It’s not every day you get to run under and over the Yarra River.
Run For the Kids is an annual event, and Michael and I signed up to run 16kms.
We arrived bright and early, before dawn, with 45,000 of our best mates. Venus was high in the sky, shining like a gem. The horizon over the MCG a golden hue.
We did our warm up and joined everyone else in the Orange Zone to await our start time of 7.40 a.m.
I set my timer and tracker going, and with the sounds of Bruce Springsteen singing Dancing in the Dark I ran into the rising sun. Michael and I started together, along with all of our other new best friends, but within moments he was lost from sight. All of us bunched together heading in the same direction. The sounds of thousands of shoes hitting the pavement. The eager voices of both excitement and trepidation fill the air as we head off.
It doesn’t take too long before we head downwards into the Domain Tunnel – the road under the Yarra. The sight of all the heads ahead of me bobbing up and down as they descend into the dark. It’s really quite warm in there, at least 10° higher. My tracker looses its GPS signal along the way. Out the other side back into the bright daylight and on towards the Bolte Bridge.
A fairly gentle slope takes us up the bridge for a sight of Melbourne only ever seen from the confines of the car. I love the view out over the Yarra as it winds its way into the bay. There are people slowing down, walking up the bridge, taking in the scenic view, stopping to take the selfie. All along the way, people are stopping, pointing their device at their head and snapping a photo. It’s great that they’re enjoying the run and not in it for their personal best!
We wind our way down the other side, back along South Wharf and head back towards Alexandra Gardens, our starting, and now our finishing point. As we all head under the Arts Centre, a Flock of Seagulls sing in my ears I Ran. I let out a little smirk as I listen to my last 80’s disco track as I round the corner and run through the finish line. 16 kilometres in 1 hour and 46 minutes.
That would be my longest run to date.