due to injury or poor form. Here it is again:

  1. D.Warner – Automatic selection
  2.  U.Khawaja – Automatic selection
  3. S.Smith (C) – Automatic selection
  4. K.Patterson – 222 runs @ 55.5 this summer, good temperament and at 23 has already played 32 first class games, not smashing the door down but worth the gamble in my eyes
  5. J.Lehmann – 18 first class games 1322 runs @48.96 including previous winter playing county cricket, 24 years old and has impressed me with ability to build an innings and score to all parts of the ground, and scores 100’s ( 5 already)
  6. T.Head – almost went with Nic Maddinson here, but i feel he plays a bit too loose currently for test cricket, Head reminds me of Steve Waugh, took a long time to reach potential, but was worth the investment, Head is the current SA captain and has shown flashes of brilliance, i’d take the chance that he will become more consistent as the competition gets hotter
  7. P.Handscombe (wk) – has kept well for Victoria when required and is arguably the most deserving batsman outside of the automatic selections 258 runs @ 86 in Shield, I’d bat him at 7 to add depth to the batting bat also allow him enough rest from keeping – arguably good enough to bat at 4
  8. M.Starc – Automatic selection
  9. P.Siddle – You know what you get from Siddle, does the hard yards and creates pressure for others to capitalize on, would love to have Pat Cummins here but his body hasn’t shown it’s strong enought o stay injury free for any length of time
  10. J.Hazlewood – Automatic selection
  11. N.Lyon – Currently out of form but has enough credits to continue and there is no other spinner  consistently producing big performances, on notice though

12th A.Agar – If he continues to produce results like his last match with a 10 wicket haul, Agar could be a very valuable addition to the line up, currently bats at 5 for WA, it’s his bowling that will win him a place in the line up and would allow Handscombe to bat at 6 and play an extra pace bowler. He is missing the current round of Shiled cricket due to a calf injury and has had injury problems in his young career

 

Happy to discuss your thoughts and opinions, i’m sure we all want the same thing to see Australian cricket return to it’s previous glories, what would you do? Do you agree, disagree? Let me know!

 

 

 

 

Melbourne Marathon 2015

Firstly a warning – this post contains disturbing content about public toilets, if you’re easily grossed out then it’s probably best not to read on… In saying that I absolutely loved the Melbourne Marathon, it’s my favorite race and i’ll continue to do it each year while my body lets me. I really want to become a Melbourne Marathon Spartan – you need to have completed 10 to reach “spartan status” and after this year i’m now at 6. How did this year go? Read on and you’ll find out.

I had 3 goals for this race, to not get injured, to finish and to be able to run the whole way. It had been since 2013 since I’d been able to run the whole way at a marathon, so time to let go of the PB chasing and get back to basics.

image6 – The calm before the storm

The day before the big race I was able to catch up with Paul Adams who is a great friend from twitter along with his friends Andrea and Karen whom I hadn’t met face to face before. We sat down and had a great feed in Lygon Street and shared lots of laughs as well as swapping stories of other events and how our training had gone. It was brilliant to sit down and have a catch up and really got the excitement going for the next day. Conditions were tipped to be perfect – about 12 degrees, overcast with a slight cool wind. I just wanted to gt to the start line and experience the atmosphere of the event and see my favorite course again!

I had a good sleep and woke up feeling ready to go. Breakfast was a tin of rice cream ( I used to eat this about 3 hours before a game of AFL when I played at Finley, i’m not a huge fan of the taste but it gives me all the energy I need and i’ve never had an upset stomach from it) and sips of a new sports drink i’ve been using called tailwind which i’m also enjoying. As we drove into the MCG the excitement was building. The car was parked and the goosebumps had arrived. It was just before 6am and 1000s of people were already there buzzing around. With nerves building we decided it would be best to make the walk across to the start line and use the portaloo trucks as there were several there which would of meant minimal waiting time and they were along the Yarra River so I could jump straight into a warm up jog without much fuss.

image5 – Hmmmm breakfast

As I approached the portaloo trucks, I saw that 3 of them had no line and the other about 15 people lined up, here I am thinking YES! no line for me!! I walked up and a burly person in hi vis informed me the toilets had yet to be hooked up to any water and couldn’t be used… I accepted this but walked away thinking WHAT THE HELL MAN, THERE’S GOING TO BE CLOSE TO 30,000 WANTING TO USE THIS THING IN THE NEXT FEW HOURS AND YOU’VE GOT NO WATER, LOOK AT THE YARRA RIVER, IT’S FLOATING WITH…. urgh never mind…. anyway I was glad I found out now and not in 20 minutes time. Eventually it was my turn to go, the burly man had the misfortune to tell all the other runners about the no water situation and he was copping some unpleasantness… I’m a pretty resilient person and an experienced user of public toilets when it comes to athletic events who has experienced all kinds of smells and what not – BUT nothing and I mean nothing prepared me for this (apologies in advance)… have you ever gone to use a toilet straight after someone has taken a dump and forgotten to flush? Having played team sports for nearly 15 years it’s happened to me and it’s disgusting… well imagine having to use a toilet that can’t flush and approximately 10 people have already used this toilet and have effectively built a big brown turd castle smattered with used toilet paper, the bowl was about 3/4 full and is easily the most toxic,disgusting thing i’ve had the misfortune of smelling. I quickly found out this wasn’t isolated to the cubicle I was using as the comments from other users in the other cubicles were quite disturbing as well. I finished up, came down the stairs and the line for this one truck was now back at least 40-50m. I’m not sure if or when the water was set up or what caused the delay, but i’m sure the people responsible were given plenty of constructive feedback.

I quickly filled in Nick and Norah in on my adventures and they weren’t sure whether to laugh or cry, I decided to go on my warm up alongside the Yarra River knowing there was a public toilet about a km further up towards the train station that would actually have water as I’d probably need to go again and no way was I lining up again at the trucks. I jogged off and the legs felt good as i was trying to clear my mind of the filth earlier… I got to the toilet and lined up behind 3 others for a couple of minutes… we waited and eventually the door opened and out popped a man and a woman who looked like they hadn’t slept, they seemed very startled and the woman hurried off while the man – a slender african gentleman hung around for a chat….

