Running over Bridges Through Brisbane (Bridge to Brisbane) 2016
This morning I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, running 10 kilometres…Not for the first time, but for the first time in a couple of years. I’m a bit sad that this morning is over, if I’m being honest.
I got up with the sun, made my way to the train station, and along with about a thousand other people, made my way to the CBD. It was pretty chilly, I’m not going to lie, but not unbearable at a brisk 9°C, and watching the sun rise as I waited for my train made the morning as calm and relaxing as it could be.
Arriving with plenty of time to spare, I plugged in my music and tried to psyche myself up for what I expected to be a challenge. I LOVE running. If you don’t believe me, you can read about it here. Oh, and here. I would run every day, if I could. But unfortunately my hips, glutes and back don’t love it as much as I do. I think the term my physio used (when he wasn’t laughing at my core strength) was ‘sashay’…I sashay when I run. I can’t help it that my hips don’t lie. But it’s not very good for my running technique, unfortunately, and I’m not very good at remembering to foam roll, so I’ve stuck to the 5ks for the time being…short and sweet, just like me! Except for the short part.
The Sunday Mail Suncorp Bank Bridge to Brisbane day is Brisbane’s biggest fun run. Held yearly, it provides an opportunity for people to get out, do some exercise, have some fun, and maybe help a charity or two out in the process. In conjunction with the Courier Mail children’s fund and everydayhero Australia, this year the event raised over $650,000…not too shabby!
This was only my second time running the event, but this year was a little bit special – for the first time in it’s 20 year history, the course had changed to cross not one, but THREE Brisbane bridges. I really think they should rename it – Bridges Through Brisbane? You can post my cheque in the mail, and you’re welcome!
Starting in Roma Street, the 10 kilometre course makes its way across the GoBetween bridge, through tunnels, past QPAC, over the Queen Victoria Bridge, through the CBD to Fortitude Valley, back across the river over the iconic Story Bridge, and past the gorgeous Kangaroo Point cliffs before finally finishing up at South Bank.
There’s a 5 kilometre course option too, but I really wanted the challenge and to prove to myself that I still got it.
And I still got it!
I couldn’t find a charity bin to leave my trackie top in, which they sometimes have at the starting line, so I tied it around my waist and set off. I took a quite casual pace, meandering through the kilometres in just over an hour. During the course of my run, I thought to myself how brilliant it would be to have a go-pro attached to my head to see the awesome things I was experiencing. Then I decided that I would need it hard-wired into my brain, so that my commentary would be recorded and appreciated for the genius it was. You can see as I progress through the track that there’s a little bit of a struggle for me to overcome my sore feet. My heart was fine, my legs, chest, arms felt amazing…I could have gone on forever. But from the knees down… My ankles and feet were not running fit, despite my half-assed attempts at getting myself ready for the race. Here are a few examples:
“Hmm…this isn’t too hard…(then being hit in the head by a guy taking his jumper off) Bitch! Get outta my way! I’m running here!”
“5k already…hey that went quickly! Why doesn’t parkrun go this quickly?”
“Since when do I have Old Man knees?”
“If that granny can do it, so can I …look at her go!”
“Wow, you can hear the finish line from here? That’s really motivating. And kind of cruel.”
(at the 9k mark) “I’m doing it! I’m awesome! I won’t be able to walk for a week…but I’m doing it!”
“THANK YOU GOD for the force of Gravity and downward slopes”
“THERE’S A HOLE BORING THROUGH THE ARCH OF MY FOOT…I’m fine…I’m fine…”
“I want to kiss whoever the amazing people are on the Bridge to Brisbane course planning committee…the 10th k on a downward slope…what utter genius”
“Thank fuck, there’s the finish line.”
…and so on.
The thing I loved about the B2B is that everyone doing it has fun. There’s no pressure (at least not from my perspective) to do anything other than enjoy yourself. There are markers indicating each couple of hundred metres, so you’re aware of how far you’ve come, and how far you have left. There were a couple of DJ’s pumping tunes along the way, lots of fans and encouragement from along the sidelines, and some entertaining runners themselves, from fairies to the Mad Hatter, and everything in between. I loved it. I didn’t particularly love the slow pace at the beginning, but that’s to be expected when you’re running with thousands of people. I love the euphoria running gives me, and I can’t wait to do it again!
My official run time was 10 kilometres in 1:03:53, with an average pace of 06:23 per kilometre. To be honest, I probably took it a bit slower at the beginning than I needed to, just because I didn’t really have the faith in myself to be able to go the distance. I didn’t slow to a walk once, which I’m also pretty proud of. Next year I’ll crack the hour mark!
Oh, and if you didn’t believe me about my foot, here’s a lovely picture once I’d returned home. Attractive, isn’t it?
n.b.: Cover photo c/o B2B website.