The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon
I was staying with Norma at the Phillip Street Travelodge which was within walking distance of the start down at the Rocks. The previous night we'd enjoyed a surprisingly good meal at the downstairs leagues club with Don and Bruce. Then, to relax that evening we watched an absolutely brilliant in-house movie - 'Good Night and Good Luck'.
We walked across town arriving about 20 minutes prior to the start. It was great to catch up with a number of CoolRunners including Blkbox, Johnny Dark, Gronk, Plu and Go Girl. Before long we were off, shuffling like cattle through yards directing us over the timing mats.
After we were released towards the Harbour Bridge I had to run with the flow of runners down the narrow streets. I briefly caught up to Horrie and Gnome who were pacing the 2 hour group before I found some space to the side where I could walk. Pretty soon the 'unstoppable ageless wonder' overtook me. She was running well.
When I reached the 7k mark I decided to run hard for a while. I caught Norma running out of the Domain, then shortly afterwards I was lapped by the leaders. I covered the next six kilometres in 28:27 then walked. It was fun trying to spot people in the crowd coming the other way. I saw Nick Mesher from Canberra, Go Girl, Don, Plu and many others.
I stretched for a while at the bottom of the Argyle Street hill and was happily surprised when Norma rounded the corner and admonished me for slacking off. We then ran the last 2.5 kilometres together. She was really powering along overtaking many runners. We were joined in the last kilometre by 2P and Gnome which really lifted our spirits. Gnome ran all the way to the finish with us while 2P joined us for a few hundred metres before going back to check on some other runners in his team.
It was hard to remain calm in the final minutes of the race as I knew Norma was going to beat her time from last year. She put in a very stylish sprint for the last 50 metres to finish in a net 2:24:47, over 4 minutes faster than last year! Perhaps she is ageless. After witnessing that race, I know she's unstoppable.