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15 July 2010

Having Fun Down Under during Gold Coast Marathon

Yvonne

By Yvonne

For the second time ( for some of us), braving the cold weather to run Gold Coast marathon on the 4th of July. It was reported as the coldest run in the Gold Coast marathon history. After much preparation and arrangement, group of 20 happy runners (few first timers) fly to Gold Coast courtesy of Azran (CEO of AAX). It was a smooth ride and we were pleasantly surprise to be on board with lots of other runners. I was informed that there were quite a large number of Malaysia runners flying with AAX for the event under AirAsiaGo.com.

When we arrived at Radisson Resort Gold Coast, we were again met the same group. This was not a surprise for me considering our first trip for the event last year went smoothly, thanks to the hotel management that provide the shuttle to the event place and everything was on time, this hotel become one of the runners favorite. My highlight for this hotel (besides their charming room and helpful staffs) is Carara Market, which is located about 2 km from the hotel and it was always a pleasant walk back to the hotel. The location was very convenient for me to shop for my banana and my supplements.

some of our runners in front of the Radisson Resort

On running kit collection day, we were invited to the Carbo Loading Lunch and were privileged to meet runners from all over the world including few well known names from marathon ‘industry’. The speakers were fantastic and I learnt 2 important words: ‘FAT FIT’, the speaker was a guy that hosted the Australia Biggest Loser and those words was very timely for me as I was constantly conscious about my weight despite the vigorous training and endless marathon.

No run is the same run for me (same distance, different experience) and this was the hardest run for me, I was not fully recuperating from my asthma attack the week before and was advice by my doctor not to exert myself for the next few weeks. “Determinedly Stupid”, as I discovered bout myself, I went ahead with the run. I puked on the 4th Km and medic appeared on my side and once I felt better, I continued the run only to puked again on the 9th Km, and was surprised to see the same medic came to my aid, I believed that he ran behind me. He told me to stop but I asked him to give me 5 more km and if I can’t make it, I will stop. The moment I reached the 12th Km, I felt slightly nauseas but tried my best to overcome the sensation and told him that I want to complete the run. I encountered other AirAsia runners on Km 14th and slowly inching my way leaving them behind to finish the run. I was very emotional when they announced my name and the country I came from at the finishing line. This run really proves what I made of!

After the run, the Gold Coast Airport generously provide for us BBQ and it was fantastic.

Resting at the Gold Coast Airport and had a great time over lunch.

I was very happy with the fact that all our runners made it to the finish line and gave their best to complete the run. As we sat under the tent, we witness lots of senior citizens, slowly and persistently make their way to the finishing line. Ones cant help but to have the very thought to grow old exactly like that. Other than that, few memorable runners were one couple running with wedding gown and suit and a notes on their back “We Just Married”. During the run, I saw many kinds of people with different kind of body, and how they help each other along the way was just unbelievable. This makes me believe that runners are among the nicest people in the planet, as no matter how tired they are, it doesn’t stop them from helping others achieving their goal; even this means that they compromised their running time. That night, we force our tired limb to Mama Roma restaurant and had a great dinner.

“We Just Married” couple.. looking blissfully happy completing their 42km run.

On Monday, 16 excited runners made our way to “Catch a Crab” Tour. They were very curios on what we going to do there and I told them that, whoever don’t managed to catch any crab, won’t have any lunch. Yet, they were still up for it. When we arrived, we were greeted by pretty and enthusiastic girl name Paris, she explained to us bout the trip and when we got on the board, the captain of the ship explain to us the safety measure that we have to observe and then off we go. It was an interesting trip as the captain and Paris was such a knowledgeable person and they gave the simplest explanation that everybody can understand. We learnt how to catch a crab and to identify to the sex. Then we had fun under the sun catching yabbies, it harder than it looks to catch it, but it was very exciting experience, especially when we managed to catch one. On board, the captain explain to us bout the fishery policy in Australia, they type of catch that is legal and illegal, which I think everyone should learn about it as it makes lots of sense “ Illegal catch will hurt the industry”. After that, we were given a chance to try our hand on the fishing road, some of us managed to catch fishes but later released as it was too small and one big fish got away. The highlight of the event was the lunch at Birds Bay Oyster Farm Café . It was FANTASTIC! It was a big platter with generous potion of crabs, Sydney oyster, fish fillet, squid ring, fries and salad. During the lunch, the captain explains to us the method of oyster farming. It took 4 years for the oyster to grow to suitable to be slurp in a second. Everyone had a grand time eating their lunch and we had some fight over the oyster.

Catch a Crab tour ~ we learnt how to catch yabbies.

You’ve got to try this ~ at Birds Bay Oyster Farm Cafe.

Personally, I had the best time of my life during the trip, fantastic runners, great food, nice weather and cool outdoor activity. Will I come again next year? you bet!

Well Done Allstars Runners!