Him – “you guys running the marathon today”

Us – “yep”

Him – “Back in Africa we used to have to outrun the lions, I could run 100m in 11.6 seconds”

Us – ……..

Him – “Good luck today mon, you have a good run”

Us – “thanks mate”

For a few minutes I totally forgot what the hell I was even in Melbourne for and was in shock thinking… what the hell is going on, is the apocalypse coming or something? I did what I needed to do and jogged back towards the start line. I was hoping to find Paul to run with him but with the 1000s of people around and time running out, I joined the start line which was buzzing, the weird start to the day began to fade.

The national anthem was played, the countdown begun and then BANG… we were off! I felt good and settled into a good rhythm early. The weather was as good as predicted, overcast and about 12 degrees, there was a slight breeze which was going to mean a nice little tailwind for about 7kms coming back up Beach Road on the way back to St Kilda. I was able to spot some familiar faces on course and got some cheers as well from a couple of the guys that I used to play footy with at Finley which was a huge boost for me, not only because it’s nice to have someone yell encouragement for you, but I was really happy to see them doing so well – thanks Evo and Jules, it meant a lot!

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The race was a bit of a blur really, I stuck to my game plan well and was able to negotiate the tricky sections where the race merged with the half marathon well, The last 12km at Melbourne are the toughest on the course but the most enjoyable, the crowd support is fantastic as well as the encouragement from the volunteers. The one thing that excites all the participants and one of the main reasons why Melbourne is Australia’s biggest Marathon is the finishing lap inside the MCG. Nothing compares to this for me and it never fails to disapoint, as I entered the stadium it felt like a roar as the announcer was calling names of finishers and the crowd noise was being pumped through the stadium speakers, I looked up at the giant scoreboard and could see myself running, I was pushing hard but started giggling for some unknown reason, I crossed the finish line in a time of 3:14:47 and had managed to run the whole way. I was stoked and hung around the finish shute for a good 5-10 minutes to soak up the noise and achievement. My legs also took this time to relax and turn to concrete so movement became pretty ordinary. I waddled over to collect my finishers medal and begun the search for familiar faces. By luck I bumped into Paul again and we swapped stories of how the day had gone, Paul ran a massive PB which was an amazing achievement given the obstacles he has faced during the year, the smile on his face was amazing and so richly deserved! we picked up our show bags and then had the good fortune to meet another couple of twitter mates in Sal Morrison and Bill who are both lovely people and very talented athletes in their own right. Bill (who is 78) won the 10km for his age group and running his farewell race had been accompanied by Sal for the run as she was in the first stages of her running comeback from a stress fracture in her leg. We swapped stories and had a few laughs including Sal acting as bodyguard for Bill and stopping him from getting into fisticuffs after he got cut off by a rude runner! After posing for some happy snaps it was time to leave and make the long journey home.

image1 Paul, Myself, Bill and Sal

It was a memorable weekend filled with highlights (and some shitty ones too haha) I’ll be back for the 2016 version, hopefully so too will be all the familiar faces.

image7 – Celebration time!

 

Have you had any strange race experiences?

What is your favorite event?

Surf Coast Century 100km Trail Race Review by Grant & Chris

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Surf Coast Century 2015: Grant Hicks

Intro/Training:
On the 7th of April this year I posted some pics on my Facebook page of a brilliant 10kmish run that I had done on the cliff tops around Anglesea while there on family camp. Stunning views and a challenging variety of terrain. A friend commented on the photos and asked if I was up there scouting the trails for this thing called “Surf Coast Century”. I looked into it and decided I would love to have a go at my first ultramarathon and set my sights on this event. It’s amazing how a simple comment can inspire you and light a burning curiosity.
A week later I asked Parkrun mate Chris if he would be interested in splitting the 100km with me. I knew he was a keen runner, having followed him around at Parkrun every week for 12 months, and I would be able to pick his brain and learn a lot about training and nutrition. We had also been at Two Bays together earlier in the year. Within 2 days “Burning Sensation” was born, entered in Surf Coast Century and our accommodation was booked! The commitment was in writing.
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Pre-race:
I had made myself unavailable to work on the Friday and took my time getting to Anglesea from Mooroopna. Arriving at the caravan park mid-afternoon, I laid all of my race day gear out on the bed and did a double check that I had all the right gear and hadn’t forgotten anything. I knew that Chris and Norah wouldn’t be arriving until 8pm or so and took the chance to register, walk along the beach for a while and even have an hour of sleep.
Once the other guys had arrived it was like the calm before the storm. I had been a bundle of nervous energy earlier in the day, but now that the time had come and we were all here ready to race I was really content with the way we had prepared. Surprisingly, I managed a fairly solid 6 hours of sleep and woke up about 4:20am. Hooked into a few bits of toast and a cup of coffee, kitted up, plus a few layers, and started walking with Chris and Norah to the start line.

 

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Race start:

The start at sunrise was quite cool and I decided to run at least the first few kms with my arm warmers on. We settled into a nice pace for the first kilometer or so until the crowd converged on a long rock/cliff face crossing. I remember seeing one bloke turn an ankle and become an early DNF candidate and hoping the same didn’t happen to me or Chris. I was tempted to try and find my own way and go past a few people, but fought the urge. Usually I would have found this really frustrating, but it served as an effective way to take it easy early in the run.

Once we were clear of the rocks and the track opened up, I settled in to a pace of about 4:30 and ditched the arm warmers as we crossed back through the crowd at the start finish line. Absolutely stunning sunrise, those amazing red cliffs, the sound of the crashing waves and the most amazing adventure lay ahead. The only time in that first 21km that I felt slow and tentative was when we had to negotiate the rock pools and lower cliff faces. I really didn’t want to be that bloke who couldn’t complete their leg. So a few of the more technical and experienced trail runners would pass me in those sections and I would pick them up again on the flat sand.

 

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Check point 1: Point Addis, 10km

I was in a nice groove by this point and up and over Point Addis quite quickly. The sand changed consistency and became quite course and deep along Bells Beach, but I was still feeling quite fresh and strong. Even managed to run up the stairs at the Bells Beach exit, skipping my first planned walk. Although the glare coming up off the water from the rising sun was tough to deal with at times, the rocks scared me a bit and there were some unexpected knee deep water crossings, this was a really enjoyable first 21km.

