Run Melbourne wrap up
August 17, 2015
Disability Sport and Recreation (DSR) members, Luke and Craig, participated in this year’s Run Melbourne event as part of Team Protect/DSR. They have both written a summary of their experience.
Luke has gone one step further and also put together a short video from the event with his friend Tim (click on the headline of this article to view the video).
Luke’s Run Melbourne summary:
"Run Melbourne was my second fun run with my friend, Tim. We were trying for under 50 minutes, but I did it in just over 1 hour and 50 minutes, more than double what we had planned.
We started well, but about three kilometres in, my chair lost power. I wanted to stop the race right there, worried about the chair completely running out. It’s really stressful when your equipment breaks down, because we are so reliant on it.
But Tim wanted to keep going, so we pushed on. My chair weighs about 150kg, so it would have been really hard work for Tim. I really wanted people to help him and I was grateful people offered to help. We had three to four people help Tim push my chair, especially up the Anderson Street hill.
When we went past the Nova crew, they loved us! They were jumping up and down and calling out our names. I kept forgetting we had our names on our bibs, so it was odd to hear complete strangers shouting out like they knew me. But, it was great to have them egging us on.
Throughout the race, there had still been a bit of power in my chair, which made it slightly easier for Tim to push. About five metres from the finish line, my chair conked out completely and Tim had to push me in manual mode. I was so relieved when we finally crossed it!
It was a fun race, apart from the breakdown. The risk of something like that happening again won’t stop me from going out and doing what I want to do. You can’t worry about things too much.
I would definitely do Run Melbourne again, despite the cold. The challenge is to get other people involved and to have more runners.
Tim and I are thinking of doing the half marathon next, if I can get a better chair, or make sure my chair won’t break down. Would you like to join me?"
Craig’s Run Melbourne summary:
"Leading up to the day, I was nervous about how slow my chair would be, and whether I would be able to keep up with Luke and Tim. I was also nervous about not knocking into the other runners, as I didn’t know how big the crowds would be and whether they would make room for me.
The organisers had said people in wheelchairs could start early, but we were taking photos, so we got to the starting line a bit late and had to start with all the runners.
My chair’s top speed is 9kmh and Luke’s top speed is 11kmh, so he and Tim disappeared pretty quickly. That wasn’t too bad, as people let me through and for most of the run, it just felt like I was driving my chair down the street.
I didn’t mind being on my own. I had people calling out and saying how good it was to see me out there on the course, which is funny, because I didn’t think what I was doing was all that special... apart from surviving the cold! But it was great to have so many people being so positive and having such a good attitude. The Nova radio people went ballistic as I drove past, which was a lot of fun.
When I went past Luke and Tim on the side of the road, I thought they were just mucking around. Because I’m so much slower than them, I thought they would quickly catch me up. I had no idea they were in any trouble. I would have stopped if I had realised; I couldn’t have really done anything to help, but you don’t leave your mates.
Towards the end of the 10km run, I had one runner nearly fall on me as she was tiring, but luckily she didn’t end up in my lap and I made it to the finish without knocking anyone out.
It was good to see others in wheelchairs from other groups. I didn’t get a chance to talk to them, but maybe next year..."
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