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The Cadbury Marathon        Hobart, Tasmania                 8 January 2012

 

 

 

The "Cadbury Marathon" appealed to me because the finishers get goodie bags of Cadburys chocolate! It was also an exclusive event and a chance to see a new destination in Australia. The main reason, though, was to qualify early in the year for the Two Oceans 56km ultra marathon in Cape Town over Easter.

 

I acquired the name "Professor Plum" from my nieces in Sydney because of my purple cabin bag and matching running shoes. I flew to Tasmania on the Saturday afternoon. The aerial view was impressive - dense forest, a patchwork of farms, a long bridge, the marina and a clutter of buildings. I checked in at the beautiful Grand Merure Hadleys hotel in Hobart. That evening at the Pasta Dinner we were welcomed and got to meet the other runners. It was a “record" field of almost 300!!

 

On Sunday at 4.45am we were bussed to the start outside the Cadbury's Chocolate Factory. Excitement mounted as we lined up for the 6 o’clock start. A few supporters clapped politely as we headed off on our double lap of the Cadbury's Estate. It was mostly downhill for the first 10km and I clocked 53 mintues. "This is going to be a breeze" I thought…

…I was soon punished for my thoughts! A long, undulating, lonely section tested me, interrupted by a welcome cool breeze and drizzle. I watched the front runners fly past in the opposite direction like race-horses, sweating, nostrils flaring, the Ethiopan at the heels of the leading Sydney-sider. It was a tough “double-lapper” in the mid-morning heat. I appreciated comments like "a good, steady pace" and "I like your shoes"(even though they were pinching my toes, being not even a week old!)

 

The last 7 km included a long climb back up to the chocolate factory. I gathered strength by the thought of Cadburys chocolate melting on my tongue! I felt like a hero as I ran across the finish under the large purple arch in 4 hours 31 minutes. There was a small, cheering crowd and only 228 finishers (I came in position 177).

 

What bliss to nibble on slabs of Cadburys chocolate and put my feet up... even though I now had purple toes to match my plum cabin bag and running shoes!

On the run in the streets of Hobart

Note: Purple shoes!

“Professor Plum”

The home straight

Outside the Chocolate Factory

My reward: Medal & Chocolates

Carbo-load Pasta Dinner

Grand Mercure Hadleys Hotel

Hobart Marina

Aerial view of Hobart bridge