Always make sure your sunglasses match your shoes.

Stablemate Elise “Cheesy” Beacom blasted a sensational four minutes off her PB and clocked her first-ever sub-3 in 2:57:06 at the Gold Coast Marathon, held in the beautiful Sunshine State of Queensland. The craft-daft lass placed 33rd/1,527 sheilas and sweet 16th for her age. 

Look at those percentiles!

After spending hours the day before festooning her drink station bottles with glitter galore and many a pipe cleaner, she donned her rainbow/mermaid-inspired co-ord and set off for the full Mary. 

Turbulent times awaited the little mermaid; with it being a coastal canter, the winds were swirling. A strong headwind hindered her for half the route, and the following side-swiping crosswind came as little relief. 

Leading the pack.

The Stable News was undergoing some “financial restructuring,” so much to his dismay, Ally “the Chin” Smith had to Skype Beacom from the comfort of his couch: 

Ally: G’day, Elise. Sorry I couldn’t be there in person, but ol’ Stazza has curtailed me from visiting Oz every couple of months.

Elise: I’m sure you’ll be back over in no time with the air miles you’ve clocked up. 

Ally: Indeed I will, ha-ha. Tell me all about your fantastic sub-3, then. 

Elise: When I ran 3:01 in Valencia last year, I knew I had some unfinished business with the marathon. For the past seven years, I’ve been saying “I’d love to run sub-3 one day” but it always felt like it was a very faraway goal. It’s taken thousands of kilometres and hours of grinding to get here, but I’ve enjoyed every minute of the training and am so thrilled to have joined the club. 

Ally: Excellent, Elise. Consistency sure pays off. 

Elise: Agreed! The race went as well as it could have for me. I didn’t stop smiling the whole way around. I went out in the first 15km a bit more conservatively than I had planned because we were running into a headwind.

I had a few people to run with but not a big pack to tuck into. From 16km to 30km, I dialled into my goal marathon pace, which was between 4:07 and 4:10 per kilometre (split the half in 1:28:53). From 31-37km, I ran a bit quicker again—between 4:04 and 4:08 pace, and I was feeling really good. 

The last 5km got really hard. The wind picked up, we were back into a direct headwind, and the sun was beating down. I willed my legs to keep moving and managed to hold it together (my slowest km of the day was a 4:15). 

Running into the finish chute was incredible. I tried to take it all in and enjoy the moment. I crossed in 2:57:06, with a 45-second negative split, and when I stopped running, I started cramping everywhere—including my obliques?! 

Mission accomplished.

Ally: Incredible stuff, Elise! The obliques could’ve been taxed from the crosswinds and possibly the smiling. I can’t recall any Stablemate having that good an experience in the marathon. 

Elise: Yeah, something I’ve recently discovered about myself is that if I am having fun, I run well. Prior to the race, I spent a crafternoon bedazzling my drink bottles in ribbons, feathers, and sparkly pipe-cleaners (so they were easy to spot).


I wore a bright, technicolour outfit that made me look like a mermaid/unicorn so lots of people yelled, “I love your outfit” and “Go rainbow girl,” which gave me a boost. I wrote something funny on my wrist for when it got hard: “You’re a frickin’ mermaid. With legs.” [But it didn’t say “frickin.”]


There were so many friends cheering on the course, riding bikes alongside and yelling encouragement that it was impossible not to enjoy the experience. And a couple of my running friends got sub-3s as well, so we could celebrate together. I’ll always remember this one! 

Ally: Wowzers, this has to go down in Stable history as the best marathon encounter ever. Stazza will be recruiting you to hold “Craft your way to a sub-3” workshops, hahahaha. 

Elise: Ha, I’d be happy to. It sure helped me. 

Ally: I’m sure I could find some PVA glue lying around. Anything else lined up? 

Elise: I’ll be finishing the cross-country season for the Geelong Pussycats (unofficial name) and targeting a couple of half-marathons to get faster over the shorter distances. 

Ally: Superb, Mrs. Congratulations once again. You deserve it. 

Elise: Thanks, Ally. 

Meanwhile, on Stazza’s Island: over a few shandies, The Stablemaster was regaling the locals about the time (in 2017) he ran 30-odd miles (on concrete, in plimsolls) in the morning and a fast half-Mary in the afternoon: 

Stazza: Honestly, guys, it was easy for Stazzaman! I just went into Stazzaland, and the miles clicked by. I had to stop to get home for my tea; otherwise, I’d have done a hundred. 

A collective yawn came from the locals.  

Stazza: Enough about me; wait until I tell you about one of the Stablemates, Elise Beacom. She just spanked the Gold Coast Mara’ in under three hours, dressed like a sea-maiden! I’ll need to check my sources on that one, as the signal was a bit crackly, but I’m sure the Chin said she was a unicorn mermaid or something. It just goes to show that when you’re having fun, anything is possible. Well done to Elise.