Throughout the course of the year, my friends back home in Adelaide have consistently been collecting kilometers, week in week out. Training for a marathon, or any running event, is no easy task. It requires consistent work and dedication. Running is often the ‘easy’ part of the training process because once you step foot on the pavement, you’re good to go. However, it’s finding time after a taxing day at work or after completing a mind-numbing university assignment that can be the difficult part. The real hard work is showing up when you least feel like it. Some days you feel fantastic and running is a breeze, but this isn’t every day. It’s inevitable that in marathon preparation there are going to be days where you don’t feel like running, but it’s often these days that become the most important days.
It has been inspiring to watch my group of friends gradually improve with their running ability and fitness capacity over the last two years. In 2017 on New Year’s Eve, I still remember sitting down with them in a Chinese restaurant to discuss running goals. At that stage, running was still new to them. Between us, we set goals to run 30-50km a week. Over the course of the last two years, we have increased our running up to 50-80km a week consistently. Running is a slow process and requires a long term vision. It has been extremely enjoyable to monitor the gradual improvement of our times and weekly mileage as target our goals. In 2019, the group of us have run events on the road in the 5km, 12km, half-marathon, marathon, and ultra-marathon. Completing a marathon or ultra-marathon would have seemed like a ludicrous idea to us at the end of 2017.
This week the group of ventured over to Melbourne to compete in the Melbourne Marathon Festival. Unfortunately, our organization was poor and not all of us were able to secure race bibs in time. This meant that only two out of the five us were going to be in the race. This ended up being a blessing in disguise as myself and Chris were sick and not in a good way to run.
In preparation for the race, we set out for a final jog around ‘The Tan’ (one of Melbourne’s most famous places to run) and made a batch of pasta big enough to feed 10.
Sam and Bernard set out for the marathon with the goal to run under 3 hours and 20 minutes. The Melbourne marathon would be Bernard’s debut marathon and the first time that Sam would push his limits to see what he was capable of.
Reports from the boys stated that the ‘pacers were terribly inconsistent’ which took them by surprise. Early in the race, the pace was hotter than expected which caught Bernard and Sam slightly off guard. After 9km in they settled in and found a rhythm through till the 30km mark. As the GOAT (Eliud Kipchoge) says, “the race doesn’t begin till 30km”. Both the boys started to notice muscle fatigue at this stage of the race. Running most of the race together, Sam made a small breakaway from Bernard at the 35km mark of the race.
Sam Millar finished in: 3.17.30
Bernard Alexander in: 3.18.36
I’m so proud of these two boys at the work they have put in to achieve their running goals.
I’ll be in Melbourne for the majority of next week for the lululemon Huddle, I’m very excited!
Catch you round,