Despite being wildly popular and the perfect battleground for many of the folk in HuRTS, JPM CC is a funny race:
– end of the season, racing hunger is already depleted
– always raining, strange 5.6k distance, 6:30pm time throws off your nutrition
When I crossed the line in Melbourne, 3 weeks ago, I decided to retire the racing shoes for 2016. With the pressure off, I didn’t bother tapering and in fact ran at lunch and then to Centennial for the start. A generous 3pm lunch did my stomach no favours.
Normally I’d be running strides, stretching and nervously chatting to my competitors at the start. Today, I am hugging myself in the tent with 10 min to go.
An amble over to the start I’m still working out what my race will involve. I find Champ, who is eager for sub 19:30. Some quick calculations suggests 3:30s. Most are waiting nervously at the start. I below the time, 2nd row in orange. In front is a super nervous Tom, Champ to my right and LJ shivering behind me.
A delayed start and off we go. The usual frantic sprint, round the bend and up the hill. We move onto the path to dodge the idiot bolters. I sense the front runners this year are well off last year’s pace – CT and Tom leading. 1k in 3:40 as the turf flattens. Here, Champ reveals that his lunch is not sitting right via a series of explosions. I am appalled, as is the #1 female in his slipstream.
Downhill provides the runners with the momentum to knock out a 3:30 2k split. As we enter the inner loop, I decide it’s time to move and make that known to Champ. For about 1.5k, I move through the field using the #1 girl as my own target and dragging Champ along in the process. We see Jeet ahead who needs to be caught. 3k split in 3:25. Companion looks good and even asks for 19 min! We pick off Jeet, bury girl #1 and surge towards Fox Gates at which point I feel my job is done. Boy this race is short.
I realise that I’m starting to enjoy myself now. The rain is refreshing, HR is low, legs are warm and all I can think is ‘I can’t let those guys ahead beat me’. Pace quickens deliberately, maybe 3:15s. Next pass includes Jason from AMP, Darren, James Everett and finally Brendan Fehon (in a world of pain) in the hope they can hitch a ride. Some try, the majority fails although Fehon is good for 200m. This is me thinking about the free t-shirt as I round the final bend.
No need to sprint as I cruise in at 18:55 (clock time) in 31st place. Ironically, I hear the clock was 10s too fast, implying my time was 19:05 at 3:29 min/k ave pace. .
Splits: 3:42, 3:32, 3:26, 3:26, 3:25: 3:18
Finish time is an embarrassing 80s off 2015. This in itself is motivation to perform in 2017. I would think on a 5k race, HR should be 20bpm higher at the end.
More pleasingly, I look back to see a few of the team finish strong: Brendan, Jason, Darren and finally Champ (19:20) knocking out a 20s PB and the prized scalp of Jeet. A walk through picking up free fruit, muesli bars and a shirt is sufficient to learn of how everyone went.
Times were a little slow this year partly due to the rain. Like always HuRTS covers the top 10 like a bad rash. Chairman #2 (looks disappointed), Barts #3 and other solid runs from CT, Neil and Toby. Big PBs to Champ, Angus and Erika. Team MBA a little less spectacular this year – Charlie an OK 22 min and Ingram and Richard a little off pace.
Thunder and storms was not enough to dampen the spirits in the Allen’s Tent for many hours. Food always tastes better after exercise. To that end, it is unclear whether the sausages and (unknown meat) patties were palatable. Everyone ate it anyway.
From left to right: Elle, LJ, Jac, Jeet, CT, myself, Ruth, Wal, Lambert.
Myself, JFen, Jeet in uniform, then Neil in black.
Bay Run regulars (ex-Neil).
Overall a wonderful day out and lots of mileage in the legs. The run home maybe got me near 30k.