A couple of weekends ago now we set off back to Mudgee and raced in the Mudgee Running Festival. Nate ran the marathon and I ran the half. Initially, I intended to run the full too but unfortunately the jump up in distances meant my tendonitis flared up and I decided to do the half instead.
On Saturday, I set out on a solo 60km ride which was awesome. Mudgee has some great rides and you pretty much have the road to yourself – this meant I got to get down on my aero bars and really go hard.
Sunday morning – Nate and I drove down to Lawson Park (with Taylor Swift pumping) and met up with Mandz and her dad, Greg. I think we were all a bit nervous!
The start was definitely different than I had expected, the announcer yelled “Ok go!” and that was it – we were off!
Off I was – I set a cracking pace of 4:25/km for the first km! I think I was a little excited! I then settled into a nice pace around 4:55/km for the next little while. Within 3km Nate had caught me (typical!) and we set off chatting until I got to the half turn around and he set off on his mammoth marathon effort!
All photos courtesy of BJ’s Mobile Photography Mudgee.
At about the 12km mark I hit the dirt road known as Tinja Lane and a section of rolling hills. I definitely underestimated this section of the course and really had to dig deep to keep the feet ticking over.
Luckily, as we hit tar again it was pretty much a downhill run and then flat into town.
After a couple of wrong turns through Lawson Park (you’d think I’d know where to go in my home town!) I finished in 1:49:13 4th in my age group and 9th girl overall. Happy with that!
It was a quick turn around as I cheered Mandz and Greg on at the finish and jumped on my bike to meet Nate where the dirt road ends and there’s 5km to go.
I stopped at the final drink station and had a chat with the volunteer – and totally underestimated where Nate would be! He ran past and I quickly fumbled for my helmet said goodbye to my new friend and jumped on the bike to catch him, yes you read that right catch him 36km into his marathon!!
I couldn’t believe it – he was running so well! At about the 40km mark I mentioned that I had bbq chips in my bag for him when he finished, but in all honesty he didn’t even need that encouragement – he was almost finished and he was in awesome spirits!
The best part about this race was getting to share the start and finish with Nate – the small community event allowed me to ride the whole last section with him and quickly ditch my bike and grab some happy snaps as he crossed the line…
…in a stella 3:31:33 and 2nd in his age group and 5th overall!
What a legend!
We celebrated with some beers and a delicious lunch at The Brewery!
A successful weekend!
Now onwards and upwards to Port Macquarie 5 weeks and counting…