#GCAM15 - 42km Race Report

I returned to Gold Coast to 'revenge' my #GCAM15 race. Truth to be told, I wasn't back merely to revenge my previous race, but I returned because I really enjoyed the Gold Coast Airport Marathon tremendously. It was in my opinion, a darn well organised race with amazing support from the organisers, sponsors, runners and even local community. And because it was so good, I returned to do both the 10km and 42km. For now, here's my thoughts on the 42km...
As much as I wanted a revenge because the previous year I trained and aimed for a 4:30 and came back at 4:48:36, #GCAM15 came up with a different set of setbacks. While I bettered my time and in fact achieved a PB with 4:41:47, I failed again to nail the elusive 4:30.
Pretty consistent speed until the sun breaks in my face at KM30. Of course the arm cramped thereafter and we see a drastic drop in speed.

Some hiccups happened - my arm cramped somewhere between KM34 or so that I was reduced to standing for a good 4 or 5 minutes before I started moving again. A few minutes before the arm cramped, I did feel like the shoulders were getting sore. I told myself that I would stop at the next water stop for a drink and stretch. The body could not wait and the right arm cramped. I couldn't walk without any discomfort to the arm or the right side of the body. While a leg cramp could have been expected, how would my arm cramp so badly that I had to hold my right arm with my left hand for the next few kilometres. I must have looked so pathetic that a few runners and supporters asked if I had fallen down or broken my arm.

I was staggering into jogs and walks as running wasn't quite possible. So much for wanting to finish strong. I ate my salt stick hoping that it will ease off the cramp in the arm and stop any other cramps that might be lurking around. It finally eased closer to KM37 or so and I knew that instead of speeding up and giving my every bit after KM40, I had to start much earlier this time around to make up for lost time.

I ran my remaining with all I had. After the 40km turn, I knew it was just another 2.195 and I just had to continue with all I had. It wasn't easy but I was running side by side 2 ladies and we urged each other on. Saw my running buddy Sheron on the opposite side as I was about to turn into my last few hundred metres. Shouted to her "Go Sharon Go" and I had to sprint. I really hated sprinting and it isn't my forte but what choice do I have to play catch up with time?

Crossed the line and I knew a familiar discomfort in the glutes was coming. Heard the hubster call out to me. He even had the cheek to make me stand for a picture when all I wanted was to continue to walk to avoid the cramps kicking in. Too late....they kicked in as soon as I could grab the side bar with one hand while another medic grabbed my hand. I had to be wheeled in to the medical tent because I could not stand.

Medical support was efficient. I wheeled to a bed and my bib etc was noted while the medical team took my vitals and chatted me on how I felt. Nothing major, a little overheated and all I needed to hydrate, eat a little and I was ready to be dismissed. They offered paracetamol but I didn't like the idea of drugs, And I was only dismissed from the tent when they were satisfied that I was regulated.

The hubster ensured that I had more fruits and drinks to refuel. He then ushered me off for my ice bath/cyrotherapy. In the absence of iced water soaks, the sea beside the Gold Coast Airport Marathon race precinct was just perfect.
The weather was a tad warmer this year compared to 2014. I felt that it was also less windy. Still, the flat route, lovely view and enthusiastic support by the locals made it a great race. It was just too exciting for me to think much of the weather conditions. All I wanted to do was just to run step after step. I recall running to a spot where there were some folks spraying some light water mist for us. Of course after KM30 when the sun was hotter, I resorted to pouring water over my head at every water station to cool down.

Despite the last minute gear switch on Saturday during my Southern Cross University 10km Run, the unexpected cramps, I really enjoyed #GCAM15 very, very, very much that I know I will want to return in 2016 for a runcation!

Some pics from the race weekend with most pictures from Sunday's FM. I will write soon on the Southern Cross University 10km Run which I ran with the hubster and a few of my #GCAM15 training buddies. 
B2B with Southern Cross University 10km Run as my fun run on Saturday morning and also for me to get the legs warmed up. It also served as a final gear check which saw me switching to my Saucony Mirage 3 for the next day's main race. I flew in with 3 pairs of trainers for #GCAM15, must needed as I felt that I had slowed down tremendously after my Route 68 ultra in May 2015.
6°C when we left our apartment so we all kept ourselves nicely wrapped up to keep warm. 
Local retailers doing their parts to cheer runners up before race starts.
Approximately 10/11°C and sunny. You generally feel comfortable with some warm up and standing in the sun unless the wind blows. I was in my windbreaker until 10 minutes before flag off. 
My fellow running mates from Malaysia. My fun loving apartment mates too.
My 4:30 dreams vanished.
Plenty of Endura and water to keep runners hydrated. The levels are just perfect so that we can drink easily without major spillage.
Gorgeous blue seas and blue skies!
Crossed the finish line and discovered I wasn't the only one in pain. 
My glutes are hurting and I don't want to stand still or smile for a photo but the hubster wanted pics!
Hobbled with assistance by a medic to the side. No! I still don't want to #takepicha because I am in pain.
Wheelchair bound! Yikes....worse than last year!
The hubster assured me that I wasn't the only one but....yikes I don't want to finish and sit on a wheelchair!
I can't remember how long I was in the medic tent but when I was discharged, I went to grab my entitlements of fruits, water, Endura, finisher tee and medal. 
Hello there my lovely hard earned medal! At this point I wasn't sure if I achieved a PB but it did feel that I bettered my #GCAM14 timing but I wasn't sure if I bettered my timing in SCHKM. Confirmation of a PB came through when the official results came out a few hours later.
I tanned considerably from the weekend's 2 runs!
Elsewhere the champions for #GCAM15 were also having their pics taken! 
The love hate cyrotherapy. It gets easier when you think of the benefits
and have someone to chat with.
Catch up with some of my #GCAM15 training buddies. Honestly despite the sunny skies, I was feeling a little cold since I was wet head to toe from the sea dip and sweat. 
We are proudly Malaysians!
Yay. With us is Mohan Marathon...a marathon maniac and also one of my idols. He joined us from his last race Big Red Run a few days back. And if all goes well, I will be attempting my maiden Big Red Run in June 2016 bringing me through an amazing 250km run across Simpson Dessert.

#GCAM15 was indeed amazingly wonderful. It is indeed what many folks call a PB route - cool, flat and well supported! And I strongly recommend that you consider #GCAM16. It will be held on Sunday 3rd July 2016. So lookout for your flight tickets and if you fly from Malaysia, AirasiaX flies directly to Gold Coast!

CYA all in #GCAM16. 

For more information on #GCAM16:
T: +61 (0)7 5668 9888

Hope to see you at the Gold Coast Airport Marathon this year. Meanwhile, let's also socialise: