From: Peter Williams []
Sent: Monday, 24 September 2007 1:20 PM

RACE REPORT: Peter Williams ran the 42km Sydney Marathon YESTERDAY, to raise money for Cancer Research


Dear Friends


Well I had a fun day out yesterday. If you don’t want to read the following “novel”, just scroll to the end to see how I went.




Day started with a 4:45am wake-up to a cold but fine morning, after a surprisingly good nights sleep. Breakfast of Weet-Bix, Powerade and cup of tea, followed by several nervous visits to the loo (ones and twos).


Ange generously offered to drive me to a railway station to catch a train to Milsons Point. After picking up my training partner Lindsey in Annandale, Ange managed weave thru all the road blocks and dropped us at Wynyard Station, where I had another toilet break, along with many other nervous and noisy runners.


Caught to 6:10am train from Wynyard along with hundreds of other crazy runners, some who were starting the half marathon at 6:20am (marathon started at 7:15am)


After checking our bags in, and meeting up with other CanToo runners, it was time think about my last toilet break before the race. The queues for the smelly portaloos were huge, but luckily we had local knowledge of this area, as many of our training runs started here under the harbour bridge in Kirribilli. So I visited the hidden shiny silver loo with piped music, push button everything and commentary, for my last wee of the morning (in a toilet anyway !!).




My plan was to run an even pace 3hrs 45 mins marathon (5mins 20sec per km), as were several other CanToo runners. There was also an official 3:45 pacer wearing a green flag, but he was going to run about a 3:40 pace up until 30km and then slow the pace and finish right on 3:45 (as most marathoners struggle home at a slower pace)


The first 2K required that we climb over the Harbour Bridge.....beautiful but a decent grade up to start the day. Our CanToo pace from the start seemed too quick, and after 5km we were over a minute up. At this point I decided to slow a bit and was soon caught by the green flag. I got myself into a good rhythm here and was running with a pack of about 30 with the green flag. At about 14km running around Centennial Park, I was still with the green flag but was in need of a loo stop, but didn’t want to get dropped. I won’t say what I did next, but let’s just say I stayed with the green flag.


I was having a drink at every drink stop (every 2.5km) and a sports gel every 10km, so nutrition wise I was doing fine.


At about 18km I was feeling good and found myself about 3 mins ahead of schedule, and about 1 minute ahead of the green flag.  It was here I saw my friend Richard Burns on Allison Rd, who had come out to support me. Thanks Richard, it was great seeing you there, twice. I had also written my name on my bright orange CanToo singlet, and it was amazing how many people supported me by name. Really inspiring.


I ran thru the halfway point (21.1km) in 1:49 and was feeling very (maybe over) confident. I was sure I would not see the green flag again, and could even break 3:40.


Running thru the city streets at 26km, I was still breathing very easy, but was starting to feel less comfortable, slight stomach ache and sore feet. At 27km as I was running up the Darling Harbour flyover, I realised that I could be in trouble. I could tell for the first time that my pace had slowed (although I was still almost 2 minutes up). This is the worst section of the course that feels like a concrete desert, and with no supporters.


Crossing the old Glebe Island Bridge at 31km, I was caught by the dreaded green flag and I noticed they were traveling considerably faster than me. I tagged onto the back of their pack, which had shrunk to about 15. Managed to stick with them onto the Western distributor, but just could not hang on going up the 2km hill to Norton Street. It was here I could see my 3:45 goal moving away from me, but had to let it go, knowing I still had 10km to go and I knew was gone.


I was feeling so bad at this point that for the first time I started thinking I wouldn’t finish. My feet were incredibly sore, and my legs were just not responding, and I just wanted it all to stop. Things improved marginally at the Norton street turn around, as I had a 2km downhill stretch, and I could see the Harbour Bridge, which I knew was near the finish line, and we were running towards it.


It was here that I made a decision to stop looking at my watch, forget about how many km were left (about 9), or how long this may take (almost an hour).  I told myself I just had to run to the city, along a route I had ridden to work over a thousand times, and that it’s not that far.


Running thru Pyrmont was horrible, and the Darling Harbour flyover even worse, except it was here I noticed our CanToo coach “Gordo” about 300 metres ahead, and somehow I was gaining on him. I just fixed my eyes on his orange shirt and plodded away, and in no time (on Sussex St) I was running with him. After checking on his welfare (he said he was gone, but would definitely finish), I surged (relative to Gordo) ahead.


At 40km, with 2.2km to go, I suddenly felt mentally strong, maybe because I then knew I would finish. I increased the pace along Hickson road thru the Rocks and passed several runners. One runner was walking, taking 6 inch steps, and another running backwards!!  Either injury was preventing forward motion, or he was after the backward running marathon world record.


The last kilometre of this course is truly inspiring. Running under the Harbour Bridge, I followed the water’s edge around the Park Hyatt Hotel board walk, and around Circular Quay cheered on by hundreds of supporters. 


