South bound and down


There’s nothing quite like the excitement of the unknown. Getting on a plane, travelling somewhere new… Whether it be a different country or a different state.. a holiday is as good as a change.

I’m relatively sleep deprived which gives new meaning to the aviation term “catching the red eye”… Need to buy clear eyes.

The furthest south of Australia I’ve ever been, is Melbourne and Kangaroo Island. Until now. I’m crossing the Bass Strait (the Ocean that separates the the Tasmania and the rest of Australia) and flying into Tasmania’s capital city, Hobart. The home of the famous Cadbury Chocolate Factory, to participate in the annual Cadbury Marathon. Before you melt into a chocolaty, jealous rage, let me clarify something… the Cadbury Marathon is not a chocolate eating contest like the name suggests. I did not travel across 4 states to wake up at 4am, on a Sunday, to eat f*cking chocolate (I can do that in my home state, as Easter is fast approaching… reminding me I need to sort out my bunny costume for this years Easter celebrations). The Cadbury Marathon is where people run (or walk/ crawl depending on your physical ability and stamina) for 42.195km. The course does start and finish in the vicinity of the Cadbury Chocolate Factory though, thus the name (For all the chocolate lovers, don’t worry, I’m sure there is some kind of “chocolate carrot” dangling at the finish line).

As the plane lands, low lying cloud and grey skies surround the airport. Hobart looks cold. Stepping off the plane, out onto the tarmac, a windy 12 degree temperature confirms this assumption. Suddenly, I feel silly wearing denim shorts and a singlet.. the expressions on everyone’s faces in the airport say the same thing (you look silly). Immediately, I change into jeans and a jacket.

Time to catch the airport shuttle to my hostel. The guy I’m sitting adjacent to is clearly doing the run tomorrow. He’s lighter than me and looks like he hasn’t eaten in a month… He asks me, “You doing marathon?”
“Yes”, I say.
“You look strong”, he says.
“Oh I’ve never run that far before”, I say.
“What time are you hoping for?” He asks.
“3hr 30 minutes” I reply.
“That’s fast”, he exclaims.

Driving through Hobart, the reality of the “lay of the land” sets in. This place has hills. My main concern going into this event now is not the distance, it’s the terrain. Hill Billy Hobart. Willy, vanilly Hobart. Hilly fo shilly. Fizzle sticks, I’m not sure how I’m going to handle this, I may be walking to the finish line tomorrow.

Hobart has a real, Colonial feel. Lots of old brick buildings & Londonesque lamp posts. It’s very much like a city structurally, yet some of the people in the streets look… Out of place and I’d expect them to be more suited to…. rural outback community (mullets, thongs, well worn faded tees, missing teeth). It’s interesting and unexpected.

Saturday’s in Hobart = The Salamanca Markets. Fresh produce (cherry’s/ berries/ fruit/ veg), arts, crafts, food, homewares, music, flowers), boutique distillery stalls with tasting. Tasmania does a lot of good things in the way of alcohol; gin in particular.. many of these goods are showcased at the Salamanca Markets.

I’m now the proud owner of a polka dot umbrella. Too bad the strong winds, coupled with heavy rain, has me saturated and running for cover. This umbrella has proven to be ornamental in this weather.

On a side note, I got a new camera battery, telling the cashier the Cadbury Marathon was a chocolate eating contest, instead of a run. The best part is, he believed me. The worst part is, he lives here and some how didn’t know about it.

I collect my race kit at a local sporting store. The guy you serves me says, “you’re collecting for the half marathon or 10km”… “Full”, I reply.

At the hostel, Celine, (one of the girls in my dorm) and I go for an expedition to Woolworths. We pass a bright mural. I ask Celine to take a photo of me with the mural in the background. She takes the camera and says, “be cool”… I have not even the faintest idea how to “be cool”, especially in a photo. Fail. When in Woolworths, I jumped in her trolley and she pushed me around under duress #conservingenergy #prerace. Feeling like kid. No one knows me here, so I have less concerns than if I was at home  (my inhibitions were already set fairly low).

Pre marathon meal… Pizza. I find a real moral, dietary conflict doing the whole carb loading thing. Pizza, fuel me, sustain me and then leave me.

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