February 2017 was my first parkrun, it was when I had the epiphany that I needed to get healthy, and that running was for me.
Over the course of the next 12 months I lost 41 kg and improved my parkrun time by nearly 30 min … and had found a home in Meadowbrook parkrun.
After I had completed two half marathon’s I decided I would seriously train for a full marathon.
Gold Coast 2018 was my first full. My training buddy Simone and I worked diligently for 6 months on fine tuning our running to do the marathon as educated and comfortably as we could.
I stayed down the coast with my BFF who started me running ( she was sick, so couldn’t run herself) and was able to create special memories with her. We did the running hero’s event the day prior and even went out to dinner and late night shopping that night…
That morning I had my training buddy and my run coach Dan with me at the start line.. I was excited and anticipating an amazing run.
Sadly 14.5 km in (after perfectly following our plan) my stomach started cramping. I would later that night find out I’d actually gotten salmonella poisoning at dinner the night before.
I walked and had a gel in case it was salt or electrolyte issues…. and that’s when my body started rejecting everything within my system. EVERYTHING.
For the next 16 km I visited every portaloo and 2 cafes to use the facilities (TMI). I was alone. I hate running alone. But nobody needed to see me like that.
I sent out a group chat pm at 14.5km to say I felt sick, then at 25km I sent out an SOS that I wasn’t good at all. My mates that had completed the half networked to meet me at different points along the course. Brooke and Paula over the bridge, Kaylie near Mcdonald’s, Michaela after Mcdonald’s… Sheila, Megan, Sami and Dan were a cheer squad on the traffic island with lollies and flat coke Bouncy joined us too in the stretch before the chute…
They left their families and celebrations to come out on that course and help bring me home. Sharing the load. Spreading out to do a few km before someone new would show up, and then swap back at another point.
I even had my cousin show up and walk with us.. it took me about 2km to realise it was my family with me!!! I was walking and shuffling and panting when the pain got bad. (I’m sure I sounded like I was in labour)
Then when I got to that chute they told me it was mine. It was calling me. And I ran that chute with all I had left.
I heard my coach yelling near the finish line, and that helped me sprint as hard as I could. To finish proud of myself.
At the end of the chute my training buddy was there waiting for me.
So many ppl dropped what they were doing to ensure I was ok. I’ve been asked numerous times WHY I went on. Why I finished it with salmonella. I didn’t know I had food poisoning… I didn’t know how sick I was or how my kidneys would be effected in the weeks to come. I am determined, stubborn, tenacious and SUPPORTED.
I am so Loved by my team mates. There was no option BUT to finish.
We now joke it was my salmonellathon and I’ve since done a full without the food poisoning.
One day I will train seriously for Gold Coast Marathon again… to have the experience I was cheated of… to have the finish I deserve … to override traumatic memories of that event with happy ones… one day.