The final 0.2km was truly amazing, running thru a shute lined with cheering spectators, including all the CanToo half marathon runners, still in their bright orange singlets. As I had decided not to race the clock, I soaked it all in, “high fiving” every CanToo runner and many more, “aeroplaneing” from side to side ensuring I didn’t miss anyone.


I then ran up to the finish, crossing the line with a “oh what a feeling” jump (of maybe 2 inches) in the time of 3hrs 48mins (and 42 secs). This placed me 575th out of about 1,500 runners.


What a brilliant day, what a brilliant course, what a fantastic showcase for Sydney!




Here’s where I was glad I ran with CanToo. I was greeted by a lovely CanToo helper, who lead me from the finish line, removed my timing chip from my shoe, collected my medal and bag, and lead me too the CanToo recovery tent, where there was food, drinks and a masseuse waiting for me.


After comparing “war stories” with other runners, a few group photos and a couple of beers, I caught a train home and was asleep on the lounge by 4pm.


Today I feel great and very satisfied, albeit with very sore legs.


Those of you who know Lindsey, she did fantastically well, and finished in 4:32:42 (and looked incredibly happy and fresh at the end). Thanks Lindsey, all those training runs with you were fun. No more 6:45am Saturday morning pick ups though.




Thanks to all of you, I managed to raise $2,030 for CanToo, and together all the runners for this event raised $275,000 (as of yesterday)


Some people have asked me what percentage of the donations actually goes to Cancer Research, and what is spent on overheads. Well the answer is that all of CanToo’s overheads are paid by Corporate sponsors (major sponsor being Macquarie Bank).  This allows 100% of your donations to be passed on to fund Cancer Research.


So, I really can’t thank you all enough for your donations, support, good luck emails, phone calls and text messages.


If anyone is keen to join a CanToo program, I can highly recommend them.  It’s a fun way of getting fit, making new friends and raising money for a good cause. CanToo also run ocean swim programs and may soon move into Triathlons. More info can be found at


Thanks again. I love youse all J


Sorry for such a long report. You can all tell me to “bugger off” now.




Peter Williams


tel: 02 9569 9848

mob: 0419 036 094



To unsubscribe to this email, please reply with the words “BUGGER OFF” in the subject

From: Peter Williams []
Sent: Friday, 8 June 2007 3:10 PM
Subject: Peter Williams is running the 42km Sydney Marathon to raise money for Cancer Research


Dear Friends,




As some of you may be aware, I am involved in fund-raising for Cure Cancer Australia.


Cure Cancer Australia provides grants to promising young researchers to find cures for all types of cancers.  Researchers are based in organisations such as the Children’s Cancer Institute Australia, the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and university medical faculties including the University of Sydney and UNSW.


To find out more, please visit




I have committed to participate in the CanToo Run program and run the 42km Sydney Marathon on Sunday September 23, 2007 

The CanToo Run program brings together a group of like-minded individuals, and over 20 weeks we commit to raise money and train for what will be a gruelling event.  This will involve running 645km in training and 42km on race day.


To find out more, please visit




As you probably know, for the past few months I have chosen not to engage in fulltime employment. This has given me free time and I have been determined not to waste it. So apart from learning the guitar, cooking gourmet meals, improving my lack-lustre surfing skills and being a roadie for my mates in the super hot Adelaide band “The Hiptones” ( ), I decided to combine my love of running and endurance events, with raising money for a good cause. Also, after watching and helping my partner Angela raise funds with the Half Marathon CanToo program earlier this year, I really wanted to be a participant.


And of course, there is a personal connection here as well. My beloved mother, Dawn, passed away two years ago, suffering from multiple myeloma, an incurable cancer of the blood. In some ways, entering the event and raising funds for cancer research is another way of honouring her.




You can sponsor me for completing the Sydney Marathon and for Cure Cancer Australia.


All donations help regardless of their value, but here are some suggestions to get you thinking:


-          $20 would cover $1 per week of training (20 weeks)…

-          a donation of $42 would be like $1 per race kilometre (42km)…

-          $64.50 is the equivalent of 10c per training kilometre (645km over 20 weeks)…

-          and $100, well,..., that would be $66 per beer I drink at the finish before passing out (1.5 beers over 2 hours)


All donations (over $2) are fully tax deductible, and if you donate before June 30 you claim a deduction in this year’s tax return.




*  You can donate via the web-site (preferred option).  Go to  Click on the ‘Sponsor a Participant’ menu tab and then follow the instructions (search for ‘Williams’).  You will then receive an automatic tax deductible receipt. 




*  Complete the attached sponsorship form, and either mail to the address on the form, or give it to me. 




Thank you for taking the time to read this e-mail and I hope you are in a position to help.  A donation of any size is greatly appreciated.


If you know of anyone else who might be interested, please forward this e-mail to them.




Peter “Pelvis” Williams


tel: 02 9569 9848

mob: 0419 036 094



p.s. stay tuned for an “Elvis” announcement