Great report on the recent Melbourne marathon, from Alan Scott, proving that Bellahouston Road Runners is a club with a decent range!
Perfect conditions for the marathon at 7am this morning. We started next to the Rod Laver Tennis Arena (home to the Australian Open) and headed up and into the city centre before heading south along St Kilda Road. We then turned into Albert Park to complete a circuit of the Melbourne Grand Prix Course. I had set off with the 3hr 30min pace runners but from here found myself gaining on the 3hr 20min bus as we headed north along the bayside. Sally was perfectly placed to give me my second gel and we headed out to the furthest point of the course. I then started to pull away from the 3hr 20min mob, a mistake as I would later learn. Round about the 30km mark we merged with the slower participants in the half marathon. We then spent the next 10/15 mins weaving through them. The two groups briefly seperated as the marathoners headed up the only ‘hill’ on the course alongside the Tan (think Melbourne’s equivalent of Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park, London’s Hyde Park, New York’s Central Park or Tokyo’s Imperial Palace). At this point I was struggling and was swiftly passed by the 3hr 20m guys. But from here it was less than 4km to the finish at the MCG where we had to enter the stadium and complete a lap on the hallowed turf. According to my watch I managed to duck just under 3hr 21mins, much quicker than I had ever imagined and almost 35mins knocked off my previous PB. With such perfect weather conditions I would definitely recommend this marathon to anyone.