Three Years On – Reflecting Back on Blackwood

This weekend was the third anniversary of me completing the Blackwood Marathon, so I felt a little bit like reminiscing.

When I first moved to Australia, one of the very first things I wanted to do was the Blackwood Marathon.

So, in 2006, our family put in a relay team.

Ryan ran, Mat kayaked, Darin swam, I rode my lovely Cassie (oh how I miss that horse), and Cleon rode the bike.

With less training than we should have had, the five of us had a great day, a super weekend, and at some point during presentations I came up with the brilliant idea that I wanted to do it ALL.

I wanted to be an Ironwoman.



The goal was to do it two years later, in 2008.

Loads of planning went into this, but things didn’t work out they way I hoped. I had a knee injury, I lost my horse, I got a new and unsuitable horse, followed by another new and unsuitable (but freakin’ amazing) horse, until I finally got a good horse, got past my knee injury and got on track.

So, with all those problems aside, I started training in earnest at the end of 2009.

There were plenty of times I thought I wasn’t going to be able to do it. There were plenty of barriers to success. But in October 2010 I did get there, and funnily enough, despite all my angst and worry and self-doubt leading up to the event, on the day itself I felt calm, prepared, and happy.


I was really organised.

I felt really strong.

I had one of my best runs ever.



The kayak was fun!

The swim wasn’t bad…

The horseback ride was terrifying…


The bike ride was hard, but the finish line was exhilarating!!

The next day was a nice leisurely day, and I wasn’t nearly as sore as I had expected to be.


Now, I could look back and be disappointed that I didn’t hit my goal of 2008, that it took an extra two years.

But let’s look at this in a ‘glass half full’ way: I did what I set out to do, and did not give up.

It is nice to look back and remember that I can be focused, and disciplined, and I can do what seems almost impossible over what could seem like insurmountable odds.

Completing this event is proof that focus, dedication, trust (in yourself, your plan and your team), good planning, and visualisation can help you accomplish anything!

(For all the gory details, check out my some of the key posts about the Marathon here.)

The key question I get asked is if I’d ever do it again, and the answer is an ambiguous “I’d like to, but I’m not sure if I will.”

I am still proud of the accomplishment, and every time I look back on it, I really want to do it again, it was so much fun. But it was a LOT of work, not just for me, but for my family and friends and people who supported me on the day, and I’m not sure they’re keen to go through it all again just yet.

I definitely need a new challenge to fire me up, but I think I will leave the Blackwood for a little while longer.


One response to “Three Years On – Reflecting Back on Blackwood

  1. Pingback: On Starting Triathlon Training | Chasing the Blackwood Marathon·

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