I wanted to go Gold Coast Marathon last year but couldn't find a partner so I opted for Melbourne Marathon instead.
This year I booked early (Aug 2010) with a big group of 8 too.
We took a overnight flight on Thursday 30 June and touched down in the Gold Coast Aiport at 730am. We cleared immigration and went through our food checks at the customs accordingly.
As this is a Airasiago cum Pacesetters package, the transfer bus waited for us and brought us to the convention centre for the bib collection. The wait was a bit long as some of us went shopping and we could not gather all the Malaysians for the group photo. However, I managed a photo with Michael Shelley who eventually won the 10km on Saturday, He is also vying for a spot in the Olympics.
After , the hotel drop off..It was almost 1pm and we managed to grab a quick bite.
On Saturday, I woke very early at alomost 330am as I slept at 730pm the night before. Wanted to grab the public bus to race site but I bumped into June from Batu Pahat in the lobby. She told me that Rustam will drive there at 6am.
The 5 of us went in Rustam's car for the Saturday 10km race. Rustam and his 2 children, June and I. There was 2 wave ie 7am and 745am. As we didn't want to stand in the cold, some of us who are registered for the 2nd wave decided to run in the 1st wave as well.
June was like a hare and no where to be seen. Redzwan and Aimi was also fast initially while Rustam and I decided to go on a chit chat pace. Eventually we caught up with them at km 2. We continue to run at the same pace. Made the U turn at km 5 and it was actually a preview of my km30-42km for tomorrow. I am so glad I did the 10km.
At km 8 , Rustam decided to boogie with the Disco machine. Wished I had a camera then so that I can snap him. The km8-10 was the sea front and I said to myself that I must bring the camera for tomorrow.
We crossed the finish at 1:11 gun time or 1:08 nett time. Meet Yin's mom SH Tan , June and the rest .Took our usual photos and go home for the rest.
The Sunday was a full marathon event that starts at 710am. My gang of 5 will also run the 5km which starts at 740am. We left the hotel in our rented car at 6am. The atmosphere was of course lively. Meet Rose and Nyna at the deposit area. Plus all the Chap Ayam gang.
The race start at 710am sharp and I was standung way back at the 5hour area. I ran with Leo the Tuba man from Japan. We chatted for awhile and I even snapped a photo of him from the back. He can even play Oh when the saints ....
My first 5km was 33:55. A easy cool run up to Surfers Paradise beach front. I crossed the 10km mark at Broadbeach at 1:07. Right after, I saw the elite runners heading back. The 1st U turn was at 15km which I did in 1:37. my 20k was at 2:11 and my 21.1 km (halfway) was at 2:16. At this point, I was thinking at Christchurch when I crossed this mark at the same time, I was so fresh and smiling with Winnie Wong. But this time , I was feeling more fatigue. But I still want to try for a negative pace.
The sun was up and I crossed the 30km mark at 3:15. This is back to the starting point and climb the only hill back to my yesterday's 10km route.
I did 35km at 4:25 which means my 4:30 target was also out of the window. I saw Azri walking at the opposite side and the Cari runners too...Chau and Fabio.
I caught with Zukahiri at 41.5km and I asked him to enjoy the last km..We paced together and waved at people. I crossed the finishing line at 4:44.
I guess many people underestimated the route. It may be cooler than here but it is cool and warm when the sun is up.
But all in all, I still enjoyed the race because I feel that the whole city is behind it. Great friends and great companies too.