Gadget

This content isn't available over encrypted connections yet.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Bridge to Brisbane fun run 2010

The Bridge to Brisbane is a fun run held each year around August or September. The first race took place in 1997 with less than 5000 entrants but has been growing ever since. In 2010 more than 32,000 people took part. The numbers were slightly less than last year. 2009 bridge-to-brisbane
The bridge of the ‘bridge to brisbane’ is the Gateway bridge (see below). And having put in some sweat into part of its upgrade works, I thought of joining the fun run. The Bridge to Brisbane course included the newly opened second gateway bridge. I missed the opening day held in May this year, which made it all the more imperative to do the run, if I was ever to set foot on the new bridge.
This is the second time i joined this annual 10km event since the inception of this blog, although I did enter the 2008 5km fun run.

On race day (this was a few weeks ago now), I got up before 4am. Just a drink of water was all I had for breakfast. It was quite dark when i left home. Last year I got fined for illegal parking, so this time after checking out the street network on the maps, I also checked the street signs carefully. I managed to find a parking space near the shuttle stop near the race finish area at the ‘ekka’ grounds. Then along with many early bird runners, I caught the first bus for the 20-minute drive to the start line in Murarrie. We arrived at the start muster area before 5am.


Then the waiting started.
Nature called a couple of times while the daylight slowly conquered the fading night. The crowd of twittering runners started to grow.
 

Soon the race announcer perked up and started on his megaphone. I took a couple of photos of the massing clusters of runners. My camera’s flash had broken down and my photos turned out fuzzy.



Back to waiting and studying the other runners. They are of all ages, male and female, big and small.
Approaching the start time, our numbers swelled. Reports say more than 32,000. Finally at 6:05am our group (sub 60-min green group) was told to move on towards start line, behind the red (sub 50-min) and blue (elite sub 40-min) groups. I jogged/walked along with the madding throng rushing towards the bridge. Suddenly I heard the announcement to keep on going to a running start.
The mass of runners sped up. Up the 1km incline to the midpoint of the Gateway bridge then also 1km down to the north bank. Then I tried to get into rhythm.
My laces come off at around the 4km and I lose precious seconds.
I ignored the drink stops until the last one at about the 8km mark, when I felt like I could not go any farther. At the heartbreak hill at the ICB (inner city bypass), I simply ran out of puff. The runners of my pace group that I worked hard to pass, just overtook me with ease as i slowed down to almost a walk. The final kilometre was a struggle, but my time is well within last year’s. My 56:30 race clocktime was adjusted to 55:00 official net time.




After I crossed, I took time to recover. Then I took off my timing chip, snapped off a couple of shots and headed to the exits. I collected a race shirt, a copy of the Sunday paper and then hunted down the refreshments stands. I tasted all the cut fresh fruits: watermelon, oranges, apple, banana and a cup of energizer drink.

Afterwards I treated myself to cappuccino, then searched a spot for some of the warm sunshine in the cold morning. I got a hat courtesy of suncorp, and walked around a bit before I left.


There’s a draw for a free car and all the runners are entered but knowing my luck, I know I’ll have better odds beating Usain Bolt in the 100m than winning a free car. So I bid the btb’ers adieu.


The Gateway bridge.
The bridge of the ‘bridge to brisbane’ is the Gateway bridge. The Gateway Bridge is 64.5 metres (as high as a 20 storey building) and stretches 1.63 kilometres across the Brisbane River, with its main span 260 metres, the longest cantilevered box girder main span in the world.
The Bridge was designed to comply with air and shipping navigation requirements, as well as the maximum approach grade to suit traffic needs.

The Gateway bridge is a vital part of Queensland Motorways’ road network. It is the centrepiece of the Gateway upgrade project.
These upgrades include the construction of the second gateway bridge, motorway widening (4 to 6 lanes), bridge refurbishment, 7kms of new motorway and a new interchange for access to Brisbane airport.


I have had opportunity to be involved in some of the works associated with these projects, especially at the Motorway bridge intersections at Wynnum Road in Tingalpa - above, and Greendale Way in Carindale, below.



I also watched the bridge grow from the turning of the soil to its stately graceful final form, this from other adjacent work sites and from just passing by the bridge over the last few years.


Bridges. Let's build some more.