Cairns 3 Marathons in 3 days. July 6-8 2012

24 Jul

3 Marathons in 3 days. Cairns July 6-8 2012 #94/95/96

So what do I do to add a marathon due to the nightmare of finding out Canberra Bush Capital marathon was changing the day of their run without telling anyone until a month before?

Enter Cairns Road Running Club. Meet Race Directors Lorraine and Larry Lawson. With my son Charlie doing his HSC this year, I want to be around in the next few months. After the Simpson crossing I had decided to be at home as much as possible. 3 nights away to get me to marathon # 96 was a no brainer. Makes the next few months till my 100th in Sydney much less stressful.

I flew to Cairns on the Thursday afternoon ready to run the first marathon on Friday. One phone call from David and Brenda from the Cairns Road Runners and I was now being picked up outside my hotel accommodation instead of lugging my gear to the designated pickup post at the hospital.  One gesture like that from the Club was the feeling for the whole three days.

Awesome organisation. Nothing was too much for the Club. They went out of their way to make sure the runners were happy, safe, supported and looked after….. all the way to making sure I had a lift back to the airport after marathon #3.

With really no idea on what to expect, I saved myself on Friday’s 1st marathon as I had been told # 2 was harder. Met so many of the runners on Day 1 from up north and they didn’t disappoint. I found it quite humbling to have someone come up and almost bow and ask if I was Jane… ran a fair bit with him, thank you for your company David. Lots of single trails to run with Lawyer vine (Wait a while) that stopped us in our tracks when caught on our clothes or skin.  Plenty of water crossings to cool the legs and slow us down… weather was great for running but crap for lazing around in the afternoon. Finishing the first marathon in just over 6 hours, I was pretty happy to get up and run the next day. I felt good.

There were a few hard core runners (where’s Josh??) missing from the start on Day 2… How much harder could it be? The profile made the middle of the run look like an uphill climb for about 7kms. I was pretty surprised to see the 27km checkpoint when I did and happily motored on home finishing 20 minutes faster than yesterday. The courses were tough, I was happy with my pace and how well I knew my body. I wore my Hoka Evo Tarmac prototype with the trail sole. Paired with my Injinji’s, feet were pristine after 84.4kms.

Had an awesome meal with some runners at Cedar Park Saturday night, Jason and Sarah from WA and Eduardo. Back to my room for the packing and organising for the next day’s run and flight home.

Sunday morning, day 3, there were again a few people missing at the start line. How cool would it be to have a race where you just fronted up each day… give a generous cut off like 6:30hrs and just put on a marathon every day. How long would it take to have one man standing?…. mmm, how much annual leave do I have ?? :)

Marathon #3 was by far the easiest for me. The last half (apart from the last 3kms) was downhill. I had the added enjoyment of running with David, Adam and Lorraine. 2 locals and my mate from Sydney…. It was always comforting to have the talkative Lorraine nearby… she knows the route :)

Photo of AURA members running 3 in 3 days.

Finished Marathon #3 in 5:10 in good shape ready to take on Hunter Valley in a fortnight.  The trails were tough in spots and with no idea what to expect, I took the whole 3 days running at a pretty cruisy pace. The sub 4 hr marathon at the Gold Coast only 5 days earlier gave me confidence to just notch up 3 days of solid running and treat it like a holiday.

Great homemade food at aid stations the banana muffins at the finish!!!!??? YUMMM!!

…..Was it because we runners smell after 3 days and they wanted me back on the plane?? Well it was for the lovely Qantas man in customer service that got me on a flight boarding 5 mins after I got to the airport and blocking 3 seats for a smelly runner! Saved a 3 hour wait for my flight.

Fabulous weekend. Definitely a must do, not just for the trails but to experience the hospitality of Cairns Road Runners.

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