The Carcoar Cup 2016 (Bushies/800 word limit/ alt. version)

My name is Stephen Lomax and I started running in 2013.

I began the sport of running to improve my health and be a good role model to my son.

I’ve had some success since 2013.

This report is a précis and alternative version of my full report on the Carcoar Cup Running Festival 2016, written to satisfy a word count restriction for a club publication. I urge you to read my full report, so that you can receive the love, gratitude, and details of a really awesome running festival which you should put on your bucket list.

Winning the Carcoar Cup Ultra (60km)(c.920+/-) in a time of 05:20. was a major achievement and marked a return to peak fitness which I’d completely lost at the beginning of 2016.

This achievement was preceded by an important benchmark run at the City2Surf 2016, which- thanks to God, the Universe & the Sydney Striders- I had a qualifying time for, in the glorious Red Group. This was owing to an appearance at the Sun Run 10km 2015, which I’d won from a Striders Facebook competition for posting the ‘wittiest comment’ about why I should get a free entry to the run.

Back to more recent times, and around 6 months ago I was struggling to run further than 5km and pulled out of the Bay to Bay Half Marathon as I genuinely felt I wasn’t up to it. I bought the ticket, but didn’t take the ride.

From a running perspective the worst thing was that, in the depths of it all, I wasn’t enjoying running. I wasn’t motivated to run, I wasn’t feeling the joy or the passion and I felt as though I’d lost my mental and physical fitness and that it may never return. I still ran, but it felt like hell. It made no sense. It hurt.

So did the training that I put in day in day out week in week out to attempt to regain fitness.

I was in a catch 22 situation , so I decided to hit my internal f**k it switch and come out fighting. Destroy whatever was standing in my way, dragging me down, or standing in my light. Turns out it was me all along, so I crossed my bad self out and began rebuilding my better self from the inside out. Clouds unfold! Silver lining… Phoenix rising. Music and hope and determination and hard work.

I trained a lot. It took time. It wasn’t pretty. I felt like I was back at square one. I kept at it…

I had a Carcoar Cup entry and a goal: I needed to finish the Carcoar Cup Ultra-marathon (60km) (approximately 950m climbing) in under 7 hours. Success would secure my qualifying race for the Six Foot Track Marathon 2017.

I went into the race with a positive attitude, excellent specific and base training and enjoyed every moment. I was well prepared and I gave my absolute best. It was tough. I had no idea I was gonna place let alone win, and once that belief became a reality, I ran with it and held on to it until the finish.

It wasn’t easy but it was a lot of fun.

Work hard, believe in yourself, never give up.

Smile whenever you can.

I don’t want to get to heavy and start throwing words around like God or the Universe, but let’s just say that I’m thankful for this day, and every day, and its my genuine wish that others will follow their own simple path and find their own glory; or at the very least the pub afterwards. Maybe start with one and try and complete the set!

I’m proud to say I really gave my best out there and in training, and enjoyed every bit of it; I’ve steadily and deliberately learned a world about running since my abysmal Sub3 Marathon failure in 2014. It’s been a tough and worthwhile journey re-discovering why I began running and what really makes it such a beautiful thing to be able to do. I resolved that enjoying running was more important than results and proved that you can still improve, run PB’s and meet new challenges and achieve success, while having fun, chatting, smiling a lot, taking selfies and stopping to enjoy the views.

After the race, I spoke to my son on the telephone, as I often do after races, the last time being after City 2 Surf. He always asks me if I came first! This time I was able to say yes. With a short Dad speech about the taking part being more important than the winning, I called it a day.

It was about as close as you get to a perfect one.

If you’d like to read the real race report with all the thank you’s and the details and the photos, unrestrained by an 800 word limit, please visit the following:

The Carcoar Cup Running Festival 2016

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