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~ A race day recount ~

4.15am on October 18th The phone alarm goes off but I have been lying awake for the past hour - I’m not too concerned about my lack of sleep as I recall only getting a few hours of quality zzz’s before my last marathon in Glasgow. I climbed out of bed feeling pretty fresh from the taper and scurried into the kitchen to complete my 2-day carbohydrate-fuelling blitz. I have some toast, a banana and a pod coffee. It wasn’t the time to indulge in a cappuccino with frothy milk as I would on any other day but instead I sipped black coffee between mouthfuls. After a quick ‘wake-up’ shower I pulled on the pink Asics kit that I had laid out with my energy gel, anti-chaffing gel, bib and race flats/bag the day beforehand. My boyfriend Dylan had offered to wake at the crack of dawn and drive fellow runner, Josh Harris and I to the MCG. I have experienced driving to races with nerves before and was admittedly a hazard on the road.

We arrived at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in darkness. There was an unfamiliar quietness and sense of peace at the iconic stadium that had been bustling with fans rugged-up in navy and red during my last visit. As Dylan and I walked up the chute to scope out the finishing area, an image of Kerryn McCann entering the stadium in 2006 flashed into my mind. The noise and emotion during that moment will stay with me forever. It was hard to imagine that I would be crossing that finish line in a couple of hours and I wondered how I would be feeling. Next stop was a quick chat to coach Didyk, who has been with me for the pre-race day jog and to support me on course for all five marathons to date. We checked over my pop-top bottles that I had filled with a dilute Gatorade solution the night before and had covered in physio tape to attach my gels. I ducked into the physio room for a short spinal mobilization treatment session from Chris at Sportspinal Health. Ironi