17 Nov

Australian Marathon Eclipses Expectations

Solar Eclipse Marathon

The Solar Eclipse marathon was held in Port Douglas, Queensland, Australia on 14 November 2012 and the Running Guide's roving reporter Ned Kelly (seriously!) was on the ground as the action happened.

As the sun came up we all knew we were in for a phenomenal day, and boy did we get one. To kick us off, nature provided its own phenomenal performance - in the already balmy heat at around 6.30am as the clouds parted, the sun disappeared behind the moon for a spine tingling few minutes of darkness in day time as we witnessed a perfect solar eclipse.

Then, as the first rays of sun reappeared, this intergalactic starting gun was the cue for around 2,000 hardy men and women to hit the road in the blistering heat for an international adventure marathon and half marathon. Starting on four mile beach, the race moved down the peninsula into the Mowbray Valley rainforest where it proceeded up the tortuous 4 km rise known as the bump. For many this incline in the blistering heat was the wall all marathon runners fear and there was no shame as some failed to make it over.

Those who did found a down incline towards the Dickson inlet overlooking the Coral Sea - a magnificent and motivating vista where crowds had gathered to provide further encouragement especially for those covering the whole 26 miles 385 yards! This distance was covered in an unbelievable 3:06:22 by winner Mike Le Roux of Australia with the ladies being led in by Inez Anne Haagen of Holland in 3:23:36, in temperatures that I was having trouble walking about in! Fair dinkum mate.