Melbourne Marathon Report 2018

Things haven’t gone quite to plan for the 4 KSB runners who lined up for the Melbourne Marathon this year. Yes, 4 runners! We all knew about three of them but another KSB athlete launched a surprise attack on the race……….enough suspense……it was Elise Aplin. So we had John Kondogonis, Russell Cram, Greg Moore and Elise Aplin at the start line.
Elise found Greg and they then spotted John K in the preferred start group, but as we waited for the..hooter…no it was gun…no it was fireworks…it was actually a gentle pop…we got together to discuss tactics and found that at least for the first 5-10K we were looking at similar times. We had a KSB group! Russell had his own tactics for completion as we shall see.
At 7:00am things were looking good. It was a very mild morning, with a very gentle breeze, but the forecast was for a warm day and increasing wind strength as the day progressed: and so it proved. After the gun/pop we headed off with Elise in the lead followed by John and Greg running together a few metres behind and so we went for about 4-5k. At this point Elise was running strongly and got about 50 -100m ahead and John decided to drop back as he had a bit of asthma and was struggling with his back – he was being prudent.
Russell’s plan was to do 10k in an hour and then run 800m and walk 200m until he finished. He executed beautifully coming in at 4:22:50; under his estimated 4:30. It was his slowest marathon, but he enjoyed it as much as his pb marathon, came through unscathed and was entering for round 3 at Williamstown next week by late efternoon with another marathon under his belt. You do wonder what Russell might do if he ran a marathon fit and with a full preparation. He is one tough Cookie!
The rest of us ran on with Elise and Greg running close together and John lurking behind. Elise was starting to do it tough around 16k but when Greg caught her, with a “get on”: she took off leaving him lagging. This happened twice up to about 20 k when Greg got to a.small lead, but where was John….lurking.
Around 21-23k, a few things happened. Greg started to fade and so did Elise. There was a gap of about 100m. We had plenty of encouragement from KSB -Steph Kondogonis, Peter Keighery,, Emma and Gerry Brown and others that I heard, but didn’t see and of course the crew at the drink station. However, Gerry and Emma took things further, but jumping in and giving Elise support and pacing. The three of them planned for a sub 4 hour result. But where was John K….he wasn’t fading, but he was lurking..
By about 28k, John had passed Elise and very soon Greg heard his breathing and quick steps. He was passed in a flash, kept his form and pace and came in at 3,41.09, it was great run under the circumstances, with a month of back and leg trouble and breathing difficulties early in the race. He was placed 23fd in the highly competitive 55+ age group.
Greg and Elise battled on about 100 m apart until 30 k, when Elise suggested that Gerry head up to Greg and see if he was struggling as she was – he was!. So Gerry arrived to save Greg’s day while Emma and then Bianca ran with Elise. It was brilliant for both and the plan was to get both in under 4 hours – the Brown family precision running system. Of course it worked.
Elise,…… did I mention it was her first marathon, and she was talked into running it by her work mates….with friends like that……..held on wonderfully to come it at 3.59.03. Wow, how good is that timing and she was 59th in her age group. It was tough initiation, but we all know how Elise can hang in there in a race and it was a good debut.
Greg was gone at 25K, but it started at 21K, so to make it under 4 hours was a real slog. Without Gerry for nearly 10k, I would have been out to 4.15 or 4.20 and it could easily have been worse. Gerry’s presence and guidance made all the difference. I ran 3.57.44 and finished 4th in the 65+ group as some of my contempories did it even harder than I, suggesting conditions may have been a bit tougher than they seemed,. My wife, Sandy also said to pass on her thanks for two aspects – the first that she did not have to go looking for me in a collapsed heap on route, and perhaps more importantly, she did not have to put up with me grumbling about running over 4 hours
So thanks to all at KSB for their support. Great work at the drink station by Ian and all his crew and a special thanks to all who were out on the course and in particular to Bianca, Emma and Gerry in getting two of us home under 4 hours,
Once again my sincere thanks and very best wishes to you all

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