I wonder if every runner doubts their abilities or is it just me. Going into this run I’d be the first to admit I haven’t done much training at all. The best I’ve done is a 14km training run which I knocked off last week and in places, I felt I struggled a little. So I kind of surprised myself today. I felt the run was really quite easy.
It is a fairly difficult course on paper though. The first section of the run takes you straight into the Domain tunnel, which is a tunnel that runs under the Yarra river, then the course winds around and takes you onto the Bolte Bridge, an iconic bridge that brings you into Melbourne again over the Yarra from the North of Melbourne. I’ve never had the chance to run over the bridge before and when you are speeding over there in a car you don’t really get a chance to look at the view anyway.
The hardest bit for me today was undoubtly the Domain tunnel which was in the first 4km of the run. The tunnel takes you deep under the river, and the first think i noticed was the lack of air conditioning down there, then once you hit the bottom of the tunnel, its climbs back up towards the outside. I might be overestimating but it seemed like the climb was at least 2km all in the dimly lit tunnel with barely any fresh air coming through. There was of course the light at the end of the tunnel (pun kind of intended), and the growing light from the exit gave you hope as you continued up the hill.
The Bolte Bridge surprised me, it was nice running up to it, with the cars running parallel to us tooting their horns, and I liked we entered the bridge on a 360 degree spiral that takes you onto the main bridge. Interestingly as I was going up the spiral I passed Bill Shorten (the current Labour leader) surrounded by a couple of his bodyguards.
The Bolte itself, looked worse than it was. In the distance you could see these little stick figures crossing the bridge at what looked like a torturing gradient, but once you were actually on the bridge and the gradient was in front of you, it didn’t seem like much at all. I knew the two concrete pillars roughly signified the middle of the bridge so I aimed for those and knew once I’d reached them the effort i’d expended getting there would be worth it as I started to drop down into the northern suburbs of Melbourne.
The run back from that point was roughly 6 km through the Docklands area of the city and back towards St Kilda Road where the run began. I did laugh about 7 minutes out from the end when I heard a woman shout “come on guys only a kilometre to go. I hope no-one believed her because it was clearly more like 2km. The line sneaked up fast and being on a piece of road going uphill gave me a great opportunity to sprint past I reckon about 50 people in the last 200 metres.
I felt relatively good, not like I was going to vomit at the marathon and one of the other runners from my work (who sponsored the run) was there to shake my hand just after I crossed the line.
Once finished I had the timing tag removed, then headed straight for the corporate tent we were entitled to today. Makes a massive difference having a seat, water, coffee, egg and bacon muffins, pastries and sweet muffins all provided for you.
All in all, a run I really enjoyed, challenging enough, but very nice run. I’ll be back!
Next, Anzac run. Only 8 days away.