Run Melbourne felt like Christmas Day does when you’re a little kid.
It wasn’t because you got ‘stuff’, it was that feeling you get inside inside. That kind of pinch-yourself day where you think to yourself ‘is this for real’ and know it’s not going to last long.
Whenever things are so good they seem to be over so quickly.
Especially for the 127 people representing Echuca and Moama to raise money for Community Living and Respite – how amazing is that?
We all looked great in our singlets and although I’m biased, I can clearly say we stole the whole Run Melbourne show.
Now Run Melbourne isn’t some country Fun Run that gets a few hundred participants.
No, we’re talking more 10,000 runners, joggers, walkers and pram pushers in four different events, running through and closing the major roads in Melbourne City. This ain’t some small affair.
I started two minutes before the official start when the race caller picked me out of the group of elites ready to go head to head and started listing off stats.
Brady Threlfall is here from Echuca/Moama.
He’s one of 127 who are raising money as part of Johnno’s Run.
We thank them from coming down from the country.
Not the usual pre race I’m used to but great awareness for us and the 4000 people standing behind me, lining the starting zone of Flinders Street.
And then the races. Everyone ran so well, so many smiles, hugs and an amazing community feel.
I’m not sure if I’ve been at a happier place (sorry to all those people’s weddings I’ve attended).
For me to win the Half Marathon was also special and brought up all kinds of emotions. Not just the fundraising and community side but also my personal battles.
You see, winning these things isn’t easy.
Sure I’ve won my fair share of races in Echuca, Shepparton and Bendigo. Actually looking back I very rarely lose those ones. Winning is the norm in the smaller towns.
But in Melbourne I’ve been bloody close, so many times.
Two thirds at Run Melbourne.
A second and a third at Run for the Kids.
A fourth and seventh at the Melbourne Marathon Festival.
They’re the three biggest races in Victoria and nearly the whole of Australia – and I was starting to think I’d never win one.
The ultimate bridesmaid.
‘You’re good but not good enough to win’ was starting to become my motto for these races.
But this time, in those last couple of kilometres when I knew I’d win – as long as I stayed upright – all those thoughts and the history of those races was rushing through my mind.
I was thinking about the training runs we’ve done at Scenic Drive with the kids and adults who have never run before, and the people behind me wearing the same singlets.
It was more than just me driving my legs to go faster to finish that race off.
So when I crossed the line, pointing to the Johnno’s Run logo on my singlet, with my hands in the air it made me think this was all meant to be.
Community, fundraising and finally a win.
Oh what a day!