Cadbury Half Marathon
January 13th 2019
This was my fourth go at the Cadbury Half. In terms of numbers, it’s a popular event. It’s also very well organised and combines a marathon, half marathon, 10k, 5k and 1k kids race in one day. It’s always well supported by locals with a large number of interstate and a few overseas runners as well. It also doubles as the State marathon championship.
It’s fair to say that for the locals, it’s nobodies favourite event but one which everyone seems to do. Maybe it’s the post new year celebration lethargy, but most likely the course itself. Yes, it’s flat and fast apart from the hill at the end, but given the beautiful scenery we have in Tassie, it’s pretty much a tour of the boring bits of Hobart. This isn’t a criticism as in terms of logistics, the race is right where it needs to be. (I did the Botany Bay Trail run in Kurnell National Park a couple of years ago and couldn’t believe a National Park could be so ugly. Plus the course could barely be considered a trail, more just a run along beaches with the occasional sand dune thrown in.)
The start finish area is the Cadbury Factory in Claremont on the northern edge of town, and yes you do get some chocolates in your finisher bag to go with the medal. The full marathon starts at 6am with two laps of the housing estate. The half goes at 6.30 and does one lap before heading out into the burbs. The course is mostly flat and fast and goes through the suburb of Claremont before heading onto the Brooker Highway, past the Derwent Entertainment Centre before heading across the Derwent River via the Bowen Bridge, turning 400m past the end of the bridge then returning via the same route. A bonus for the half marathon runners is that you get to watch and cheer on the marathon runners as they head back to complete their first lap and also as they begin lap two.
My previous best in the half was 1.29.30 a couple of years ago. The 1.30 pace runner cleverly gave us a minute in the bank until the 20k mark as the last kilometre means running a 400m hill before the finish chute which causes average speeds to drop considerably. This year I knew 1.30 was unrealistic but managed to average 4.20 per kilometre for most of the race. I’ve had achilles problems on an off for a couple of years now, but fortunately they were behaving themselves today.
My biggest problem this year was courtesy of my new Adidas shorts. They are super comfy and light, but for some strange reason have pockets in the front where they would be on jeans. I had a gel in each one. They both fell out in the first kilometer. Fortunately, a spectator saw one of them bounce out and chased me down, so at least I had one to get me through which was enough. The usual fatigue kicked in around 15k, and I used my usual mental strategy of comparing the distance remaining to the distances I’d be covering on my normal training runs. When I hit 16k, I tell myself that I only have a Parkrun to go. This strategy works for me in all races except for the brutal Point to Pinnacle which has become the bane of my running life in recent years.
I was happy with 1.33. This time last year I wasn’t able to run at all and it wasn’t until April that I was regaining any sort of run fitness at all, so I’m ahead of schedule training wise.
I’m an interstate runner. Should I do the Cadbury Half or Full?
I’d say yes. Ok, the course isn’t particularly scenic but you do get water views. It’s a very easy race to access, being only 15 minutes from the CBD. They provide bus transport to and from there. In any case, Tassie has plenty of beautiful scenery which you can visit after the race. If you’re after a good time, the fast and flat course will help. The early start time usually means not much wind either.