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Check point 2: Point Danger Torquay, 21km

Still feeling fresh and moving well, I didn’t want to linger at the check point for too long. I re stocked my gels, filled the water supply and kept running. The plan was to change my socks and get the feet dried off, but I didn’t feel like sitting down, and given that there was no more water crossing to do, my feet would dry out quickly while I was running.

The next 6km section was quite fun and had me thinking of hitting these trails on the MTB with my brother Adrian and bro in-law Daz. Obviously a mountain bike track, the corners were burmed and there were jumps, puddles and log crossing to negotiate. I had a fall and commando roll in this section and came up unscathed. The extra adrenaline immediately afterwards was a welcome boost. It was during this time that I ran with a bloke by the name of Michael who was doing the 100km. We ran at a good pace and chatted every now and then, but I think we both just really appreciated having someone there to run with. Michael ended the day as the 3rd placed male for the 100km!

27 to 30km seemed to take an eternity, and I was surprised to feel so ordinary this early in the run. After all, I had run 30km plus half a dozen times in training for this event. But the sand, rock hopping, climbing and stairs had made this 30km much tougher than any of those runs. I started to get some minor cramping in one of my quads and was thinking things like “Have a walk at 30km” and “Shit. If I feel this bad now, I’m in for a long painful day”. I reckon I walked about 500 meters just before the 30km mark and roughly the same just after, and I started to feel much better and ran much more freely after the rest.

 

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Check point 3: Ironbark Basin Picnic area, 32km

Through the check point I grabbed a banana and what turned out to be an inadequate amount of water. I was running more comfortably now, albeit at a slower pace, and resigned to walking on any really steep uphill sections, which was a keeping the cramps to a minimum for the time being. That banana served me well for about 7km too. Devouring it just a small mouthful at a time while running and sipping my water to help wash it down.

Around 42km to 45km the cramps in my quads were becoming more frequent and were in both legs now. Not so bad that I had to stop, but certainly slowed to a brisk, painful walk at times. For some reason I was banking on there being some water available along this stretch and the Camelback was bone dry at the 42km mark. A real blunder in my planning and a lesson learned for next time. I was feeling like I could keep going, and buoyed by the fact that I was now running further than I ever had before, but hoping the cramps and the thirst didn’t get any stronger.

Just before I reached the Eumeralla Scout Camp at the 47km mark, a marshal on a mountain bike was riding towards me and asked if I was ok. He rode with me for a short time and I told him I was out of water and copping some cramps. I’d read the rule book pre-race and understood that I was not to receive any “Outside assistance”, but when he offered me some of his water I jumped at the chance to hydrate a little. Those few big mouthfuls of water got me going again and I didn’t cramp at all after that. I love that little Mountain Bike Angel.

With my GPS telling me that I was still nearly 3km from check point four and the end of my run, I was relieved to come out of the bush and recognise the track along the back of the caravan park. I had run along here a few times previously and had been visualising that moment at times in training. I reckon I even said out loud “You didn’t see yourself walking here”. And I didn’t walk. I ran. The gentle downhill for that km or so certainly helped.

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Check point 4: Anglesea Riverbank Start/finish, 49km
Running into the transition and seeing Chris’ fresh, smiling face, knowing that I had pushed my body beyond anything I’d done before was unbelievably satisfying. The team aspect of this event had been a real driving force during training and that extra little incentive to push a little harder during the run itself. After 49km and four and a half hours, I was done! So, with a high ten, a quick hug and a slap on the bum, Chris was on his way and Burning Sensation passed the half-way point.

 

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Post-Race:
It was great to have Norah there to lean on and a super redshirt volunteer there making sure I was eating and drinking instead of falling in a heap. I’m sure I was in a bit of a daze for 15 minutes or so. ROSEMARY AND GARLIC CHAT POTATOES! I remember walking through the transition area at about 6am, before the run, and thinking “As if I’m gonna feel like eating that later on”. But a half a dozen of those beautiful little roast spuds didn’t stand a chance. About a litre of water and little tin of Red Bull went down easy to. I didn’t feel as though I wanted to completely stop moving just yet, so Norah and I walked to a BBQ area about 500m up stream and sat there. I rugged up and we just sat quietly for a bit, soaking up what I had just done and what was still going on around me.
Over to Chris…

Thanks mate, great report and a bloody brilliant effort! Seeing Grant come in and being able to live track him around the course was amazing and had me chomping at the bit to get out there. I was wary of burning that adrenaline too early as i’d suffered the pain of the body shutting down a couple of times this year at Two Bays and Gold Coast Marathon. I’d always wanted to have a go at a trail ultra but had kept on putting it off for one reason or another, when Grant asked me if I’d be interested I jumped at the chance as it was the can’t back out type of commitment I needed to make to actually getting it done. Preparation hadn’t been ideal really in a sense that i’d really only averaged between 45-60kms a week over the previous 8-10 weeks but was hoping the experience from previous road marathons would help get through any tough times, the biggest motivator though and what really helped on the day was knowing Grant had pushed himself to the limit out there and gave his all and there was absolutely no way I was letting one of my best mates down when he had given so much.

Race Start Chris –  50km to 70km check point Distillery Creek Picnic Ground

50kms to go…

Almost to the second that Grant had aimed for, he arrived at 11am into the check point to tag me in, because of his great work I was able to get all my nutrition and nervous toilet visits timing down perfect and I couldn’t wait to get started, my biggest fear going in was that if I had to run alone I would take a wrong turn and get lost, but fortunately I was in contact or view of runners almost from the start. Within the first km came my first challenge… crawling on hands and knees on concrete under a foot bridge as we weren’t allowed to cross the road with traffic on it, once that was done it was off into the bush and time to tackle some hills… real hills… here is the elevation  map to see for yourself…

 

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After the first 5km I was fortunate to meet Tim Kacprzak who was running the 100km and ended up in 4th place, he’d previously finished top 5 the week before in the spartan beast marathon and had already competed in various ultra marathons and endurance events during the year, he was amazing to talk to and helped keep my mind away distracted from what lay ahead, we kept a relaxed tempo, able to chat but work together and make sure we stayed on course. Tim saved me from making 2 wrong turns during this time while I was off with the pixies taking in the view and chatting away.

