Friday, 15 October 2010

Australian 100KM Championships 13th June

Was great to have a fortnight between events (although i ended up aging a year in that time :-)), but now it was back to the serious stuff, my local race The Gold Coast 100, which is also the Australian Championships.

Myself and Anna Maria and trained quite regularly here and by now she was feeling as at home as i was (she was doing the 50).

After shockers here the last 3 years i had one goal and that was to get back under 9 hours, only one house guest this year, Malcolm Gamble, so not quite the usual houseful of runners but was hoping we'd all have an early finish.

Had been a little worried about just what would happen at our start finish line as being a long weekend there was "Green Day Out" festival as well as some marching band parade as well as some charity walk with our Mayor Ron Clarke, Kurrawa was going to be a happening place !!.

With the 50K also being an Australian Championship (due to the cancellation of the Canberra Marathon with 50K), there were some strong runners out there, Dean Cook, Andrew Lee, Kerrie Bremner, Chris Hill, Brendan Davies as well as Susannah (also doing Badwater) and Malcolm, knew i just had to run my own race and hopefully pick up a placing before it was over.

Started the first lap with my Lululemon top and buff and gloves and was feeling good, thankfully not too many people around too.

Now it was getting crowded at Kurrawa but with 4:03 for the split knew i had a decent time in front of me, so it was off with the top and gloves and buff and on with the headband. Always find that 3rd lap bit of a nothing lap but no choice but do it by now the other competitors were familiar and i could judge whether they were making ground on me or i on them.

Still not much time to worry about that as Wednesday it was off to Los Angeles and my third Badwater.

Noosa Half Marathon 23rd May

On Friday Anna Maria had flown in but going Montreal to Vancouver to Sydney to Brisbane had missed a connecting flight in Sydney (hardly surprising i've never found Sydney a good place to fly into and would always prefer to drive there).
So instead of picking her up around lunchtime picked her up around 3 by which time the weather had deteriorated, was looking like we'd have a wet weekend in Noosa.
Saturday the weather had cleared and we had a good drive north stopping in to see Bill and Jane Thompson on the way (Anna Maria had seen me eat Custard Apples on skype but had never had one herself, a new treat).
Time to pick up our race packs and then find our accommodation in Noosaville, went for a walk that evening trying to work out how far we'd need to walk to the start the next morning, but with my debatable sense of direction never found it in the dark !!.
Come race morning it was coolish and clear, pretty ideal for that sort of shortish event, pretty much my goal being to do under 90 minutes not having done that in my two last year (first time in over 20 years not a streak i was happy to break).
With around 1,200 runners was finding it hard to get a comfortable pace with room but was content to find gaps when possible and was through the first half in a consistent time, know that i could keep that up pretty easily for the second lap.
Nice course but by now i just wanted to get it finished, the odd familiar face but for the most part half marathoners are a different breed and i don't do that many nowadays so just kept on running hard to see the clock just tick over 88 minutes with a better chip time of 1:27:55 and ultimately 106th place, not quite what i used to be able to do but good enough i knew at least i still had some speed.
Anna Maria set out with a goal of sub 1:50 and her chip time of 1:49:59 showed she knew exactly what she was doing !!!.

Glasshouse 50K's 16th May

In the week between races i'd finally started organising my US trip so i had plenty of things to take my mind of my next race, 50K's at Glasshouse.
Led the first 10K's or so and was very sad to see dead on the side of the road the massive python that i had encountered a number of times over the years, at a guess it was so big it had been run over as it was stretched across the road, probably 6 or so metres long i'm not a good judge.
I had a lady right on my tail, she wasn't a familiar face but Glasshouse does seem to bring out the best of the lady runners so i was happy to let her take over pacewise. Heading down the powerlines was interesting as usual and i knew by then i had some other runners making ground on me, still made it to checkpoint 8 in second place but was overtaken in the 8A loop, was feeling really good but just didn't have another gear, by then i was seeing many of the 50 Mile competitors (despite that being my pet distance i'm simply not interested in a 3AM start !!).
Was passed by another runner on Cooks Hill but felt good and despite passing no one ended up doing 4:44:28 for 5th of 45 probably my best time over that distance there.
Pretty flat after one tough marathon and two ultras the previous weeks so was very much looking forward to Anna Maria joining me from Montreal the next week as well as the Half we were both to do at Noosa the following Sunday would be great to finish a race in only 90 minutes !!.

DELXC 6 Hour Trail run 8th May 2010

After Mount Mee, definitely felt like i needed to rest to recover with only a 6 day break before this event (which last year was in September - sadly there are often too many events on at the same time particularly in May !), but on the Friday my plans for the rest of the year had been thrown out the window with an offer of a late start at Badwater.
So went there with quite a few things on my mind (not of least the free post run beer :-)).
With the race now on a Saturday the plan had been to drive up after doing some work, but i was later than planned and by the time i hit Cunninghams Gap it was pitch black and for the life of me i couldn't find where the turn off to "Raleigh Park" was so i ended up staying in a cabin at Warwick.
In the morning it was cool and crisp but was very thankful for the latish start as that gave it a bit of time to warm up.
The course was the same 6.2K's as last year (i'd originally thought it was 6.5 but apparently there were modifications both times) and i was looking forward to being back out there.
Quite a few familiar faces and i decided the best option was to go hard from the offset and try to burn them off after a lap or so, probably not the smartest thing to do as at least 3 of us went around in 30 minutes or so and i knew i couldn't keep that up so eased back.
Next few laps went nicely but i seemed flat and by lap 7 was struggling i'd worked out i was in third place (and after being lapped by the eventual winner) knew that was as good as it was going to get, just a case of hanging in.
Sounds easy but by lap 9 i was actually cramping up on the steep hill in the back half and actually went backwards to make my way back, not really sure why i was cramping had had plenty of fluids as well as GU and S! Caps. Just got through the 9th lap before the 6 Hour Cutoff and knew that at least i could equal last years distance, used a stick to get me up that last hill (as worried by the cramping) and finally made it in 6:36:10 around half an hour slower than last year and a lap behind the winner, still that would have to do.
A few beers and all was forgotten, ended up sleeping indoors in the sleeping bag and the next day helping to put down the tarpaulins etc, felt like i was the circus leaving town !!.
Having won the spot prize of a start next year know where i'll be in 2011, just hope i'm in better shape for it, because not only is it a unique event on our calendar but also one of the most enjoyable, only wish for the sake of the great organisers that more were in it.
Sooner or later i'll make it back there for a training run !!