Melbourne Marathon October 2017
Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 1:23PM
Isobel Ross

The last time I attempted Melbourne Marathon was in 2007. I had run 2.58 at Gold Coast in July and represented Australia in Switzerland in the Long Distance Mountain Running World Championships in September. I was pretty tired and probably shouldn’t have lined up to race. I was exhausted and running slow (or so I thought, now I would probably think it was fast!!!!) and pulled out at 15ks. That was my last attempt at a road marathon.\

The start of the race

Fast forward to 2017 (has 10 years really passed????) and I’m lining up again. No nerves this time, because I’m not going for a time! It’s a bit of a weird feeling. I’m quite far up the back self-corralled into a group according to time. The race starts and I have to walk to the start line!! So different to starting up near the front like I used to!

I needed the toilet before the race started, but figured it was probably just nerves (not that I was nervous…I think I just didn’t want to wait in the port-a-loo queue!!). However, as I ran I realized I actually did need the toilet!! So much so, that just running through the water stations made it worse! I made an executive decision and ran off the course to a block of toilets….and unfortunately so did everyone else!! 15 minutes, later I was running back to join the race. When I had exited the course I was just behind the 4 hour pacers (yes, I was planning a cruisey training run!!), but when I rejoined the race I was behind the 4.20 pacers!! As much as I didn’t really care about my time, I wanted to go sub-4, so I put the foot down and worked my way back through the crowds, a meandering journey as I dodged and weaved my way through the crowds. In fact, at the end of the race I ended up with nearly 1.5 extra kilometres from my toilet detour and subsequent run through the crowds. It took me nearly an hour to get back to where I had been before my toilet break!!

One thing I noticed weaving through the crowds was that there were many cases of inadequate personal hygiene!! How hard is it to spray on some deodorant?? Or to wash running clothes before re-wearing?? Honestly, sometimes I had to hold my breath! I mean, I understand people sweat, but this was ridiculous!! Rant over…

The Melbourne Marathon finishes on the MCG; it was great as the sun was shining and my friend Nikki had just passed me (damn, pipped at the post!) and I was trying to catch her. It was nice to have a finish hug and share stories and laughs. Running is such a fun, social sport, I’m so glad I am putting myself out there again. It’s like a circle; as I feel better mentally I put myself out there more, which makes me feel better, which makes me want to join in with life again, which makes me feel better…and so on…I’m sure you get the picture!!!

I hope you had a great weekend of running and racing yourself!

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