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The hills over the first 20km were challenging, they weren’t as steep as two bays, just long and grinding, it was important that I didn’t burn too much energy early on amd thankfully Tim helped pace me here as I had an urge to push a bit harder, I was having a great time out there on course and enjoying the challenge. 20kms in and I was feeling really good. We got to the checkpoint and I remember seeing about 20 people, some lollies, drinks and sandwiches and all I could think of was… how good does that food look, how much of it should I take…. and then the brain checked out, I grabbed a cup of water and tipped it on my head and was off again with Tim… I was in shock I had just passed up all that glorious sugar but it was only 7kms more to the next checkpoint where they had a pop up kitchen and more drinks.

70km to 77kms Checkpoint 6 Moggs Creek Picnic Area

30kms to go…..

We had settled back into a good rhythm and still feeling reasonable, I was concentrating hard on the terrain as there were a lot of twists and turns as well as little tree roots and rocks that meant you couldn’t really run straight lines and be careless, it was careful steps and eyes zipping back and forth between the track that lay ahead and beneath the feet. A runner had come up behind us with about 4kms left to the check point and I did the right thing by moving over to allow him to pass, as he went past I turned to say “great running mate” that couple of seconds was enough for me to trip on a tree root and smack my knee onto the top corner of a rock and nearly crashed into the back of Tim… thankfully there was no major damage, I didn’t skittle anyone, and was able to continue on, my knee went numb after about 5 minutes so didn’t have to put up with the pain for long at all. As the checkpoint drew closer we had put a bit of a game plan for the last 23kms. We came into the checkpoint and my brain checked out again……

77kms to 86kms Checkpoint 7 Aireys Inlet Skate Park

23kms to go

At the checkpoint the plan was to refill our camel backs, I was going to grab some jelly snakes and needed to empty my bladder… I filled my camelback, looked for Tim, I couldn’t see him and walked around like a lost child at the toy store looking for his mum, somehow we had gone to different aid stations to fill our drinks and with all the people around we were a bit disorientated and lost each other… i grabbed a couple of lollies, had a quick toilet stop and back out to tackle the final 23km.

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I made the decision to run very conservatively, If i was running solo I needed my brain in gear to stop me from taking any wrong turns or falling again, the course was well marked but i’d already shown that I was capable of stuffing up – conservation mode it was. The views on course were stunning, Surf Coast was one of the few races i’ve really been able to appreciate and be blown away by the beauty of the views, it’s worth the trip just to run here and get a look, it really is stunning. The hills were still coming, not as steep as earlier but I was at the stage where I needed to jog/walk the inclines. I wasn’t really able to run with anyone over this part but was overtaken by a handful of other athletes who were in different categories of event. I was really looking forward to getting to the next checkpoint as I thought it had more drinks and sugar, before that though I had another crawl under a bridge and kept plodding along. I was starting to tire and my pace on the flat had dropped away to just over 6:00 per km, my legs felt like concrete and feet were really sore…. but yeah they don’t hand out finishers medals for quitters and there was no chance in hell I was letting Grant down.

 

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86kms to 100kms – Finish Line at Anglesea

 

14kms to go

There were 2 big surprises at the 86km checkpoint, the first sucked and that was there was no visible aid station… there may have been one but I couldn’t see it and i wasn’t hanging around to find it (turns out there wasn’t one there, just timing mats and a cafe, I had no cash so stopping wasn’t an option) the second one was Grant and Norah had come along and were shouting encouragement and dishing out hi 5s, this was better than anything I could of gotten at an aid station and gave me a huge boost, thanks guys – it really meant a lot to me, especially Grant who was exhausted!

I knew the course was relatively flat and felt i could stick it out at a respectable pace, most of the last 10kms was on sand along the beach with the only climbing needed was that of stairs. Yes it was flat, but this ended up being the biggest challenge for me both physically and mentally. the tide was on the way in and as it washed in, what looked like hard sand was in fact soft, soggy sand that was like running in wet cement, there was quite a few people enjoying the beach and I got a few weird looks as I had a few verbal outbursts as my quads and hamstrings began to protest at the abuse. I walked far more than I wanted to during this phase but had no choice, my legs couldn’t keep ticking over so regular walk breaks were necessary. Looking ahead I had no idea how far we had to go before we climbed stairs onto the firm trails again, all I could see was beach. After about 45 minutes of sand running and wave dodging, stairs presented themselves and boy oh boy did that bring a smile! Back on the firm stuff and magically the protesting from my muscles stopped, the smile returned and it was onto the final 3kms. The beach had given plenty of time for reflection…. I was proud and stoked for Grant, he ran one hell of a 50kms, kept a constant pace and toughed it out when it got hard, I still had work to do but was confident i’d finish and do it in a respectable time.

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As I came down the stairs and back onto the beach for the final km, Grant joined me and it was fantastic to see him, his words of encouragement were brilliant and he ran most of the last part with me. The finish line was in sight and while I was relieved to finally finish, I was stoked with what we had achieved – we had both run our first ultra marathon together and as a team, we made a commitment, worked hard and achieved something that currently goes down as one of my favorite moments in running.

 

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Once I finished I sat down and got my shoes off as my feet were bloody sore, Grant got me a can of coke which I made disappear in about 12 seconds, I ate some cold risotto and saw Tim on the massage table, i thanked him for his help during our run and had a bit of a stretch. Time for a happy snap which this is my favorite pic of the weekend.

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Once we had got our bearings we had a look at our results online and realised we had finished 2nd overall in the two man relay. We were over the moon at this, neither of us really cared where we had finished, but to finish on the podium was the icing on an ultra marathon sized cake. Off to celebrate with at The Captain of Aireys – Woodfired Pizza – now I realise I was a tad delerious and would of eaten anything BUT if you have the chance, go and eat at The Captain of Aireys – Woodfired Pizza, it is the best pizza i’ve eaten by a long way, fresh, crispy base, the right balance of topping and wish I wasn’t living 300+kms from there otherwise i’d eat there as often as possible.

It took a while for the adrenaline to wear off and take stock of the days events, most of it seemed like a blur at the time. It was great listening to Grant talk about his experiences of the day, It made me really happy to hear how well he had done and how he had enjoyed the day and get a sense of how proud he was of himself and our efforts, pretty sure neither of us slept much that night due to the stinging in our legs but it was an early night all the same.

