29 April, 2014

The one that got away

Last weekend it was that time of the year again. The first Sunday after Easter and we all know what that means, right? Well, all the local runners do!
Not long to go!
Yes, The Geelong Half Marathon was on again with a record-breaking field of over 900 runners, or so I heard. But this time, for the first time in five years, I wasn't running. Having been sidelined by a degenerative knee issue, I haven't been able to run for over six months.
On the plus side however, it does mean that for once I finally got to play photographer at the start of the race. The day before, I took a stroll around most of the course. The signs were up, the kilometre marks had all been freshly painted on the track as per usual and all was in readiness.
The calm before the storm
All that was needed were the runners. And by 8am Sunday morning they had arrived in droves.
As I took up a prime position on top of the Moorabool Street Bridge, the competitors milled around, completed their warm ups, checked their watches and made any last minute preparations.
Then finally, some five minutes late, the horn blared out and the race began. Spectators cheered and yelled encouragement and those of us on the bridge snapped away.

The field already beginning to spread out
After a few minutes of frenetic photography, I was able to make my way off the bridge and onto the banks of the Barwon to watch as the runners made their way under the Moorabool Street Bridge, around Belmont Common and off towards Breakwater.

Heading to Breakwater about 2.5km in
The weather for the race was perfect. A clear, crisp 10°C. A little chilly on the starting line, but much more conducive to a comfortable run and a good time at the finish line. And of course, as I watched the runners pass, I spotted this guy:

There's always one!
In previous years we've had runners in camel costumes and various other novelty costumes, this year it seems was the year of the Viking. I don't know who he was or what his agenda might have been, but he certainly added some interest to the field.
At this point I was able to wait just long enough for the lead runners to appear on the opposite side of the river headed towards Fyansford, before I had to depart for other duties. As a result, I do not have any finishing photos or any of the results however the latter can be found on the Geelong Cross Country Club's website.
And so that was it for another year. I have discovered that I really don't like being a spectator and with a little luck by this time next year I may at least be running again.


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