Running 42.2km is hard enough. Running it with a wet shoe is even worse…
…Back in April I registered for the Brisbane marathon. I’ve completed the distance before but I was keen to try and beat my personal best time. I commenced a sixteen week training program and during one of my early training runs along the river, when I was checking out a few of the moored boats, I hatched a plan: anchor our cat in the Brisbane River the night before to make it super-simple to get to the race start…and then have post-race celebration drinks on the back deck! Fortunately Andy was happy to go along with the plan (weather-dependant!) and a couple of friends from down south who had also entered the marathon were keen to join.
Our time spent on the boat over the last couple of months has been more sporadic than we hoped but last Thursday we all converged in Brisbane and after some hasty preparation and provisioning, we did a bit of warm-up sailing around Deception Bay. We sailed across to Bribie Island, and tried (four times!) to anchor in Pumicestone Passage, but the southerly winds against the run-out tide made it impossible to stick, so we headed back across to Scarborough to anchor for the night.
We motored around Redcliffe, past Shorncliffe and Nudgee, to the mouth of the Brisbane River and began our river passage. We timed the tides well which gave us a couple of extra knots as we motored under the Gateway Bridge, past Brett’s Wharf, the cruiseship terminal and all the old woolsheds (now apartment blocks) at Teneriffe, then around the bend and under the Story Bridge into Brisbane city. We ended up with a rockstar park right in the thick of things and just near the Gardens Point dinghy dock. We took the opportunity of being so central and accessible to have a few more friends on board and ended up having a little boatwarming get-together (in the glow of the Story Bridge lights, while listening to the nearby Troy Sivan concert and watching some random fireworks).
So far things were going exactly to plan: our anchorage in the Brisbane River was directly adjacent to the city botanic gardens where the marathon was starting from which enabled very easy access to the start line. Rather than waking extra-early to catch public transport or find parking, queueing up for the privilege of using a smelly portaloo, and having to find somewhere to ditch your stuff, we woke at a reasonable time, had a few bits of toast, then jumped in the dinghy to head across to the start. Everything was perfect until just as I was hopping in the dinghy, I mis-timed and ended up with a submerged shoe! I didn’t have any spare runners with me, so I ended up running the marathon with one wet shoe! The marathon hurt a LOT (and I think the lack of training was more to blame than the sodden foot), but it was really great to run across the Story Bridge at dawn and peer down at my own boat!
After the marathon when we were all back on board, we motored with the outgoing tide back along the river and then sailed directly across to the Tangalooma wrecks at Moreton Island. We spent the following day exploring the island, fishing, and paddling and snorkelling through the wrecks. The best post-race recovery you can get. Apparently Moreton Island is 38km long…so shorter than how far we ran! The sunset was absolutely stunning and the perfect backdrop to our post-race champagne.
Unfortunately the extended weekend trip had to come to an end and we started to sail home to Scarborough. Halfway across the wind died and we were completely becalmed in Moreton Bay, so we took the opportunity to float around on SUPs and blow-up airbeds with the jellyfish! It was magical.
The trip really validated our decision to get a catamaran: lots of living space and the ability to drink out of wine glasses with stems!! We ticked off the wish-list item of anchoring in the Brisbane river, and hosted our first lots of visitors.
And now there are less than 200 days to go til the Odyssey begins!!