 

Next morning we headed back down to the finish line for the presentations and a stroll on the beach. Team “Burning Sensation” did indeed finish up 2nd in our category so was a bit of a thrill to jump on a podium and collect our prize!

Capture.JPG9Capture.JPG67

 

It was a nice finish to an amazing weekend, and the talk has already begun for having another go next year!

Ways You Can Save Money & 10 Things I Think I Think

Howdy and thanks for clicking the link to have a read. Firstly a disclaimer… I’m a branch manager at a bank in Australia, it doesn’t matter which one because I’m not trying to advertise them or myself, I want to share ways I know that are out there that you can save cash no matter who you bank with. I try and help my customers as much as I can with these where I can, and I’m sure there are many others out there who will also help. If they won’t or you’d like me to help you further, then I’m more than happy to. Ask me and we will sort out a way to get in touch.

Secondly, I’m not a financial adviser so please don’t take what I say as the absolute gospel or an iron clad promise that this is exactly what you will save. Everyone has a different situation, these are just situations I have observed take place over the last 7 years while I have worked at 2 different financial organisations.

So without further ado here are my tips to try and help save some extra money

DSC_0213 – Saving for that holiday?

*Examples given are just a guide only

1. Make a budget and write down your goals for your money. This one takes a little bit of effort but it’s well worth it. Track your spending over 1 month, write down everything you spend money on into 2 columns:

Income – $750 weekly = $3000 (figures are examples only)

Necessary items – Bills (gas, phone, electricity, water etc…) $975, Food $600, car repairs $350, petrol $175, = $2100

Money I wasted – Getting drunk $200, Impulse shopping items $250, Gym membership I didn’t use $160, Gambling – $100 = $710

Goal – Save $5000 to have 2 week holiday

Salary $3000 – Expenses $2100 – $710 Crap = $190 surplus means it would take just over 26 months to save $5000.

If you could cut your wasted money by 50% in this case you’d have $190 + $355 = $545 and only need to save for 9 months.

 

2. Ask your bank for a cheaper interest rate on your mortgage. Unless you’re on an amazing package already, there is a good chance that you will be able to get your rate reduced a little, it doesn’t hurt to ask, and if you’re unhappy with the customer service you receive, then consider refinancing to another institution.

Examples – minimum payments made monthly

$250,000 over 30 years @ 5.00% payments made monthly- interest paid = $233,133
$250,000 over 30 years @ 4.90% payments made monthly – interest paid = $227,648
$250,000 over 30 years @ 4.80% payments made monthly – interest paid = $222,193

 

3. Biggest saving… Pay extra on your mortgage! The biggest savings you can make with your mortgage however is paying weekly or fortnightly and paying a bit extra.

Examples – weekly payments made

$250,000 over 30 years @ 5.00% payments made weekly ($1342/4 weeks=$335) = interest paid = $190,375 saving $42,758 and 4 years 9 months on your mortgage
$250,000 over 30 years @ 5.00% payments weekly + $10 a week more $345 = interest paid = $178,110 saving $55,023 and 6 years 2 months on your mortgage
$250,000 over 30 years @ 5.00% payments weekly + $20 a week more $355 = interest paid = $167,429 saving $65,704 and 7 years 5 months on your mortgage

So yes having a cheaper rate can help save you a few thousand, but really it’s up to you and how/what you pay that the massive savings are made!!

DSC_0257 – New pool for home?

 

4. Don’t have a mortgage, that’s no worries. Open a interest earning savings account.

When you open a savings account, quite often you will start off on the introductory rate for the first 3 or 4 months, then it will fall back to the standard rate. Once the rate comes off, go back and see the bank and ask them to put the rate back up to the introductory one, more often than not they will do this for you or will put it up as high as they can to look after the customers….. the hardest thing you need to do is set a reminder in your phone for when it expires, then line up at the bank and ask. Even if you don’t get the rate put up, setting up a savings account and putting away $10 a week leaves you with $520 over the year, start in January and i’ll bet that $520 comes in handy at Christmas.

Examples
Interest earned on $10,000 at 2.75% (introductory rate) in a month = $22.92
Interest earned on $10,000 at 2.00% (standard rate) in a month = $16.67

A difference of $6.25 a month. Over a year if you keep this up and keep collecting compound interest you’re looking at earning an extra $85+

 

5. Pay extra off your credit card. (and stop using it) Got credit cards? Just paying the minimum? Check the bottom of your statement. Most companies only charge you 2.5% of your credit card balance each month which is only just enough to meet the interest you’re charged. On your statement at the bottom, it will show you how long it will take you to pay if you stick to the minimum, and it will also show how much you need to pay to knock it over in 2 years.

If you max your card out and pay the minimum I have seen statements that calculate it will take you upwards of 50+ years to pay that debt out. Most card interest rates float between 12% and 23%. The rate doesn’t help, but it’s not the killer, it’s what you pay back (and how much you’re purchasing)

 

6. Too many debts? Look at a debt consolidation personal loan to help get control back and free up some extra money each month.

Example

Credit Card – owing $4000 payments $100 a month
Credit Card – owing $5500 payments $137 a month
Car Loan – owing $18,000 payments $355 a month
Personal loan for holiday owing $3500 payments $165 a month
Outstanding balances = $31,000 Total payments = $757 a month
$31,000 loan over 5 years @ 13.95% = $720 a month

If you are fortunate enough to have enough equity in your home, perhaps you could look at doing a small side mortgage loan against your home. The interest rate and payments will be much cheaper.

Example
$31,000 loan over 5 years a 5.00% = $585 a month = $172 less in payments per month.

Other little things you can try are….
* Ask the bank for a refund on your annual credit card fee, might be anywhere between $50 to $100 a year
* Set up a direct debit into your savings account, that way it’s done and you don’t have to think about it.
* Pay your bills/loans by direct debit and have the debits come out the day you get paid, then you know what is left is yours.
* Put the coins you receive as change in a money box at home, count it when it’s full, you’d be surprised what’s in there!
* Always haggle on price when you buy an item or have tradesman work completed. They will normally give you a discount if you pay cash as well.

