Run, postgrads, run!
As we boarded the bus at Mt Gravatt station, the chatter subsided and silence descended on the group. As I looked around, determination was etched in the faces. Some fidgeted with their hats while others gazed out the window, the sun just breaking through over the horizon on a perfect Brisbane Spring day.
This was the culmination of 6 weeks training, two evening sessions each week with an optional session on the weekend. The practice 10 kilometre run around the ring road at Nathan the week before was the dress rehearsal, today was real test. The path was not always seamless with our team leader, Mateja withdrawing 2 days prior with a serious ankle injury. Others were carrying injuries suffered in training while others were sleep deprived from the Cultural Gala the night before. Nevertheless, deep heat was applied, water bottles were in hand and spirits remained high as this hearty group of 21 runners weaved their way through the many thousands of runners to take their place at the start line.
The minutes before the race were punctuated by stretching, adjusting of headphones, photographs and nervous toilet stops. Encouraging words were exchanged and hands shaken.
Each runner has their own unique story – that is part of the beauty of such as event. For some it was an achievement to finish while for others running the whole distance was the goal. Hamid, Zahir and Eddie were the elite runners. As I peered across, I said “good luck boys, see you at the finish line.”
The starter’s gun fired and we ascended the Gateway Bridge taking only a moment to enjoy the view, eyes fixed on the way ahead. We weaved our way along Kingsford Smith Drive and down in to the RNA Showgrounds.
As we gathered at the finish line, there were high fives, broad smiles and relief etched in the faces. Photos and breakfast together ended a great day as we dispersed to rest our weary muscles.
Each runner is grateful to GUPSA for their wonderful sponsorship and support. Special thanks to Michael Carden and Mateja Mihinjac.
Training is continuing and we have already set our sights on B2B 2015.