Rain, wind, and 20,000 Melbournians
Winter in Melbourne can be downright inhospitable. Granted, we don’t get snow and the temperature rarely gets into the low single digits, but as much as we see harsh winds and biting cold snaps every winter, we don’t have a cold-weather culture. It’s almost as if those long summer days in February and March erase any memory of the preceding winter.
Still, every year in July we lace them up for Run Melbourne. It’s by no means a fast race, the many twists, turns, and undulations ensuring it’s a course for the racers, while the elements eliminate anyone that’s not as tough as nails.
The race starts on Flinders Street at 7am (why it needs to start in the dark is one of the great mysteries of our time), which presents puzzled looks from those finishing up a wild night out on nearby King Street (and probably equally puzzled looks from the runners looking back at the partygoers!).
Still, when the gun goes at 7am the smells of early morning kebabs and regret must be cast aside, for there is a race to win.
From the start line, it's an action packed opening with several turns and a climb up Collins Street, before the first straights of the race around Docklands.
By the time the leaders reached the 5k mark at Webb Bridge, the pack had well and truly been established.
By the time the leaders came around the top of The Tan and down Anderson Street, 2016 winner Brady Threlfall had established the lead, joined only by Dane Verwey (Dane had a slower start, coming through the 5k at Webb Bridge off the back of the lead 3).
Close behind them were Dave Ridley and Max Ueda.
Approaching the U-Turn at 16k, those at the front of the race had a chance to gauge how large (or small) their lead was, and just for a moment we were treated to the most iconic of duo's, rain and piercing sunlight.
In the women's event, Hannah Oldroyd was running solo for the majority of the race. Oldroyd clocked a 1:22 flat to take a commanding win.
After a race of all conditions, and a fierce battle with Dane Verwey, it was 2016 winner Brady Threlfall who again came down the finishing chute first, winning in a time of 1:08:37.
Hannah Oldroyd would go on to win by nearly 4 minutes in the women's race, taking the win from Elly Jackson.