It’s freer than you’ve ever felt in any costume as you stand on the start line dressed in no more than a crop top and shorts. You’re right at the front and get caught up in the buzz of the crowd, forcing yourself to slow down as you go over the bridge. As you get to the other side of the Harbour Bridge you notice the 3h15 pacer going way faster than he should. It’s a bit disheartening watching him overtake you so early on but you know he’ll need to slow down eventually to be a true-to-time pacer. The first bit is a bit undulating so you are looking forward to arriving at Centennial Park. In Centennial Park there are still some hills so you look forward to exiting where you finally get into that state of flow, listening to “Rhythm of the Night” on repeat and meditating to Isaiah 40:31. Head high, eyes focused, you drift off, ceasing to look at your pace on your watch. Come 27km, the snakes you grabbed in your Uber ride on your way over seemed to have caused a stitch on your right-hand side. You slow down to what seems like 6min/k. It subsides at about 32km when you start soaring on all the piers of Pyrmont, loving the flatness. It’s not until 40.5km (41.5km) on your watch you get another stitch and mildly slow down. Stopping your watch at 42.25km you record a 3h16min16sec pb for a marathon and push on over the slippery tiles to finish at the Opera house, bending over as you finish to help your stitch subside. Thanks Sean for your personalised coaching and for Warren for facilitating all the great speed sessions!