Maiden GCAM and a new level of suffering. This is the magic shot post my best race to date.
In hindsight, my key ingredients for a 2:30 marathon:
– 100km weekly base with speed and a 21.1km turn up race
– 10-12 day taper, 6km/day with strides
– Dead flat course, good conditions and F&F support
– No early ‘warm-up‘ pace. Attack early and run an even split
GCAM was diarised in May and I had eyes on the 2:35 PB, loosely 3:40 pace. Day kicks off with a 70m drive from Brisbane. Lorie and my folks are in company and I’m nervous en route to the start line…
It’s 20 min in the cold, spent chatting to Tom, Craig and Biggsy. I’m also wondering how Biggsy will fare dragging that frame 42.2km…
7:20am, gun goes and I form a small group at 3:35 pace. Before long, 3 fall into my slipstream taking turns to heel clip me. Enough is enough and a sustained surge has me solo at 10km.
Burleigh turnaround (16km) approaches and my 3:30s feels ‘easy‘. Rhythm is good. The elites are on the return and I enjoy the spectacle of Africans being chased by Japanese.
Next move has me hunting a fractured group, some 45s ahead led by none other than HuRTS #1 (or #2 to Barts) Tom Highnam. He’s motoring at low 3:30s and my moving target over 16km to 23km. Not to be fazed, I persist despite the risk of a late stage bonk. Clock reads 74:32 at half way. Dare I think about a 2:30 marathon?
Race starts here and at 23km, Tom slows and I bridge the gap. He looks tired, beckons me on and I never look back. There is now no one in sight and I’m starting to hurt. Around McIntosh Island (27km) my mind is wandering as I run straight, hear a shout and realise I’ve missed a bend. The extra 30m run, a 120 degree turn loses me 10-15s. Idiot course marshal!
Mentally and physically, it all takes a dive. Unrelenting pace, heat and dehydration is very demotivating. Back through start zone at 31km and I feed off cheers from Lorie/folks, share a hi-five with Jeet/Sonya/Gus and decline a diet coke offer from Barts at 33km.
Gus takes a good shot of me sleeping on the job, just before my mental low point.
The rest is really a blur. I tend to lift my chin when I fatigue and today there was 6km of trying to self-correct this posture. With this new crippled state my pace settles at 3:38 min/km and a Japanese girl (#2) steamrolls me with 2km to go. There goes the sub 2:30. Final bend has JFen screaming ‘50s to sub-2:30‘. Despite a final effort, it is too late.
2:30:14, 23rd place. Over a 5 min PB vs Perth 2014.
Splits show the pace drop at 30km. At least every km banked today was sub 3:40 min/km.
I catch up with the half finishers (Jeet, LJ, Bruce) then Macca, Andy, Sonya et al to get the update. In the half we have Barts, Lewis and Eloise running 21.km in a ridiculous low 70 min time. A hat trick of PBs to Enda, Jeet and Gus whilst Lambert goes out too hard and fades.
Full distance more mixed. Tom misses the 2:30 but like Andy and Mike L, run PBs. Tough day at the office for Biggsy (3:06), Sonya (3:14) and Birchy (3:16). Heat induced no doubt. From Perth happy to see Hamish and Simon both hitting 3:24 type PBs. Expected more from Hamo.
Run of the day?
Barts and Lewis. Noting the PB efforts, I give them the benefit of the doubt being ‘chicked‘ by Eloise.
Can’t be happier with the result. My thanks to the family, HuRTS contingent and Perth parkrunners for the support. Looking forward to City 2 Surf in August!