Race 1: Mothers’ Day Classic, 4 km: Sunday 8 May, 2011

Today was my first ever race, the Mother’s Day Classic 4 km. Official results aren’t in till tomorrow, but I think I did it a touch over 23 minutes.

Me post race, going for a gritty urban look in the car park (we forgot to take photos at the event!)

THE END BIT, FIRST

As I dashed toward the finish line, legs shifting into a gallop, I had my eye piercing the clock like a dart. Then a roar came up from the crowd.

IS IT FOR MEEEEEEEEE? I thought, gazing around in wonderment.

No.

They were hooting and clamouring for the 10-year-old girl in a fuchsia-pink tutu.

Before I could complete the thought “Oh, look, a charming child” — the little squirt slid in beside me and pipped me at the post!

I was hoping to do the 4 km in 24 minutes, so getting under that has me very pleased indeed.

GETTING TO THE RACE

We all got up at 6 am, and hopped in the car at 6.30 to get to Alexandra Gardens, with the children still in their pyjamas and drinking their wake-up milk en route. After sleepily grizzling for half the journey, Jasper suddenly perked up and shouted:

“MUMMY’S GOING IN A BIG RACE TODAY! YEAH!”

“And I’m going to run it in under 24 minutes!” I promised he and Saffron.

The law of the land was laid DOWN.

BEFORE THE RACE

After waving goodbye to my family and vowing to meet them at the finish line, I picked up my race number. 1991. When I’m nervous about something, I go all Numerical Nostradamus and look for meaning in numbers.

Most fortuitously, 1991 is one of my favourite years, ever, for music, fashion, and the fact I was 15 in 1991 and had very little to worry about in life. What’s more, 1 + 9 = 10, so 1991 was giving me 10/10.

Obviously, with 1991 on my side, this race was gonna be RAD!

AT THE START LINE

I did a bit of warming up, but probably should have done more. Why wasn’t anyone else warming up? I started to feel a bit stupid for warming up, and then decided it was incredibly stupid to feel stupid.

I stood there, listening to the race organizers tell us the rules, while trying to work out my iPod. I smiled at a few people around me, and then heard something about a big hill being in the race.

A hill!

Urgh.

I vaguely remembered this from the time I walked the Mothers’ Day Classic back in 2002.

I don’t remember the sound of the starting horn, mostly as I had the White Stripes ‘Icky Thump’ blaring in my ears, but I started to run when everyone else did. About 300 metres into the race, the crowd began to space out. Here, I started to feel like I was going BACKWARDS.

Why was everyone passing me?

I was tempted to break into a trot, but stuck with my pace. And tried to tune everyone else out.

That bit wasn’t that hard, as suddenly I had cramps in my stomach.

OH MY GOD, WILL I HAVE TO STOP AND USE THE TOILET? OR INFINITELY WORSE, NEED TO GO TO THE TOILET, AND NOT HAVE A TOILET TO GO TO????

I battled waves of stomach cramps throughout the first half of the race. I began to feel paranoid: did I eat something with gluten in it yesterday? I think it was nothing other than nerves, but it was certainly a horrible feeling.

THE REST OF THE RACE

At around the 2 km mark (where I grabbed water at a drink station), the music became annoying, so I tore the earphones out and held onto them. I was surprised at the sound of everyone’s feet thudding away! And I could hear lots of breathing. My own didn’t sound so bad, then!

In the final kilometre, some people started to drop off, but this was where I felt like I hit my stride. Knowing that it was only a kilometre, and then, at about 500 metres when I could see the finish line, I was able to run much faster. All the other anxieties completely faded away. It was at this point that I really began to enjoy it.

FINAL THOUGHTS, FEELINGS AND EMOTIONS

I feel chuffed that I ran my first ever race, in less time than I thought I would. I now know a little more of what I should expect in future races. I want to do the Mothers Day Classic every year, but probably in the 8 km group.

And, as an aside, I’m proud of myself running with a small injury: last night I tripped over a kitchen stool and badly bruised my little toe. I thought our house was on fire and ran toward the kids’ bedrooms in a panic, tackling the stool on my way. Thankfully our house was NOT on fire … it was just smoke from the neighbours’s chimney wafting in under the door.

Winter has most definitely arrived in Melbourne!

Yeeeeeeee!

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One thought on “Race 1: Mothers’ Day Classic, 4 km: Sunday 8 May, 2011

  1. Oh classic report Momo! Congrats on the race, may it be the first of many! So bloody glad your house wasn’t on fire btw. Rock on you legend 🙂

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