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Thursday, 22 March 2012

Twilight Running Festival 2012

Twilight running festival 2012 (18 March) half-marathon
Running in the twilight at the University of Queensland grounds in St Lucia is something else. As usual the event is quite enjoyable and well organised from parking, race shirts, luggage, marshalls, pacers, volunteers, helpers, timing system, facilities, spectators, well-lit grandstand finish, events and activities for all ages, and others.  It is a wonderful thing to run under the moon and the stars, although on race day (or night) one cannot see them for the clouds and the trees.
Like last year (2011 twilight run) the lead up to this event was a rainy couple of days. But an overcast Sunday at least in St Lucia, was dry for the race.
The festival was in full swing when I arrived at the UQ campus. I was caught in the midst of what seemed like hundreds of cars pouring into the grounds for the race. 
The festival opened at 2pm for race pack collections. And activities for the young opened at 3pm: jumping castles, zorb balls, face painting etc. The parking spaces within the university grounds and adjoining streets were pretty much all taken when I arrived at around 3:45pm. I circled around and back and found a spot not far from the roundabout.
And then the show got on the road - a comedy of errors, at least in my case.
At the end of the day, I had come up with a list of new running year’s resolutions for 2012:
1.       Remember to bring your running shoes to the race
1.e  Manage the drinking problem 
2.       Check the start time
3.       Check the location of the start line
4.       Use the toilets before the race and check locations of portaloos
5.       For black toenails, prevention is better than cure
6.   Etcetera
7.       And others
Now it would be reasonable to ask what precipitated such a list.
Okay, I’m still young at heart to jump castles and ball with zorbs (whatsazorb?) and paint or hide my face, but wait til you get to my age.
So anyway lesson 1.
Driving in, I was wearing thongs (flip-flops or tsinelas) hoping to keep my feet relaxed while nursing a couple of black toenails. After finding a parking spot I went to put my shoes on only to realise that I did not put them in the car. So the planned relaxed approach to the race became an anxious race against time to race home for my racing shoes and then race back before the race start. Does my racing make sense? Plenty of time, I thought. Back an hour later and the festival atmosphere became like groundhog day – déjà vu, all over again, for the second time around... that was lesson 1.
Amidst the anxiety, I started drinking – hard, unchilled water, straight. And so my drinking problem told on me, for when I got to racing, my bladder complained constantly.
Lessons 2-4.
The queues to the portaloos were as long as the finishing straight, so I jogged down to the oval instead, hoping to come back later. I was doing some stretching when the race announcer said “...five minutes to the start of the half-marathon”. My watch said 5:25pm and I looked around and there were other runners milling around in their brand new green twilight running vests. The scheduled race start was at 5:50pm so I thought the race announcer must have said “...25 minutes to race start.” A few minutes later I suddenly heard “...dy, set, Go!” and then some cheering. I looked up towards the grandstand and saw behind it a mass of runners starting off - for the half-marathon race! I sprinted up as I realised I had missed the start.
I was remiss and did not perform due diligence to confirm the start time and the start line. Later I found out that the 5:50pm start time was for the 3km event. I now know also to check the 1/2marathon start line and not assume that it is the same as the previous year’s 10km, and finally that other runners in the oval may have already finished racing.
There were cordons and crowds of people milling about the oval and the track and it took what seemed an eternity before I came out to the back of the race and joined the fun runners in costumes strolling across the start mats of the half-marathon run. A familiar face greeted me there. Keef was waiting or looking for his wife, and I said hello, see you later, as I started negotiating the backmarkers. All up I lost maybe two minutes to the leaders.
Lesson 4 was the most painful. All along the tree-lined banks of the Brisbane river we ran and ran and ran and I looked and searched and peered and grimaced and panicked until I could not hold on any longer and ducked behind some bushes in the dark to water the loam under the gum trees.
Lesson 5. 
During the race, I was nursing a black toenail that had appeared after a post-Christmas run in Mt Nebo. The downhill portion of that mountain course was not kind on my toes and I returned from it with a souvenir – a couple of black toenails. So it was that one of them looked to fall off at any stage of the twilight run. On the way into the UQ grounds I popped into a corner store for literally a bandaid fix for my suspect toenail. I bought a box of bandaids which I used to tape my toe.
The bandaid fix held but the nagging uncomfortable tape around the toe was enough to distract me from running optimally. Next time I will run Mt Nebo uphill only and catch a ride back.


