Everyone knows to set aside the 2nd Sunday in August every year. Today is special because Lorie & Trinity are watching and like always, you can bet Tom and Enda will put up an stand-out post race feed.
My thinking is not to overthink the race. Perhaps if the legs comply – 47-48 min?
At 7am I set off by foot from Glebe with a 3km warm-up to the start. There are enough personalities in the seeded zone to pass time.
20 min to go, we are already herded behind the tape! There is now added pressure as I’m right next to Truscott, Barts, Lewis and yes, Harry Summers. What I tell Lewis is the truth – ‘I will start slow, very slow‘.
A 10-1 countdown triggers a chaotic stampede. 0-3k is all about survival as you can neither control your line nor pace. The ideal strategy is to sprint William, and recover into Rushcutters. I’m boxed in all too quickly and execution goes out the window. Perhaps Alex Rogers had similar traffic issues as I single him out and jump onto his heels (literally) past Redleaf.
A quick watch check (mid 3:20s) confirms that I’m off pace. Why then are my legs so knackered?
Tim’s pre-advice race is to find my group at Rose Bay. I settle behind Andy Heyden, Toby and Brendan Davies listening to pumping music whilst plotting my next attack.
5km in 17:00.
0-6km is damage control and the race really starts here. I decide to attack Heartbreak Hill. Things go well shown by first picking off Lewis, then further up Neil by the 7km mark. The lactic build is nasty indeed forcing me to sit on Neil. At 8km, a pale figure with red hair and black top looks to be struggling. Poor Barts is fighting stomach cramps. Neil makes the pass, I follow, and once he ushers me on I say my goodbyes.
Soon enough, the dreaded Dover Heights climb stretches into the horizon and now I have no help. This one hurts.
10km in 34:20. The wheels may be nearly off but any C2S veteran will confirm the next 3k is cruise control. Now I can ‘rest’ for 9 min.
The turf now flattens, then falls which forces me into sub 3:10s mode. Next up is a sequence of hard fought battles with #1 female Cassie Fein, Kevin O’Brien, Scotty O’Connor, and finally as I settle onto Campbell Parade, Striders rival Robin Vonk. I have avoided being ‘chicked‘, but will I now be ‘Vonked‘?
13k mark marks a nasty false hill – a point where I play to my strength by surging. Around the hairpin, a quick look back confirms this was the right move! I celebrate with a 500m victory lap, knowing that Truscutt (10s ahead) is safe. Rounding the final bend, I am spurred by Lorie’s cheers and the reality of a sub-47 run.
46:49, 30th place and 3:22 min/km ave pace. Race results here.
At the finish, Tom, Q, Nick Roberts are already stumbling around. We collectively cheer the few that follow – Lewis, Neil, Barts and a stream of other HuRTS team mates. The effort takes its toll on the mind – Steve, Tom, Lewis and I at the time are thinking there is chocolate inside the medal.
How do I feel after? Weak stomach, mildly dehydrated but in good spirits. To conclude:
- Under-tapered to start, shown by early splits.
- Pacing was spot on, a very slow start but I recouped it on the hills. 15th place for the Heartbreak Segment.
- I’ve re-found my mojo after two sub-optimal efforts (Striders 10K, M7 Marathon).
With Trinity getting sleepy, we head over to Enda’s for a fine BBQ and a chance to watch the Olympics on TV. I also get the run-down from the HuRTS family. Most are humbled by the difficulty of the course, shown by the slowish times. There are a few performances that stand out: Chairman Tom’s 45:30, Lambert’s sub 50 and strong showings by all the girls – notably Renee, Elle and Jackie. Here we are.
Regardless, the real prize is to be enjoyed by all is smashed avocado, hard-boiled eggs and unlimited sausage and bacon all wedged inside white rolls. Whilst the bread may not freshly baked, the flavours are true and I can taste hospitality in every dry bite. 4/5 breakfast.
Run summary below.
A few photos to capture a pretty special day….
The girls, before the BBQ-festivities commenced.
Based on the difficulty dragging my 60-odd kg frame up a hill, I have newfound respect for Anthony Biggs.
And finally, Trinity has just turned 10 months. I am already thinking, is she ready for C2S 2017?