Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Great Ocean Road Half Marathon

This past weekend, we ran the Great Ocean Road half marathon. Emily convinced us that it was a good idea, and I'm glad she did! I've decided that three marathons is enough for one lifetime, and the only other half marathon I've run (three times) is the completely downhill Georgetown to Idaho Springs one in Colorado, so I was a little hesitant about this course, because it definitely had some hills. But Zack and I both signed up for it a few months ago, and knowing that our friends had signed up as well gave us some motivation to train. Zack tried to squeeze in at least one run during the week if work wasn't too crazy (I usually ran about three times during the week), and we usually did a long run with Adam and Emily on the weekend.

Adam, Emily, Nigel, Zack, me, and Todd before the race.

In the dark, early morning hours on Sunday, we had to drive to Apollo Bay and then take a shuttle bus to the starting line at Kennett River. At least we got to see a beautiful sunrise! But it sure was cold. The start was kind of a crazy mess with slow people in the way and everyone trying to get going. We all got separated and started the run, warming up as the sun came out.

My first mile was probably the hardest. The arch of my left foot was so tight that I thought I was going to have to drop out. A few weeks ago, my inner ankle started hurting every time I would run over five or six miles. I finally went to a podiatrist last week, and it sounds like I have posterior tibial tendon dysfunction caused from overuse (yet another reason to not do another marathon!). He told me to stay off of it for the week before the race, ice it, tape it up for the race, and get an orthotic and do other forms of exercise afterward. My arch loosened up after about a mile, and even though the tape fell off after just three miles, my ankle amazingly didn't hurt much at all during the run, so I guess it was good advice!

I don't like to run with people when I do a race. I think it messes up my pace, so I create a special playlist of songs, put in my headphones, and live in my own world for a couple of hours. I did see Emily out ahead of me for most of the race; I only passed her with a couple of kilometers left and only ended up only one minute ahead of her in the end. For the first part of the race, I noticed a shadow behind me. I just thought it was some other runner who was close by for some reason, but I eventually realized it was Zack! He paced off me the entire time! I wouldn't let him run next to me until the end, and we ran across the finish line together in Apollo Bay.

There were a few highlights throughout the course. One was seeing a koala up in the tree alongside the road. Another was the amazing view around every corner; it was definitely the most beautiful course I've ever run. And we totally lucked out with the weather. We had no rain, and the temperature was cool and perfect for running.

I was also happy to run the half marathon in under two hours (1:56:45). This course was actually 23km (a half marathon is 21.1km), so we had to run a couple of extra kilometers after the real half marathon. I ended up in 95th place out of 216 women in my age group, so I guess I'm quite average. I had a 5:32 km/min pace, and my (and Zack's) total time for the whole race was 2:08:23. The first four finishers (Adam, Nigel, Todd, and me-even though Zack finished at the same time) scored for our team. We placed 25th out of 48 teams; again, pretty average!

Emily-my running buddy! Post-race picture.
I didn't feel very good after the race, but we all went out for lunch at the brewery in Forrest and my stomach started to settle down with some crackers and soup. Zack and I spent the rest of the afternoon on the couch, ordering pizza and going to bed by 9pm! We were all very sore the day after the race. Everyone's quads were especially bad; we assume this was because of the hills. Going down steps was extremely painful!

Overall, it was a wonderful weekend, and we're so glad that we signed up and trained for the Great Ocean Road half marathon. If you're looking for a beautiful race course, it's definitely at the top!


  1. I am proud of you Aubree. Good for you!!

  2. Dang girl, I'd call a sub 2-hr half FAR SURPASSING AVERAGE! Kudos!!! :D

  3. Love those pics, thanks for sharing this to us and looking forward always for more updates. Congratulations for a great job well done.

  4. How did someone sneak their bib number in between you and Zack? Are there any official race photos of you jumping or making weird faces like you used to do?

  5. Thanks all. Justin-not sure about the bib number gap. And yes, I have some choice pictures I'll be posting soon.

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  7. Hi - I'm thinking of training for this in 2014. I've done a relatively flat 21km last year so am wondering if you remember much about the hills for the 23km at Great Ocean Road? Any advice would be appreicated!

    1. There are definitely hills. They aren't monstrous or totally undoable (more like long steady climbs and descents), but you won't be making any PRs on this course. I would still say it's worth it because the course is so beautiful. Good luck!