A good number of Striders gathered at the Toowoomba Golf Club on Saturday night for a big carbo loading session followed by some late evening ice cream runs and more than a few packets of chocolate and snakes. It was great to have Dino along with his beautiful family. Paul Dack and Jerrod failed to give Stan proper navigational support and they all ended up at the Walloon Saloon where there was one particular bearded lady who made us get out of town quick smart. Jo Banney also got lost coming up with Gracen on Saturday night but she eventually pitched up late in the night. The ladies cabin kindly hosted us and kept the billy boiling making sure we all had enough to drink. We gossiped about everyone who wasn’t there, were your ears burning on Saturday night? We awoke to find few clouds in the sky on Sunday morning but little did we know how hot it was going to get. It turned out to be a blistering day and there was suffering all around. I don’t think anyone pb’d, but Brownie won her age group in the marathon whilst Stan won his with a 4th place overall. Jo Banney ran a solid first marathon, and Dino and Carol both did well in the 10km. Scott Brown did his first half marathon in a long while and Jerrod and Fabian ran the half as part of a punishing Ironman training routine. They did the Half without any tapering at all.
Mary was honoured with a Good Samaritan award because she broke her race 3 times to assist people in need including our own Gazza. Gazza collapsed about 200m from the finish suffering from severe dehydration and muscle damage. After some initial difficulty getting propoer help and ambulance arrived. Gary had been supported initially by Abi and Sandy and then Stan and Mary came along. Mary’s presence was greatly valued as she is a nurse and understands the medical needs of athletes in such conditions. Thankfully the hospital took good care of Gary. Mary got dropped off at the hospital whilst we had a somewhatt deflated meal at Sizzler, getting text updates from Mary. We eventually made it over to the hospital and Stan & Mary saw him before he was taken up to a high care ward. Latest update from lunchtime today is that Gazza will be released on Friday this week. It will be great to see him back home and recovering over the next few weeks.
There are a couple of reflections I have. Firstly, a big thank you to Mary, who always thinks more of others than herself. The support she provided to Gary was incredibly valuable. She also helped a runner hit by a car and another woman who also collapsed. Her support of Gary in the hospital would have made the world of difference to him as well, ensuring that he got the best care and the medical staff understood the unique nature of the injury (you never know – its Toowoomba).
The other reflection I have is just how dangerous running can potentially be, especially at events where the temperature is either high or low. We have been running information nights on nutrition and hydration already, but I will endeavour to put together a factsheet for our website of essential information about nutrition and hydration for long distance running which clubbies can access 24/7. What happened this weekend is both avoidable but also easy to understand how it happened. It doesn’t take long for you to get distressed and not make good decisions (or be aware of making good decisions). Ultimately we don’t want anything like this to happen to anyone else, cos as Gazza will no doubt tell you, its not pleasant. I really did get a big fright out of this. Long distance running is a tough gig, and we need to know as much as we can and also know our bodies. Be careful peeps!