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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Running up the Toowoomba range

King and queen of the Toowoomba range. 8.3 km run/walk. 17 June 2012.
Witnessing the birth of a brand new day out on the road - as the earth turns on its axis towards the sun – is such a spectacle. Heading west to Toowoomba, the dim glow from behind the car brightens slowly. First, in the dark, is revealed the looming shape of the range in the far distance. The sun then gradually bathes the visible slopes with its fresh yellow light at the breaking of the new morning.
I arrived at the foot of the range in Withcott bright and early and warm from the snug comfort of the car. But emerging from the cozy warmth into the fresh crisp air felt like entering a freezer. Many cars and runners are already there and the registration desks are busy with the late entrants. Soon the carpark and surrounding sidestreets were filled up with more cars carrying more participants.
The cold was biting and I dashed across the Warrego highway for a cuppa from a cafe opposite.  The coffee did not help much with the chill, so I rugged up until the race director woke his loudspeaker.
Up first were the walkers who gathered around for a briefing.
 They then headed off for their 0730h start.

Then the runners were called up for their race briefing.  
The start line was just off the edge of the bitumen pavement of the warrego highway. 
The distant hills in Toowoomba seemed to be getting higher and more distant every time I looked up.
The race started right on the stroke of eight o’clock. The runners surged forward and commenced up the gently inclining road. 
The road slowly and imperceptibly but surely steepened.
And as if we did not know it – indeed I did not want to know about it – but the sign said it.
At a drinks station further up, another sign reminded us again. Another drink station was set up next to yet another sign. I am short-sighted but I think the sign said ‘beware fallen cups’.

It was uphill all the way for the first 6km or so before a bit of a respite as the course levelled out on top of the hills. The final kilometre was again uphill to the finish at picnic point in the beautiful garden city of Toowoomba.

The majority of the runners had finished and many had departed when I crossed the finish line right on the one-hour mark.

I marvelled at the elderly runners who finished on the sprint.

A young girl shows appreciation for young Lesley below. 
Gudonya Les, inspirational stuff!

The police car above finished last. Thanks for escorting us.

Looking back to the start line in Withcott – crossroads just below centre of photo below.

I snuck in to the cafe for a bit of warmth as the breeze picked up and started chilling me to the bones. The fireplace was the place to be. 
I checked out what was being roasted in the open fire – just wood. After the ordeal of climbing up the long 8.3km incline, I declined on the roast log but asked for a cup of coffee.

The presentation ceremonies. 
The stands and the steps were packed to the rafters. 

Even the link bridge was standing room only. 

Running events (especially running in Toowoomba) are like that for some reason. You have to be on your toes – or at least on your feet. Okay you can be on the steps.


The event was organised by the Toowoomba road runners club. They raised funds for the Toowoomba hospital foundation. Well done on the running! Thanks to all the organisers, participants, sponsors, and volunteers and supporters cheerers etal.
After the race, I drove up and down the range, or watched a video driving up and down the range.


Maps of the king/queen of the Toowoomba range 8.3 km run/walk.
I may trot this way again. In 2013 perhaps.