Sunday, 22 June 2008
Early start today with the alarm going off at 3, time for breakfast and then the 2 hour drive to Mount Mee for a 6AM start.
Cold and dark sums the drive up but i did at least make it by 5:30 meaning i was in time to feel just how cold and windy it was (hadn't done this race since 2005 and i'd forgotten the icy breeze). This meant a quick change of clothing as i put my long sleeve polypropylene top on under my race singlet.
Very small field, probably to close the the Gold Coast Marathon to get the guns, so a grand total of five us fronted the start line in the dark.
Third different course for this race that i have done in my three starts here, so was hoping it'd be easy to follow.
First lap was 6.75K's out and back and i had amassed a 500 metre or so lead on the other 4 (running as a group when we passed each other). Back to the start in 1:06 and then the long 26K leg, muddy trail and a creek to cross slowed me down a bit (refused to get the shoes wet as they will be off to LA with me tomorrow) and from then on many steep ups a downs giving glorious views of the Glasshouse Mountains and surrounding areas. My only complaint still damned cold even with the gloves unable to feel my hands.
Passed some 6:30 start walkers early on this lap and eventually caught Glasshouse Race organiser Ian Javes and later Martin & Di Schott (Martin running backwards with me for a while - maybe one day "Backwards Tony" will get a challenger from Downunder !).
One last lap a shortened version of the first out and back and here i made a mistake, i was assuming the witchs hat at the 5K mark was the turnaround but was unsure so went a little up the road to see whether there was an aid station, couldn't see one so headed back, luckily i caught up with 2 10K walkers and mentioned it was strange there was no aid station as there had been none at all on this loop. They said to me i had to go a bit further so i bolted back and just past where i'd turned the first time (hidden around the corner), was the aid station.
One drink and i was fired up with my error, it could have been a fatal mistake in terms of winning this race as i'd covered approximately 2K's extra now, Susannah Harvey-Jamieson was coming towards me just passed where i'd caught the walker so i knew she was second and still a bit behind, but i also knew that running angry sometimes meant i just used all my adrenaline up and i hit the wall, so just focussed on running as hard as possible as long as i could.
Ultimately won in 4:45:08, a bit of a milestone being my 30th ever win, with Susannah second (and first as well as only woman), followed by Alun and then Francis Harvey and Sean crossing the line together, a small field on a course deserving of many more.
Bacon and egg sandwiches hot of the barbie and feeling as good as gold (although still cold !), great way to finish this part of my Aussie race year.
Quite a bit of chatting with people i wouldn't be seeing again till nearer the end of the year and was also lucky enough to pick up a spot prize (including a thick snow headband, reckon that will get some good use though not in Death Valley !!).
Tomorrow is a very long day, landing in LA sometime in the afternoon, so now it's time to pack, think i've sorted out the blog updating by getting a gmail account which should mean i can use the old phone to update, time will tell i guess.