Maddie, I made it!  All the way to the end!  Running the whole time!

And, do you know what?  It felt amazing.

Some bits were tougher than others – that hill up Collins Street coming in from Docklands for example (ugh!!) – but it felt good.  Really good.

In fact, I have to admit, when I was walking home afterwards, I felt kinda sad that it was already over.  Like it had gone too fast.

When I pressed play on my iPod right at the start line, the first song that came on was the Taylor Swift one that you sang in the video – that made me really, really happy and got me off to a really awesome start.  Thanks for sorting that out.

Then, I took one of those energy gels (the vanilla ones taste and feel really  funny when you eat them after they’ve heated up in your running tights for 6kms!) just before going up the big curvy hill onto the Bolte Bridge (they normally only let cars on there so it was super special to be able to run on that) and boy – that energy gel kicked in and I flew up that hill. 

And then (and this was really funny), I had put some silly songs in my playlist to make me laugh sometimes, but it was on shuffle so I didn’t know when they were coming up and when I got to the hill on the bridge, I’m on a boat came on (which has some rude words in it, but is still really funny) so I was running along singing (mostly in my head I hope):

I’m on a bridge, I’m on a bridge
Everybody look at me
‘Cause I’m running on a bridge
I’m on a bridge, I’m on a bridge
Take a good hard look at the *ahem* bridge

Which made me giggle heaps and run super fast over the bridge. 

Maddie and Melbourne

Maddie and Melbourne

Melbourne looks really beautiful when you run over the Bolte Bridge, Maddie.  When I looked over to the right to admire it, I kept remembering the photo of you with your arms up in front of the view of Melbourne – I think you would have really liked it.

I was very lucky when I was running over the bridge to run behind a really beautiful woman who was wearing a t-shirt that had a photo of a little girl called Ella on the back of it (she looked really happy as she was sitting under a Christmas tree unwrapping presents) and it said “I run for you beautiful Ella”.  I put my hand on her shoulder when I ran past her and told her that I was running for a beautiful angel called Maddie and we held hands for a second before we kept running. 
That was really special.

There were lots of people who had the names of the special angels they were running for on their shirts.  There were people running for Eliza, some for Kyan, there were Jeremy’s Joggers and Team Josh… lots and lots of angels.  And gee, the sun was shining so bright and the wind was so perfect and the energy of all the people was so strong that I can’t help thinking that a lot of you were right there with us the whole morning.

It was so great to feel that, that I felt like I was running on air!  And, wouldn’t you know it Maddie, I’ve found just one photo of me running so far and my feet aren’t touching the ground, so I really was!

About 2 metres from the finish line

About 2 metres from the finish line

Some people dressed up too, Maddie!  They looked really funny!  There was Fred Flintstone and his whole family running in their car, there was Snow White and clowns and fairies and Super Mario and all sorts of beautiful costumes.  I thought they looked really cool but that they would’ve been really hot in those costumes!

There was one bit where I think maybe you might have got your Aunty Lauren to help out too because after the Docklands I knew I was running too fast to be able to finish (I’m really bad at keeping pace) and I started to think I might need to change my iPod to find a slow song, but then Heartbeats came on and that was perfect pace.  Then, wouldn’t you know it, I started feeling tired and then Skee-Lo came on and do you know what I thought?

I thought (excuse my French) “Stuff it!  I’m singing!”.  And you know, I didn’t sing out loud, but I did mouth the words and do some of the drum beats with my hands, right while I was running past Flinders Street Station.  Some people probably thought I was really crazy, but I was having SO much fun running for you and singing with Loz that I didn’t care.  

And then, do you know what?  I had been having so much fun running and singing and enjoying the sun and looking at the view and meeting beautiful people and feeling generally fabulous, that when I saw that hill up to the finish line – I sprinted.  All the way across it.  And I was so happy to have made it and for it all to be so beautiful, that I burst into tears for a minute then (not just for sadness, Maddie-  mostly because it was really beautiful). 

And then, some of the people I love most in the world met me and I got to hug them (which would have been really yuck for them, Maddie because I was really sweaty and gross!) so that was really special too (one of them even brought me a banana – which sounds like nothing, but they cost like $5 here at the moment because of the weather, so was actually really cool).

And then, after all that, I went down to the beach and walked in the water to cool my legs off.  And I sat by the beach and had some lunch and looked out at lots and lots of kids playing in the sand and water.  And do you know what, Maddie?  Even though it was sunny it was really cold and all the adults stayed out of the water and all of the kids were playing in it… just like they belonged there.  And they were having the most fun.  And I felt very lucky to be able to see them having all that fun in the water because I got to think about you playing in the ocean.

So that was the first run, Maddie… Thank you for making it really special.

9 Responses to “Really”
  1. Em says:

    Beautiful 🙂

    and you look REALLY good in your tights!

  2. Jan Hevey says:

    What a fabulous achievement!! You’re fantastic!!!

  3. Clare McKeown says:

    I LOVE your narrative and awesome work on the run. Am sure they would be very proud of you x

  4. Kristi says:

    You’re amazing, and I love reading about just how special every moment is xx

  5. Kristi says:

    oh, and by the way, I know *exactly* what you mean about those energy gels! well done!

  6. Thanks all so so much for your comments xx

  7. carole lynch says:

    So inspiring! 🙂

  8. Patrick O' Connor says:

    Beautiful and Inspirational !!

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  • My Marathons for Maddie in 2011

    Run for the Kids: 17 April - 14.38km
    Mothers' Day Classic: 8 May - 4km
    Run Melbourne: 17 July – half marathon
    Sandy Point Half: 21 August - half marathon
    Sydney Running Festival: 18 September – half marathon
    Melbourne Marathon: 9 October – marathon

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