We Made it!
For many of the staff it was their first time in Australia, and for me it was my first time on the Gold Coast. Even though it was winter we were welcomed by bright blue skies, fresh air and sunshine – my favorite type of weather!
Our time in Gold Coast was short, but long enough to pack in a lot…
Day 1 – Saturday 4th July
After arriving early in the morning we made our way to the Radisson Resort Gold Coast which was nicely situated away from surfers in the middle of a golf course. Some people went for a surf lesson with ‘Surf Australia’. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it as I had to go and collect the race kits for our team of runners (believe me I was so jealous!). From all accounts they had a great time though.
Group shot outside Radisson Resort Gold Coast
In the evening it was free and easy so some of us headed to Surfers Paradise to stroll around and have some dinner. Surfers is such a buzzing place – people on the beach, surfing, chilling out…if this is winter then I would love to see what it’s like in the summer time!
Just before sunset at Surfers Paradise
Of course it was then early to bed before our big run in the morning!
Day 2 – Sunday 5th July – Gold Coast Airport Marathon
We had 23 people running in the AirAsia running team; including staff from Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu, Bangkok and Jakarta. 6 people competed in the 10km category, 12 in the half marathon and 5 in the full marathon, including Azran Osman-Rani, CEO AirAsia X.
I was supposed to be doing the half marathon but somehow, and for some crazy reason I changed my mind or should I say, had my arm twisted on the Saturday afternoon to switch to do the full marathon instead…it was an interesting decision and probably one of the most stupid things I’ve done! But I figured what ever happens, as long as I complete the race I’ll be happy. I have always said I want to do at least one marathon in my life…and what better place to do it than running along endless stunning beaches of the Gold Coast!?
Bright and early (well actually it was still dark), the half marathon and then the 10km runners took off and soon it was time for the full marathon. I don’t think I had realized exactly what I was getting myself in for so I tentatively set off from the starting line, unsure of what to expect, how to pace myself, and how long this was actually going to take me to complete.
Some of the 10km and half marathon runners – yes, it was pretty chilly!
The route was stunning; taking us along the coast line and past crowds of people cheering us on the whole way. In my head I figured once I make it to the half way mark, as long as I can then make it to 30km the rest I will just have to wait and see.
The starting line – it took 15 minutes just to get all the half marathon runners to cross the start line.
Aches and pains set at about 28km (7km further than I’d ever run before) but I just kept pushing. At 35km I finally had to walk for a while and conserve some energy for the final push. I picked up my pace a bit but it seemed to take forever go from the 36km and 38km markers – like time was actually slowing down.
My next goal was make it to 40km and then push out till the end. I definitely found my second wind and the last 1.5km. I don’t know where it came from but I ran the fastest I possibly could and made a final dash for the finish line…and that was it, I had completed a full marathon! Looking back the end of the race was such a blur but I was so happy to have done it. The running conditions could not have been better and it was such a fantastic event to take part in – 24, 000 participants!!
I completed my first ever marathon in 4hours, 52mins and 58secs. I don’t know if I will do another marathon…it would certainly be very different running it in the humid climate of Malaysia/Asia but we’ll see. AirAsia will be participating in the Borneo International Marathon in October so I have a while to make up my mind…it might be advisable to actually train for the next one I do?!
Full Marathon – Done!
All the runners did a fantastic job in completing in the other categories. For some it was their first time entering such a race and as their ‘coach’ I’m so proud of them for their achievements. It sounds like a few of them have been converted to running enthusiasts already which is great!
Day 3 – Monday 6th July – Day Trip
On the Monday we all gritted our teeth trough the aches and pains and went for a day trip with a company called Tall Ships. It was a great day; in the morning we went whale watching and saw numerous humpback whales and then in the afternoon we were taken to Mclaren’s Landing for a big Aussie BBQ and an afternoon playing beach volleyball/fishing/bush walking.
It was a lovely way for us to enjoy the Gold Coast and the staff were all very friendly, especially as a few of our group were sea sick in the morning!
Fun in the sun at Mclarens Landing
Day 4 – Tuesday 7th July
It was time to return to KL. Everyone was a bit exhausted (to say the least!) but it was a fantastic few days on the Gold Coast. Sitting in the office now it seems like a bit of a dream but we all have some fantastic memories and of course hundreds of photos!
Until the next race…