I like the gum trees lining the winding route. I gotta run here before - in the Brisbane running festival in August last year along the river banks in Dutton Park. This time we get to run on both sides of the river. The two suburbs Dutton Park and St Lucia are joined by a bridge that only buses, cyclists and pedestrians may use. It was great catching the river breeze up there but I had a race to run. 


I did finish. But my black toenail wasn’t finished. When I got home, I found it still hanging on. The sight of blood makes me faint and I could not contemplate pulling the thing out. Someone told me that a black toenail is a sign of a runner. I wonder if that makes me one.

Finishers at the 10km race.

The results are in from RaceTec

HALF- MARATHON
JOHN POLSON Male 1:11:09
Neil Labinsky Male 1:14:39
Liam Woollett Male 1:16:17
Thomas Dover Male 1:16:59
KATE SMYTH Female 1:17:49
Ralf Hamann Male 1:17:54
BRYAN MCMANUS Male 1:18:53
BEN MACCRONAN Male 1:19:29
JAY GARTNER Male 1:19:41
BRAD WILLIS Male 1:20:30
MARK AINSWORTH Male 1:21:03
CLARE GERAGHTY Female 1:21:12
JO MCLAUGHLIN Female 1:29:02
ALEXANDRA WINTER Female 1:29:31
TWILIGHT 10KM RUN
ALASTAIR STEVENSON Male 0:32:12
CARL GUSTAFSON Male 0:33:47
BLAIR JORDAN Male 0:34:44
TAMARA CARVOLTH Female 0:35:07
LEIGH STEWART Male 0:35:24
CHRISTIAN RAVN Male 0:35:43
JASON HALL Male 0:35:48
TOM BEECHEY Male 0:36:09
GREG WEBSTER Male 0:36:17
MARK KENNY Male 0:36:23
MICHAEL THOMPSON Male 0:36:41
MARK ARMSTRONG Male 0:37:03
OLIVER SCHWEIZER Male 0:37:15
HAYDEN WILKINSON Male 0:37:43
JONATHAN HERON Male 0:38:05
JACK BARNSLEY Male 0:38:05
ELLIOT CARR Male 0:38:34
RINA HILL Female 0:38:35
MELISSA WATSON Female 0:40:02
TWILIGHT 3KM RUN
BRANDON DEWAR Male 0:09:07
Jamie Laverty Male 0:09:24
David Tong Male 0:09:34
RILEY KELLY Male 0:09:50
SAM BENNETT Male 0:10:16
ADRIAN PENNISI Male 0:10:19
TEKLEINOLD KINFE TEKLE Male 0:10:27
JACOB BRAGG Male 0:10:31
JONATHON HOFFMANN Male 0:10:34
JAYDEN WALDRON Male 0:10:43
Rebekah Matulis Female 0:10:46
Mewing Lauren Female 0:10:49
ADAM FOGG Male 0:10:50
Katrina Robinson Female 0:10:52
TOM MCKEAN Male 0:10:55
INDIA WILLIAMS Female 0:11:00
LUCY ARNOLD Female 0:11:04
TWILIGHT 1KM KIDS
JAYDEN MILLS 0:03:33
ETHAN UNICOMB 0:03:34
ROMANY BECKINSALE 0:03:37
CORY EGLINTON 0:03:42
KATE RIETHMULLER 0:03:43
TOM JOHNSTON 0:03:50
ZOE MANNING 0:03:51
ZANNA STEVENSON 0:03:57
HARRISON PECKHAM 0:04:03
JEROME DANIEL 0:04:03
CALEB BRAGG 0:04:12
JACK KELLY 0:04:12
GRIFFIN KELLY 0:04:13
CONNOR BAZAINE 0:04:14
BAILEY FORD 0:04:15
HAGEN BRUCKLACHER 0:04:16