Thursday, 11 June 2009

Gold Coast 100KM June 7, 2009 (National 100 KM Championships)

After what seemed like a long layoff since my last race (a whole two weeks, admittedly with some pretty heavy training mileage), it was time for the Gold Coast 100KM race, always an important one to me firstly because it's the national championships, but also it's always around my birthday date so always a chance to give myself a present money can't buy.
This years race would actually be one day after my birthday, so would be my first run as a 45 Year old, maybe an indication of the rest of my year if a good one, maybe something to improve on if i wasn't happy with my performance.
Having the 12.5KM turnaround just down the road from home it meant i'd run laps of this course countless times (as well as in last Decembers' Kurrawa to Duranbah 50K), so not only knew the course intimately but also knew that it could be very hard mentally as at times you'd spend time dodging tourists and cyclists and families out for the day, not to mention the inherent boredom of a lap course, Laps 2 & 3 would also be the testing ones.
I ended up with a number of runners staying with me in the "Kelvintorium" (as it was dubbed last year when i had 6 running guests), but with the World Championships in only a couple of weeks time the field was not looking as full and neither was my house with only 3, Lachlan Fraser, Michael Lovric and Malcolm Gamble, nevertheless we would go on to make over %20 of the field.
A big issue was always going to be the weather, the storms had settled down since the big waves etc, but still we'd been getting heavy rain at least daily, often with dark clouds coming out of the blue, so imagined at some point rain would be an issue, temperature wise though it was looking perfect.
Arrived at Kurrawa at 5:15, plenty of time to get sorted and it was looking a really good day, only 18 Starters in the main event, but cloudless skies meant it looked that once the sun rose we'd get some beautiful conditions.
Pretty easy to see the main contenders, Jackie Fairweather seemingly a certainty for first woman and to my mind a big chance overall and Terrence Bell a big chance as top male, with Wollongong runner Tim McKenzie also in the mix, although i wondered whether inexperience (third Ultra start), may count against him, i was certainly there somewhere but really my goal was to run sub 9 and maybe PB if all went well.

Cool to start so started in the Lululemon top (it's probably done enough race K's now to run by itself), Buff Bandanna and gloves, with the theory i'd ditch them after one lap. 1:49:55 the first lap, within 5 minutes of the leaders and feeling very comfortable, decided the gloves and top were no longer needed, but discovered i'd left my headband at the drop esky at the turnaround so kept the Buff on. Pretty much running dressed exactly as i train now (not always with the buff though) and couldn't help but feel at home and comfortable.
Did the headband change at 37.5K's and also decided that instead of taking a big swig from my Gatorade bottle i'd carry it till i'd emptied it, at this point i'd just been passed by Jackie, but i was feeling good, however once out of the tunnel that is Jefferson Lane i noticed big black clouds, to me that 3rd or 4th lap was going to be real wet.
Best said i'm not a weather guru, within 5K's it was raining heavily, was just hoping i wasn't going to pay the price for running topless as the rain was a little cold, best thing being that recently these sort of storms had been short and sharp.
Sure enough we only got 5K's worth of rain and it had actually done us all a favour getting people of our paths as they scampered for shelter.
As i approached the turn around it was as though the rain had brought on a urge for a toilet break, so with two toilets just behind the turnpoint decided i'd just keep on going. This was to be my mistake, with only one toilet (not a block) i noticed someone approaching them so sprinted, not a good idea on wet Kurrawa Park grass as i found that when i tried to stop i had no brakes and ended up flat on my back, right on the tailbone, not good.
Did what i needed to do and headed back off, was still in good shape time wise, just under 4 Hours (and only 2 minutes slower than my winning time at the 50K and within 20 minutes of the leaders), if this fine weather kept up i was thinking i could make up good time, but was wondering just what affect my fall would ultimately have.
It winded me a little but all seemed fine, but by 60K's i was beginning to feel back spasms, at 54K's i'd managed to drop a GU when getting my Succeed Caps out, so knew i had this awaiting me (with luck) on my return, made it through to the turnaround but was now feeling the odd sharper pain radiating out of my hip.
I discovered a new way of opening Gu's, my dropped one evidently had been run over by a car (i was using the road not the beachfront path) and it had split in the corner, i'd barely lost any and just got gravel off the corner.
Certainly that 3rd lap hadn't been good to me and i turned in 6:23:30, almost 50 Minutes behind the leaders now, it was now a case of just holding it together.
got through the next lap a little warily as did ocassionally feel the odd sharp However coming to the 79K mark the wheels fell off, back spasm also went right down my right leg and i simply couldn't move, Struggled through to the 80K aid station and had a banana and creamed rice and for a little while could run, but reaching the Goodwin Tce aid station was back in pain. Thankfully Brett Saxon was there and knows massage, maybe it helped although any casual passersby may have thought Gordon Ramsay had arrived early the langauage that came out of my mouth as i got that massage (if it hurts it is usually means it'll do you good ????), Tamyka gave me some Nurofen as well, but it was to no avail, after being almost 3K's in front of Mal Gamble at the 75KM turn he passed me around 83K's and powered up the hill to Burleigh Heads and disappeared into the distance.
Had a couple of spasmodically pain free running moments and made the 87.5K turn thinking i may be able to hold the run together for a while. That lasted till around Tallebudgera Creek (91K) but from then on i was struggling to do much more than walk, was absolute hell coming down the steps from North Burleigh and very relieved to hit the 95K aid station and have a banana. Forced myself to run as i was positive Milov's footsteps would appear soon, and ultimately made it in for 5th (a few minutes behind Martin Edwards, who i'd passed coming out of 75KM and had then repassed me when i was on road and him on track - and four minutes in front of Milov).
Disappointed with 9:19:46 as it meant i was almost a minute per K behind the winners, but this just had to be one race i simply survived and i did.
Still back problems this week (and my chiropractor not back till next Monday), so have taken it easy, however with the 29KM "Mini Kokoda" in the Numinbah Valley on Sunday i will have one last hit out before heading of to LA on Wednesday.

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