Great Ocean Road Running Festival:  WOW!  One of the best events I’ve been part of!   I opted for the Half Marathon not knowing the terrain, it’s an undulating 23km spectacular course along the Great Ocean Road.  There are various events for all the family over the weekend ranging from 1.5 km to an Ultra 66km (a smaller contingent in the 66km of hardcore runners!).

Great Ocean Road is on the bucket list of most runners.  I grew up in Melbourne and have vague memories of the area.  There were several barriers just getting to the start line from Perth.  Firstly, I spend a whole day on the internet trying to find available accommodation and working out logistics for the area.  I stayed with my Mum in Portarlington, but established it was too far to drive for a day trip for an early morning race.

I’d just about given up hope and then Travelling Fit saved the day with a race package and outstanding accommodation with ocean views at The Cumberland in Lorne.  I hadn’t even got to the start line and felt like a winner when we drove into Lorne and stepped into The Cumberland.

The festival included lots of freebies.   I opted in for the free screening of “Breathe” at the old Lorne theatre, a surf movie perfect for my current location; and the free recovery yoga post-race on the lawns of Apollo Bay.  I also received a special gift pack as a Travelling Fit entrant containing a Running Festival beanie, socks, yummy chocolates from local chocolate factory etc.

The race was extremely well organised including the buses to start line and return journey to Lorne from the finish line at Apollo Bay.  It was really, really cold that morning and everyone was huddled together pre-clothing bag drop.

I’d been sick with a virus for 4 weeks and barely been able to train during that time.  My last big training run was as a competitor in the Busselton Half Ironman a couple weeks before this, sadly I had to withdraw on race day due to illness.  So, I thought, I’m not going to be to run 23kms today, so race plan was to run a moderate pace and if I have to walk some of it, so be it.

Well I’ve never walked in a race and the power and determination of my mind somehow got me through running 23kms on the day. In my age category I came 6th female out of 95, deducing I would have won my category if not for illness.  I was shocked and again felt like a winner.

I had the best weekend exploring the area and enjoying the local dining.    I will be using Travelling Fit again in the future, I thought the cost of the package for what I received was excellent!

Thanks again for giving me one of the best race experiences, I have lots of WA friends keen to race it in the future and use Travelling Fit!