The big thing here with most of this is…. If you don’t ask, you won’t get. You lose nothing by asking, and to be fair, most sales people are prepared for you to ask. Smile, be polite and friendly when you ask and you’ll generally get looked after most of the time.

Most of us would love more money, that high paying dream job. However more salary at work more often than not comes with more stress and responsibility. If you can implement some of these options successfully you can make the money you earn work harder for you, instead of working harder for your money. I hope this is able to help you out in some way get you closer to realising some of your goals.

 

10 Things I Think I Think

This is a blatant rip off column idea that is used at  “The Monday Morning Quarterback” with Peter King http://mmqb.si.com/column/10-things-i-think-i-think/ which is one of my favorites. It’s an NFL website of which i’m a big fan, Go San Francisco 49ers!!!!

I find it an interesting way to learn about different random things and I find his writing entertaining, so here’s my go at it.

1. I think Basketball in Australia is about to explode in popularity again. Like the early 1990s when we had NBA on free to air TV and Michael Jordan was doing his thing, we are about to go through a period when Australia will have close to 10 players playing in the best basketball league in the world. Currently we have 7 with Andrew Bogut (2015 NBA Champions Golden State Warriors) Patty Mills (San Antonio Spurs) Aron Baynes (Detroit Pistons) Dante Exum and Joe Ingles (Utah Jazz) Matthew Dellavedova (Cleveland Cavaliers) and Cameron Bairstow (Chicago Bulls). In 2016 Ben Simmons from Melbourne is tipped to be the number 1 pick in the NBA draft and Thon Maker a Sudanese teenager who has spent most of his life in Australia tipped to be a top 10 draft pick in 2017.

2. I think my favorite athlete right now is UFC women’s bantamweight world champion Ronda Rousey. To me she is a breath of fresh air and the most dominant athlete on the planet. I love her straight shooting attitude and the way she pursues her goals, not sure who she is, go to YouTube and search, she’s phenomenal! Her last 4 bouts have lasted a combined 2 minutes and 34 seconds, she has beaten 4 women in the time it takes to make my porridge for breakfast.

3. I think a close second to my favorite athlete is J.J Watt, a defensive end from the Houston Texans in the NFL. His shear work ethic makes him amazing on the field, his humility and charity work off the field equally so. A terrific role model for people, not just athletes.

4. I think what Brock Lesnar brings to WWE is worth every single dollar he earns and then some. He truly is one of a kind and puts on a show you won’t get anywhere else. Yes wrestling is scripted, the athleticism and theater is real though, and when Brock competes it is must watch for all wrestling fans. When he wrestles it blurs the lines between scripted and real, no one else does what he does in the world of WWE.

5. I think what WWE NXT offers is worth the $9.99 a month alone for the WWE network. The wrestling aspect I think is top quality, even to the point that I enjoy the skill level of the women’s wrestling as much as the men. It’s got that intimate/passionate indy show atmosphere with the million dollar WWE production. Outside of when Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are on TV, this is my other compulsory weekly viewing.

6. I think the AFL is less entertaining at the moment than it has been in previous years. To me it feels more congested and the players take less risks. I’m not saying the standard is any less, just that I find it harder to sit and watch most games.

7. I think I’m excited to see what Ben Simmons does in his one and only year of college basketball at LSU before he is drafted into the NBA in 2016. The consensus number 1 ranked high school basketballer in the USA for 2015 has huge wraps on him, 6ft10 and is the new prototype player, capable of playing all spots on the floor and is described as a point forward, a mature kid with seemingly limitless potential, he has potential superstar written all over him, brace yourself for the ride, this could be amazing!

8. I think parkrun is the best thing to happen to health and fitness in recent memory, over 120 places alone in Australia where you can come down on a Saturday morning and run 5km for free with anywhere between 50-350 people from the community for fun. I love it!

9. I think I really enjoy doing yoga and wish I’d started it years ago. I have a fantastic teacher and I find it great for my stress levels, also it helps the flexibility which is a plus.

10. I think I can’t wait for the NFL season to start, I’m not expecting big things for my 49ers, but I just love watching the sport. The action is covered really well and in a way that whether you’re new to the sport of a lifetime watcher it’s good viewing. The physicality and skill I find the most impressive, but the crowd noise is what blows me away the most. 12th man at Seattle anyone?

Highlights from last season, 6 minute clip, check it out and feel the hype!

 

Thanks for reading and I hope in someway I’ve been able to help out, even if it was just the 15 minutes it took to read this and gave you something else to do for a while ha ha.

 

Have you got ways that you save money that work well?

What are you enjoying at the moment?

Parkrun – It’s Free!!!

 

Hi Everybody,

Hi Dr Nick…… wait no that’s The Simpsons….. sorry.

It’s been a while since I’ve sat at the keyboard, but today I wanted to tell you about Parkrun and why I enjoy it.

Parkrun

What is Parkrun?

Parkrun is a FREE, weekly, 5km timed runs around the world. They are open to everyone, FREE, and are safe and easy to take part in. Did I mention it’s FREE?

The events take place in parkland surroundings and they encourage people of every ability to take part; from those taking their first steps in running to Olympians; from juniors to those with more experience. Basically if you have a pulse you are welcome at Parkrun! This also includes your dog or cat or duck or any other animal you wish to walk or run with.

Using the http://www.parkrun.com.au/ page, select the event you are most interested in and review all the information about the course, local news items, the photo gallery and information about volunteering. Also, take a look at the extensive results page where you will find all of  the information about your past performances and personal bests.

How Do I Register?

Click on this link and complete the details………..       http://www.parkrun.com.au/register/form/

Print up your bar-code, laminate it if you like, then bring it each time you do Parkrun. A friendly volunteer will scan your bar-code once you finish, then later that day you receive a FREE e-mail detailing your results. Once you’re in the e-mail, you can click on your name and view all your previous Parkrun results.

Where is Parkrun in Australia?

parkrun map

VIC – Albert Park, Balyang Sanctuary, Berwick Springs, Diamond Creek, Frog Hollow, Highlands, Inverloch, Lillydale Lake, Maribyrnong, Mornington Peninsula, Pakenham, Point Cook, Shepparton, Toolern Creek, Westerfolds.

