AFTER running 13 marathons, a total of 548.6 kilometres thumping the pavement in running’s war of attrition, you’d think tackling the Orange Colour City Running Festival marathon would be a breeze for Brad Simmons.
“You get older, so nothing gets easier,” Simmons laughed ahead of his 14th marathon.
However hard his next run is, Simmons couldn’t knock back the chance to run in Orange’s inaugural marathon.
“I guess my challenge is I’m getting older and I haven’t been doing as much, so I’m not in the shape I’ve been in in the past,” he said.
“The challenge is to finish this and finish in reasonable condition.”
Simmons is just one of a handful of Orange Runners Club members taking on Orange’s first marathon, a 42.2km run starting at the Bloomfield hospital and working its way around Gosling Creek, out to Spring Hill and back.
Two of Simmons’ running buddies, Daryl Roweth and Richard Eggleston, are joining him in the event’s inaugural marathon.
Roweth has predominantly trained alongside the club’s only female marathon entry, Sue Dean, and credits his work with the mother of four as the driving force behind his bid for a personal best, sub four hour time on Sunday.
Roweth ran the Canberra Marathon in three hours and 39 minutes in April last year.
“This one’s a pretty solid course,” Roweth said.
“I don’t know there will be a lot of difference (to the Canberra marathon), it’ll just depend on how I’m feeling on the day.”
Marathons, especially those on isolated country roads in rural areas, can be a lonely event.
Not so for Roweth.
“I’ll have mum and dad. They live out at Spring Hill and they’ll be doing some of the marshalling out there. They’ll probably give me a bit of a rally up,” he smiled.
“Other than that, just talking to people as you run along. It’s usually pretty friendly as you get further back from the front.
“I imagine even the front guys talk a little bit.”
Eggleston, also embarking on his second marathon, was thrilled Orange finally had a marathon to call its own.
Training since the end of the 2012 Canberra Marathon last April, Eggleston said his battle was with the clock.
“I’m aiming to do the first 20 miles (32 kilometres) in three hours and then the final 10km in an hour. My goal is four hours,” he said.
The action at the 2013 running festival starts tomorrow, with the 2km junior dash from 4pm.
Sunday’s marathon begins at 6.30am.
This is followed by the half-marathon at 8am and the 10km (8.30am).
The 5km schools challenge, business challenge and dash all start at 8.50am.