23 AND ME
Stazza’s Angel and all-around good egg Elise “Cheesy” Beacom battled horrendous headwinds and 60km/h gusts to take second spot in the Brooks Half-Marathon (which was actually a 23K) at the Great Ocean Road Running Festival in a fabulous 1:31:15.
Beacom stormed through the 21.1km timing mat in 1:24:40 and placed 24th/3,199 overall.
The race was held in Victoria, Australia. The point-to-point course didn’t make it easy for the competitors. Besides the constant blasts of wind, the road climbed 255m between Kennett River and Apollo Bay.
Impressively, Beacom ran this year’s edition 25 seconds faster than 2022’s (where she earned fifth female), when the conditions were idyllic by comparison.
The Stable News’ jet setting journo, Ally “the Chin”, hopped down to Oz to hear from Cheesy:
“Hi, Elise. Really well done on your silver medal; how did it all pan out?”
“The headwind on the day was so brutal that I didn’t have a proper pacing plan and had to run by effort. I spotted a group within the first couple of kilometres and patiently worked my way up to sit on the back of them. The first six kilometres of this 23km race is very challenging, with two huge hills. I tried not to burn too many matches early—going easy up the hills and leaning into the downhills.”
“There were two other women in the pack, and I knew we would be high up in the field. But I had no idea what our positions were. In the conditions, I knew I had to try and stay out of the wind as long as possible and race people instead of worrying about running fast. I stayed in the group until 20km and heard the two other women breathing slightly harder than me. I knew I had to make a move and commit to it, so I put in a big surge and resisted the temptation to look behind.”
“Brilliant; it’s always a good feeling when you can hear your rivals suffering, ha-ha.”
“Absolutely. Soon afterwards, someone on the side of the road yelled out that I was the second female. I kept pushing forwards, knowing I just had to hang on for another 2km and hoping that I’d done enough not to be caught. I had some energy left in the tank and ran 3:41 for my final km, buoyed by the crowd (apparently, I had been gaining on the winner, who finished 25 seconds up the road).
I was so relieved and happy to cross the finish line for my first podium and some cash monies in a big race.”
“Fantastic, Elise! I’m so happy for you; racing the field and not worrying about the time was the best way to do it. What’s next up?”
“Plenty of cheese and red wine is first on the agenda, hahaha. But seriously, the Gold Coast Marathon on July 2 is the big focus for the year.”
“Lovely jubbly. Enjoy the cheese feast, and I’ll meet up with you in a month’s time.”
“Thanks, Ally. See you then.”
The News called Coach Stazza, who was also firing into some cheesy delicacies—mozzarella dippers from the local Maccy D’s—for some insight into Beacom’s blissful bounce up the coast:
“Yum, scrum, you can have your fancy schmancy fromaise [sic] all you like, but sometimes the simple things in life are the best. Just like forgetting about the time and the pace and simply racing. Elise tapped into that in this stonker of a stride and came away with some moolah. Keep tipping away, and we’ll get more where that came from very soon.”