OK, so my blogging dropped off with my lack of marathon...
My knee issues meant I didn't put in enough training to do the full marathon, so a few weeks before the big day I dropped down to the half, and was slightly concerned about even doing that!
The day dawned warm and sunny, not ideal conditions really, especially since the half only started at 9.
For once, I was glad that I wasn't one of the good runners, because the first major mess up of the day was the lead cyclist taking the wrong route, meaning that the lead runners ran up to 3km extra. Not good! It took them days to declare the results of the female race because noone quite knew who had run what and how the finishing order related to anything. Not good when you're trying to up the profile of the race and offering big prize money!
I told my knee that it had to behave, then listened to it. After about 11km it started twinging, so I stopped and stretched and gave it a bit of a rest for a while. I didn't race, there was no zooming in on people and keeping up/overtaking. All I wanted to do was finish without rooting my knee.
So I was pleasantly surprised to finish faster than last time, despite training really hard and specifically last time. I had a piece of paper with a the Hal Higden training plan and actually stuck to it. This year I just realised I was already running far, hurt my knee and hadn't run more than 8km for 2 months. Goes to show what overall conditioning does!
The organisers attempt to separate the longer distance runners from the rabble running/jogging/walking/3-legged-racing the 12km route, so where the route is the same they partition the road with a fence. There still managed to be lots of people managing to cross over and getting in the way. It wouldn't be so bad if they were going at a decent pace. The best bit is where it splits off. I told 3 people they were in the marathon lane. The look on their face when they realised they were being split off and potentially "running a marathon" was priceless.
The other major problem was the lack of fluids. There were meant to be drink stations every 2km, with water and poweraid, and Gu packets at a few of the stops on the marathon lane. A lot of the stops just couldn't keep up, especially on the joint sections. 40,000 people is a lot for a Perth event, and a lot of the volunteers looked like they were forced to be there (think community service components of school/TAFE courses) and hence weren't really even trying to keep up.
Being at the back of the pack I saw only empty Gu packets, and not even many of those. Only 3 of the stations had Poweraide, and at one point I got so frustrated queuing up for water that I just ran on, even though I could feel the need for a drink.
Because of the heat and lack of water, there were lots of ambulances and people in a bad way at the side of the roads. Not a nice sight, and even worse for the people themselves. As far as I know they were all OK in the end.
Overall, I had a great day. I finished pretty well, had a really good massage (the Boy's work had a tent in the finish area, with 2 masseurs for 40 people, so we got decent massages rather than the usual 2 minute corporate rub-down I'm used to) and had nice easy run chatting with people and enjoying the view!