The first race of the year brought an interesting experience: my first time running without music, the first 1.5K being uphill and what looked to be a sunny day quickly ended with a storm sweeping in an running half the race in the rain!
It isn’t common for people to dress up at races here in Australia – with the exception of the City to Surf which seems to be a sea of costumes towards the back of the pack. There’s no better way to run the race dressed in sparkles, and that’s exactly what I did! There was only one negative comment on the day, most people loved the skirt – and I did see a magician and two Sailor Moon’s on the course as well!
The final race email detailed that Sunday packet pickup was emergencies only, something that had changed. I could only pick up on the Sunday due to this being a previous option and planned my weekend around it. Plus the location was an hour and a half away! Arriving on Sunday, I had planned to park in the closest carpark possible and walk to the bus pickup. This was quite easy and I arrived with plenty of time to pick up my packet, use the real restroom (bonus!!) and check my bag. I upgraded my free t-shirt to a technical race one for $10 extra, and this was a great choice – the shirt is a nice light grey with blue writing. Very classy definitely one that I will wear in the future.
One announcement that thew many people off was that runners were not to wear headphones during the race, and were risking disqualification if seen by race officials with headphones. This would be the first long run without music. I was up for the challenge!
The beginning of the race was at Bar Beach, and with a title like Hill to Harbour (and not knowing the area) I expected this to be downhill the whole way. I WAS VERY WRONG!!
The first 1.5K was completely uphill! It definitely was a challenge and while it separated the pack right from the beginning, I found that I was unable to really get into a rhythm until almost halfway. Once over the hill the downhill was amazing, as we passed the last of the half marathon runners that were coming up the other side (that would have been crazy – up the hill down the other side turn around and then back up again!). There were some slight sprinkles in the air, which was fantastic as it started to heat up.
As the course flattened out we made our way to the sea wall break – this is right when the storm hit. There was no shelter as you ran along the wall break, it was you (and the 1500 other 10K runners) against the elements and this is where I was able to SPARKLE! I finally had found my zone and I powered through. The crowds that were plentiful only 10 mins before upon entry onto the wall had thinned out upon the end. The officials and volunteers were still smiling and handing out water as the rain bucketed down. By the 8K mark my shoes were full of water and my vision was impaired by the rain on my glasses.
There was no where else to go but to move forward, and after running on the road for 9.95K, the final stretch to the finish was the most risky due to it being on the grass.
I wasn’t aware that there was no medal for 10K participants, so the end was a little disappointing especially when dealing with the storm that had come through. Luckily I had signed on for a virtual run that I was doing at this event so a medal will be on it’s way (and definitely one to remember!).
The worst part of the race was definitely the walk back to the car, it seemed to be longer than the walk earlier that morning, thanks to the rain. I have never been so desperate to get home and have a shower as I had been then – I was cold, soggy and desperate for some respite from the rain. I was so thankful that I had a change of clothes & a towel in the car!
Due to the storm damaging some of the organiser’s equipment, the race results haven’t yet been released; I’m not sure where about I finished, from the recent communication it looks like a lot of people didn’t continue on once the bad weather hit.
I would definitely do the NewRun 10K again next year, now knowing what the race course is like (the weather, well…. that’s something no one can control!).