NSW – Albury/Wodonga, Armidale, Blackbutt, Blue Gum Hills, Bowral, Campbelltown, Cooks River, Curl Curl, Fingal Bay, Kingscliff, Lake Macquarie, Lakeview, Lawson, Maitland, Menai, Merimbula, Mosman, Mt Penang, Newcastle, Parramatta, Penrith Lakes, Sandon Point, Shellharbour, Singleton, St Peters, Stockton, Tamworth, The Beaches.

ACT – Ginnindera, Gunghalin, Tuggeranong

NT – Darwin

QLD – Augustine Heights, Berrinba, Brightwater, Broadbeach Waters, Bunyaville, Cairns, Calamvale, Capalaba, Cleveland, Coomera, Gatton, Gladstone, Golden Beach, Hervey Bay, Ipswich, Kawana, Kirra, Logan Beach, Main Beach, Minnippi, Mitchelton, Mudgeeraba, New Farm, Noosa, North Lakes, North Shore, Pittsworth, Riverway, Rocks Riverside, Roma, Sandgate, South Bank, Stanthorpe, Stones Corner, Tamborine Mountain, Toowoomba, Varsity Lakes, Warwick, Wishart, Wynnum, Yarrabilba.

SA -Mount Barker, Mount Gambier, Murray Bridge, Torrens, Victor Harbour

TAS – Hobart, Launceston

WA – Aveley, Bibra Lake, Bunbury, Canning River, Carine Glades, Claisebrook Cove, Dawesville, Geographe Bay, Heirisson island, Kalgoorlie-Boulder, Lake Joondalup, Manjimup, Mt Clarence, Pioneer, Rockingham.

These are all the events listed on the website, with new events popping up all the time. Sorry if I have missed anybody.IMG_0708

Where do I run?IMG_3052I’m a frequent visitor of the Shepparton Parkrun in Victoria as it’s only 30 minutes travel from where I live. The event starts at 8am every Saturday rain, hail shine or frost and we typically have 70-80 runners and 5-6 volunteers, some of which run and then complete their volunteer duties which is a great effort!!! Without the brilliant volunteers, there would be no Parkrun. We have a flat, fast course to run, located in the middle of Shepparton around the lake. The course is run on a mixture of asphalt paths, concrete paths and crushed sand. It’s a great course for chasing PBs if you’re in to that sort of thing, overall it’s just a nice place to run.
IMG_3447
What do I like about Parkrun?The biggest thing for me is the atmosphere, it’s relaxed and friendly. There’s something about runners, they seem to be all polite and always happy to say hello. It doesn’t matter what time you run, who you are, everyone is welcome from every part of the community. I enjoy the fact that I can log onto http://www.parkrun.com.au/shepparton/results/latestresults/ and click on my name and see all my past Parkrun efforts. I can also see how my running friends have gone at other events as well which is cool to see. Not sure if I mentioned….. but Parkrun is FREE!!! I love the volunteers who get up early and help put the event on, I’ve been a bit shy/slack when it comes to volunteering but it’s something I want to do and should do as a thank you for everyone who has volunteered for me. It’s only fair to give back. The other thing I think is great about Parkrun is how everyone encourages each other, most of the runners hang around and encourage those still out on course, some run back to help others to the finish, while others clap and cheer the finishers home. My next closest Parkrun is approximately 150 kms away, so i’m very grateful I only need to travel for 30 minutes to experience this each Saturday.
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Thank you Parkrun, and a special thank you to the volunteers, as I’ve mentioned, there is no Parkrun without you!

Have you been to a Parkrun?

What is your Favorite event?

What do you enjoy most about running?

Thanks for reading,

Chris

Melbourne Marathon #5 Part 2

WOW what a day, I learned new things and had some great experiences, without any delay…. here’s how things went down.

I was pretty anxious this morning, I’m notorious for not handling the heat very well, so it’s fair to say I was kind of just hoping for the best that I wouldn’t get stuck out on course once the forecast 28 degrees came in. I had made a conscious decision all week to make sure my diet and hydration was 100%. I was happy with how that went, all I had to do now was well…. not have a great big melt down and turn into a pile of goo out on the road. As is often the case before a marathon, nature calls! so off i went to one of the many portaloos lined up before the start line. However one thing that surprised me  was none of them had lights on, and at 6am in the dark its fair to say once again I just hoped for the best. Ever tried to drop #2s in the dark? challenge yourself and see how you go…. fortunately that was the lowlight of the day out of the way early. From there I had a very gentle warm up jog then went through the boot camp stretching routine we do. I actually felt pretty good after that, that’s when my brain went… well you do have a preferred start, why not have a crack? Then my logical side came out and slapped me across the face and politely reminded me my preparation was like a hurricane… it both sucked and blowed, oh and the hot weather… yeah that… so once I finally accepted to run within my limits I set about loading in as much fluid as I could. This was all fine and dandy until 5 minutes before gun time I was busting, I looked around and there was a massive queue at the toilets so I figured i’d just use a toilet on course, as opposed to old mate who was discretely filling a bottle by the Yarra instead of using a toilet like everybody else….. I was fortunate enough to bump into Brady Threlfall who was pacing a friend for 20kms in 70 minutes, and getting a taste of the marathon atmosphere!, it was great to say hi. I then settled in and the gun went BANG!

DSC_0427Almost at the finish line

The first 3km was really uncomfortable, although it was great to see Jason Ryding who ran past and wished me luck as he set about producing a sub 3 marathon off 2 weeks training! Well done JR! I was trying to hold back but couldn’t find a rhythm… maybe because I was busting for a toilet! Finally I got there, did what I had to do and felt so much better! I had decided that at every station I would grab 2 cups of fluid, 1 of water to pour over my head and neck to keep my core body temp down, plus 1 of either sports drink or water depending on what was on offer. Once we got to about the 8km drink station there was a pleasant surprise… the sports drink on offer was Hydrolite, I love this stuff, most people drink it when they have gastro to stay hydrated, but it’s a fantastic sports drink! I made it to 12k and got a cheer from Charles Davis as we went past one another around Albert Park. From 8km to about 25kms I felt great, the heat hadn’t kicked in and I had some fantastic beach views as we ran down Beach Road. I made every effort I could to hi 5 any spectator who had a hand out, and smile at as many as I could in the hope they might offer some encouragement, it’s amazing what an adrenaline boost you can get from crowd support!!!

