I picked up my companions and we headed into the city. It was a mild morning and were chatted excitedly in the car comparing race morning preparations.
It took us about 40 minutes to walk over to the MCG to drop off our bags, negotiating the 11,000 strong 10km run entrants who set off at 0730.
I was cruising along until kilometre 18. I hit the wall. I walked longer than I wanted to through the drink station, there was a hilly bit and the others had kept going and were ahead of me. A voice beside me said 'push through, keep going'. I turned to look at her, a young girl with the obligatory nice ponytail, and I don't know if she was talking to me but I thought 'OK' and started running again. It was just what I needed and when we were peaking the footbridge I gave the same encouragement to another woman who was walking. We were so close then, the MCG was looming before us and the finish line was in sight.
My time was 2:22:59 so I'm calling that an even 2:23. Not bad for a first attempt. I was pleased to see that I was 219 amongst the old girls but 3204th gender position.
Just as we crossed the finish line the heavens opened and the day turned nasty. We got wet going back to the car but we were on a high so it didn't matter. I was thinking back to this time last year when I ran my first 10km in this marathon festival. Prior to doing that I had only run 8k and the sense of accomplishment is the same.
Now I am sore in the hips and I have an irritated spot under my arm which is very tender. I hadn't noticed that my toenail was bleeding until I took off my socks
And now I have my medal and bib as mementos of a great day