It was Christmas 2011 and I was sitting around with the family talking about my new found direction and talking about what could possibly be. My brother suggested I should do a “fun run”, now I was still FAT BRAD at this stage even though I had clocked up some 5km runs I didn’t think it was fun at all to be running around other people, let alone fit people who can actually run! Was he being the smart ass that we were both well known for…or just trying to help me out?
However with a bit of chatter, laughter and some googling I found two loves that day….The Rosebud Australia Day 10km run and Trail Running.
Trail running which has become my passion now, was discovered on that Christmas Day sitting on the couch at my mums with a beer in my hand! I found a link that lead to a link and buried deep in the internet was a page for the TWO BAYS Trail Run. Wow my mind was just blown away, this event was local to me at Arthurs Seat, was set on bush trails which appealed to me given my heavy frame ( I was FAT remember ) that it would be better on the body as opposed to the concrete footpath I now trod.
Fail One: It was 28km…. I had never even ran more than around 6kms at this stage!
Fail Two: It was in THREE WEEKS!!!
Fail Three: You need to Qualify? WTF….its a fun run run I thought!
So I parked the idea of running this event that appeared on the deep depths of the internet and was described in a weird language and abbreviations being TB28 and TB56. Maybe 2013 I can do it? Who knows.
It was then I discovered something that could be done. The Australia Day fun run. Now they do offer a 5.5km option or the 10km option. I thought hey I can already run 5, lets do the 10k!
So I set about training over the next two months to give this 1ok run everything I had. This was EXACTLY what I needed, something to keep me focused on exercise and a goal to achieve. It would be easy to just slip back into FAT BRAD mode or just take it slow and easy and find excuses as to why it wasn’t working out for me, after all it was summer and it was more hot than not hot and I was struggling to get around in the heat, let alone run in it. I worked with the app on my phone to pace myself during my training runs and found I could probably stick to a 6min per km pace if I tried really hard. The training was fun, I actually really enjoyed getting home from work and going for my runs, to the point of when I was supposed to have a ” rest day” I really wanted to run!
Well Australia Day 2012 arrived. I arrived at the start line…..whats with the massive line for the toilets???
After finally calling the demands of nature and my nerves, I toed the start line….well about as far back to the end of the field as I could find…didn’t want to be right at the back with all the slow people?! When the starter called down the countdown 10,9,8….my heart went into a flutter 7,6,5,4 wow I am actually about to do a fun run 3,2….bloody hell its 10km!….1….GO…I have never ran that far! Now my younger brother gave me some sound advice and that was not to get too caught up with everyone at the start and just take my time…..well that went out the window! Boom I was off like the 100/1 shot at the Melbourne Cup….. I hit the first km according to my run keeper at an average pace of 5.29….woooha big fella settle down, what did your brother say? I then started to get into a rhythm and aimed for those 6min kms……
The excitement of running through the caravan park with all the people on holidays with their hoses and water pistols made this awesome. I was a runner! When I crossed that finish line and collected my medal I was like a little kid! WOW I just ran 10km…..that day I become addicted to running and started to search for the next event….maybe I should go a half marathon?
That evening with the family it was just an amazing feeling, my kids around me, I was feeling sore but healthy, I knew I had a long way to go to drop he weight and get off the medication but this was more than just about me…..my kids were watching everything I was doing…and so was my wife.
Lying in bed that night I grabbed out my phone…….Google…… half marathons Melbourne….mmm lets see.