At around 25km my hamstrings started to spasm and by 29km I felt a bit light headed, it was here I went to the toilet again and started walking though the drink stations, taking the time to get enough fluids in, and give my body a good 10-20 seconds recovery time – it might not seem like much, but it made a huge difference, also that and that there were strangers handing out lollies and there was no chance in hell I was saying no, (kids I cant stress enough, DON’T take lollies from strangers!) so i helped myself to jelly beans and starburst snakes for the next 5kms, not only were they delicious, but they helped me feel better! By this stage I was confident my engine wasn’t going to blow, I just had to manage my hamstrings, I made an effort to shorten my stride up and get my lean on, thanks coach! I navigated the undulating Tan and began the last 4km which was flat with bits of downhill. The crowd atmosphere was mind blowing to me especially over the last 2kms. Over the last km people stood 3 and 4 deep, I could feel tears welling up in my eyes as it was overwhelming that I was about to conquer this challenge. Finally I could see the finish line, the sense of relief and excitement was great, a timely reminder as to why I wanted this so much no matter the shape I was in, not much beats a runners high and at the finish I was overdosing on it for it had been so long!

DSC_0434 All done! – And a massive cup of hydralite

I managed to run fairly even splits when you take into account the 2 toilet stops on course as well as walking through 5 drink stations all up. If you look at it from a time perspective I ran a huge personal worst of 3:27:12,

http://www.multisportaustralia.com.au/Home/IndividualResult?clientId=1&raceId=1115&eventId=1&athleteId=38367 – event results

http://connect.garmin.com/activity/610596820 – garmin data

but this one wasn’t about the clock, it was the journey and the destination, and the personal sense of achievement. I’m very proud I was able to complete the marathon today. There were times when I wish that Pheidippides had only had to run 30km to deliver that message… but then he probably wouldn’t of died and we wouldn’t know what a marathon even was. I rediscovered the reason why I make the sacrifice to train, and above all I got to experience the pure joy of running.

Overall i’ve pulled up ok, my legs are sore but not as bad as I was expecting. No fresh injuries and half way to becoming a spartan – i’d say that’s amazing day!

I learned today I can run in the heat, I just need to check my ambitions at the door and go by feel, if I listen to my body better I might be able to adapt to these things. I also learned that 10-20 seconds of walking will be caught up over the last 5-7kms because instead of laying in the gutter i was able to run it out at the same pace as I started. I also learned I need more glycogen on hot days, thank you jelly beans and starburst!

photo-1

Melbourne looked amazing today, and the crowd atmosphere followed suit, maybe it was because I took more time to soak it up, but that was something i’ll never forget. The crowd carried me at times, and for that i’ll always be greatful, so to those who clapped, cheered, rang cow bells, gave hi 5s, and handed out lollies, thank you from the bottom of my heart, you helped me turn a dream into a reality.

 

 

 

 

Melbourne Marathon #5 – Part 1

Twas 2 days before Christmas, I mean Melbourne Marathon and i’m nervous…. which isn’t unusual because I care about how I go. However this time I’m nervous about the pain i’m about to inflict on my under prepared legs and lungs. I’ve heard you’re better to be underdone and injury free as opposed to carrying niggles/injuries and 100%….. well if that’s the case i’m looking great because I’m about as underdone as a bit of blue steak.

chris melb mara topThis years kit – yellow is my favorite colour, can you tell?

So why do it if I can’t do it properly? Well mainly because I want to, 2014 has been a crap year for the most part and I want to finish this marathon as a way of salvaging back some good from it. I’ve been warned and told not to run it, that it’ll only delay getting back to 100% running fitness and potentially create fresh injuries. I’m not disputing that it might happen, I recognise this will be to my detriment but I have an all clear from my physio and it’s a challenge I want, It’s a challenge I need, and it’s a challenge I will complete. (see if I post this in a public forum then I can’t fail right? right??) My biggest run over the last 5 weeks is 19kms and that one didn’t exactly boost the confidence… a heat induced early finish as had planned 22kms. To get through this I need a plan… and a plan I do have.

So what’s the plan you say… I tongue in cheek suggested on twitter I’d start conservatively and ease back from there till I get to the finish. I have thought this through and here’s how i’m going to attack it. I will listen to my body and go at conversation pace the whole way, with walk breaks through all the drink stations, along with gels for nutrition every hour as I feel the need. There’s no pressure for time so if I feel like slowing down for a chat or some hi 5s or even lollies from generous spectators or strangers in cars (kids don’t accept lollies from strangers in cars) then I will. I have a goal that eventually I will become a Melbourne Marathon Spartan. This is awarded to anyone who can complete 10 Melbourne Marathons, and hopefully after this year I will be half way.

As you can probably tell I love the colour yellow, and matching my clothes – don’t judge me, it makes me happy and I think it looks good! I’ll be pretty easy to spot on course so if you do see me, and you’d like to, PLEASE give me a cheer. Honestly even a smile and a wave when i’m exhausted during the race is the equivalent of giving me a piggy back and carrying me for 500m, so please donate cheers generously!!!! PLEASE!!!! and i’m partial to jelly snakes as well 🙂

If I have to walk more I will, If I can run more i’ll do that too, most of all I really just want to be capable of going for a jog Monday if I feel like it (maybe that’s wishful thinking). I have much respect for the distance i’m about to embark on, I know how it can humble even the best athlete, I won’t be the fastest or even remotely close to my best, but I promise you this, I’ll be one of the most determined out there, and for those that doubt me, I thank you as it’s those doubts that will push me to the finish as fatigue takes over.

I also wanted to take this chance to wish every single person competing in all the events the best of luck and hope you have a great race, I hope you achieve the results and goals you desire and that competing on Sunday in Melbourne delivers you a fantastic experience that you’ll remember forever. I know quite a few people competing and it’s inspiring to see how hard you’ve worked to get on the start line. I can’t wait to hear your stories as your adventure unfolds on Sunday.

Regardless If I finish or fail spectacularly on Sunday I’ll publish part 2 of this on Sunday night. I hope to have an interesting story to tell, one that hopefully ends in holding a finishers medal of my own.

Thanks for reading,

Chris