Diary of a geek

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Andrew Pollock

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Sunday, 01 September 2013

My first Bridge to Brisbane

One of the goals I set for myself on returning to Brisbane was running in the Bridge to Brisbane. The City2South run ended up being a longer distance, sooner, so I only stuck with the Bridge to Brisbane so I could say I'd done it.

The added variable was I had Zoe, and I was pushing her in a jogging stroller.

I did a couple of practice runs up the bridge with Zoe in the weeks leading up to the run. Mostly to get her used to it, and for me to get a feel for what the incline was like. I found I had the stamina to easily do the bridge, but ran out of steam on the return leg. No big deal, I didn't need to do that for the real run.

I did a poor job of publicising that I was doing the run, so I didn't end up raising a whole lot of money for my chosen charity, beyondblue, because I had the added variable of Zoe. I knew I had to get her up early to get to the start line in time, and I wasn't sure if she was going to be cooperative or not, or whether she'd have a tantrum half way through the run and I'd have to stop, so I didn't feel good about taking money from people for running a run that I wasn't sure I could complete.

My main concern had been getting to the starting line in time. I wanted to take the train from Morningside to Murarrie and then walk to the start line (about 10 minutes) because that way I could take the train back to Morningside from the finish to collect the car and not have to worry about trying to get back to the start. That meant I'd have to get Zoe up before 5am to get to the station, and if she didn't cooperate, I'd miss the train, and it'd all be over.

Fortunately, my cousin Renata offered to drop us off, and we did a complicated car switcharoo, which involved her leaving my car at Morningside station for me after dropping us off at Murarrie. Now that I've seen the road closure situation, I feel pretty confident that I could have just driven to Murarrie and ditched the car somewhere there. Interestingly, a train that was packed to the rafters with people was arriving at the station at the time we arrived to leave Renata's car there. I'm not sure if it was the 5:07am train running late, or if I'd mis-interpreted the timetable and there was a later train we could have more comfortably made without Renata's assistance.

Anyway, we uneventfully got to Murarrie station by about 5:40am, and walked to the start. It was ridiculously packed. People as far as the eye could see. Apparently there were 29,479 entrants and 24,596 finishers in the 10km run, so that explains it. I was seeded in the "joggers" group, which was a fair way back from the start line, and as it was, technically had to walk around some massive barrier to get in with the runners, but I snuck in the side after the pack started moving.

Zoe was really, really good for the whole run. I couldn't have asked for her to be better behaved, really. She was wanting a cuddle at the top of the bridge, and claimed she wanted to go to the toilet the first time she saw some portable toilets, but easily talked out of both. My strategy of having a broad array of snacks for her to eat during the run worked well to keep her happy, and the course was heavily packed the entire way, so she had plenty to look at. It was a nice father/daughter thing to do for Fathers Day.

My official time was 57:28, which I'm extremely happy with, given the conditions I ran under. I was going to be happy with anything under an hour. My personal best for 10km (not that course) is 51:52

I'm very grateful to those people who did donate some money on short notice. I've managed to raise $180, which is better than nothing.

Now that I've done the run, and seen how it works, I'm game to try it again next year, and I'm game to do more 10km runs with Zoe. My running overall has been going very well, and so I think it's time to step things up a bit and I've decided to set myself a goal of running the half-marathon in the Gold Coast Marathon next year.

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