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MELBOURNE MARATHON 2018: 1st STEP ON THE ROAD BACK TO COMRADES

October 9, 2017

Been a long time since I bothered to post something, but this weekend is as significant as any other in the running year for me so I suppose I’d better make something up for the masses. Well perhaps most of it is the truth but it doesn’t stop so called proper journalists so I guess what I dribble out here might actually make more sense. That and the fact that I’m probably as nervous as anything for next Sunday.

Since returning from South Africa injury has basically derailed my running for various reasons. It may or may not have been a silly decision to run Gold Coast after Comrades but everything was actually going OK for about 20km until the hamstring decided to cry enough forcing me to basically walk the last 22. Then seemingly recovered from that a calf injury suffered playing football has plagued me for the last 2 months. The injury resurfaced warming up for the City2Surf, where if the gear truck hadn’t departed for Bondi Beach at the time of warm up I’d probably have withdrawn (how I managed a 1:30 with a blown calf I’ll never know). It lasted through the half marathon at the Perth City to Surf reasonably well with some careful management but a combination of cramped seating at Subiaco Oval watching the footy and the red eye back to Brisbane caused a flare up that basically stopped me training for a fortnight.

After seemingly recovering from that again the calf gave me trouble in Sydney, this time at the very end of the warm up in the half marathon. I limped to the start line, shuffled across the Harbour Bridge, but the issue became too much to overcome after 8km and in the end I shared a ride in a sad wagon with an elite female marathon competitor who had as much grasp of English as I did of actually taking care of myself. It took 15 days for me to even attempt a training run following that, and having completed just over an hour continuously without pain in the leg the start line at Melbourne will have me on it for the 5th time.

As with last year the Melbourne Marathon will hopefully confirm my ticket into the Comrades Marathon, although fortunately for me I managed to secure one of the entries that flew out quicker than the time it takes Cookie Monster to raid a bakery for unsold stock of what he famously consumes. The simple scenario is that a completed run under 5 hours will ensure I can concentrate on training for Comrades in 2018 rather than another event just to punch the qualifying ticket. If I can somehow get under 4:20 (which if fit is the realistic aim) I can be in the start pen ahead of where I started this year. If I don’t get under 5 hours it may be all or nothing at Canberra in April next year (whether I do the 50km or marathon in the capital may also depend on performance in Melbourne, although running the 50km in a sub 6 hour time will be sufficient), given that the ballot for Tokyo didn’t fall my way. I may give consideration to running the Cadbury marathon in Hobart in January but I’m not 100% certain that this event or the marathon in Wangaratta in February (where I’ll be planning to enter now that Tokyo is off the agenda, they’re on the same weekend) will be recognised by the relevant authorities as a qualifying event (Melbourne has no such problem, I know many of the 157 entered from Australia will be using this as their qualifier)

Travel plans for me this time will involve overnight trains to Brisbane this coming Friday morning (got to love 12:30 AM departures) and an afternoon flight into Melbourne. Whilst the itinerary is planned just what I’ll be wearing this year hasn’t. I’m sure I’ll be wearing something comfortable for the distance on top without having to make hasty purchases the day before. When everything that I plan to happen comes to fruition on Sunday, then I can think of travel plans to Durban, with plans to spend an extra night (Wednesday arrival) as opposed to 2017.

 

For those running in Melbourne, hope to see you on the start line!

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