For my first race in Australia, I chose the Half Marathon on the Great Ocean Road. Race that is actually 23km!
- The Great Ocean Road
The Great Ocean Road is the most beautiful coastal road in the country. So it’s the perfect place for a race in Australia! The view is breathtaking at every turn 😊.
To get there from Melbourne I first took a train between Southern station and Geelong. You need to buy a Myki card (top up card public transport in Melbourne). This card costs $6 and you need $9.2 to go to Geelong. Attention, at the southern station, search for the good platform can be done only before swipe. Then you will have destination platform per platform (not easy when you do not know the number of the platform !). There are trains every 20 minutes and the journey takes about 1 hour. Then you will have to take a bus to the desired destination (Apollo Bay for me, $19.80 each way). I advise you to sit on the left side of the bus to admire the ocean view.
The waves are quite strong, which is the delight of surfers! At this time of the year (May), you can’t swim because it is very cold (winter coat is required!). But that doesn’t stop me from going to the beach to admire and listen to the ocean! Apollo Bay is a small coastal village quite quiet out of season, I will have to test in summer 😉.
For the half marathon we ran from Kennett River (beautiful sunrise !!) to Apollo Bay. Marathon runners (44km) and ultra marathon runners (60km) ran between Lorne and Apollo Bay. The latter having small loops in addition to the course. The course was rather hilly. Especially on the first portion of the half.
The organization provided a lot of entertainment all weekend including kites for all children. Shuttles (paid) were made available to join the departure (or to return from the arrival). Like all new zealanders race, during a race in Australia you will not have goodies or T-shirt, you need to pay more. Supplies also provides only water and isotonic drink. Some sweets from time to time for sugar.
I chose this race for the beauty of the landscapes, my goal being especially to admire the sight and appreciate the present moment. I did not try to make time or even run continuously, I especially wanted not to suffer and not to mangle my mind. It must also be said that no luck it was a day of rain and wind, it was very cold! I usually run in T-shirt but I greatly appreciated my jacket 😊. The wind sometimes made me feel like I was stand-still 😂. I finish it on 3h17’46”, I let you admire the course :