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Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Age Run Melbourne - 27 July 2014 - 10K

I'm extremely lucky to have a job that allows me to travel to fantastic cities around the world.  And this year, with my resolution to compete in and complete at least one quarter/half/full marathon per month, I am even more grateful that, due to my work commitments, I get to participate in races in destinations that my bank account would not permit me otherwise.  Case in point: the Sussex Coastal Marathon back in March, and more recently, my July race at The Age Run Marathon in Melbourne.

My daybreak view of the assembly area at Federation Square from my room at The Langham, Melbourne.

Seeing that my past runs this year have been under mostly soggy and gray skies, I was kinda expecting the same in Melbourne as that was what I had been experiencing since I'd arrived three days prior.  And since it was winter (averaging about 6 to 8 degrees Celsius each day,) I braced myself for a cold, damp slog through 10 kilometers along the Melbourne streets.  Therefore I certainly wasn't expecting to see that, on the actual race day itself, the sun shone brilliantly above a stunning cloudless blue sky. So double and triple yays for that.
 
Our starting point across the street from The Arts Centre.

Getting in my stretches at Queen Victoria Gardens - something which I definitely don't do enough prior to my races

These are my best cheerleaders and supporters - the fantastic trio of Evelyn, Alex and Annabel - who patiently waited and hung out with me till the official start time.

Our pre-race huddle for good luck - my favourite photo of the race.


And we're off!  Despite paying AUD50 for the entry fee, the organizers did not give out T-shirts or any sponsored freebies, making it the stingiest (or most expensive, depending how you look at it) race I've taken part in.  But no matter, I got to rock my Emma T-shirt as a tribute to my goofy bull terrier who died last year after spending nearly 12 extremely well-fed years on this planet.

Refreshments (water and electrolytes) near the 3K mark.
The Clematis Pavilion at Royal Botanic Gardens Melbourne - as seen around the 4K mark.

Now, one of the best things about this race is the course outlay.  Getting to run on the fringes of several famed Melbourne parks and landmarks such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Flinders Park, Rod Laver Arena (home to the Australian Open,) and AAMI Park, not to mention along the banks of the Yarra River, was a super highlight.


Crossing the Yarra River between the 5K and 6K markers.
As seen at the footbridge right after the 8K marker: I love, love, love this sign more than any of the others I've ever seen along my races.  It's exactly what I ask myself as I pound each and every kilometre, and it's what keeps me trudging sprinting along to the finish line to collect my (finisher's medal) prize each time.

Next race: The Angkor Empire Marathon in Siem Reap, Cambodia - 17 August, 2014

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