Cold weather and under the weather. Friday was a day off. Frankly it didn’t really help but at 5:30am on Saturday I was sick of excuses and said to my pillow ‘screw it, just turn up‘.
The warm-up (1k) fails to clear the throat. It’s all about distracting myself from the task at hand and I do that with some pre-race banter next to Timmy Lindop. I can tell Rob Vonk will be the man to beat today. Based on my warm-up, 100ks in the legs since Monday I’d love a sub 35 today.
And we are off. I sit behind Fats, Rob and a bloke called Sam as the lead group slowly stretches out. None other than Brendan Davies pops up (my rival from Canberra)! Rob actually says ‘he’s here to get revenge on you‘ to which I laugh and explain my manflu. Anyway, then Rob/Sam surges at 2km and that’s where I lose them. 8k to go and I cannot respond.
The lead to the two stretches out as we wind downhill to the dirt loop. Some mini-construction is happening which leaves cones and signs on the inside line. That costs me 4s and I lose footing a few times. My only company is a young bloke tucked into my slipstream and not sharing the work. No matter as he keeps me honest when mentally, I’m close to quitting.
Half way in 17:05. Boy that is much slower than it feels.
The leaders are 15s infront and long-forgotten as we leave the car park. It’s really hard to get the rhythm going today and with the kid hanging on, I’m scared. Back up the climb at 7km where injured Amanda encourages my along (volunteering). Big help.
As we hit the cycle track I sense the battle is swinging in my favour. In reality, he’s faded big time and I’m just holding a pretty mild 3:20s. Last 2km is all about survival. For some reason the stomach cramps come which I’ve battled with this year. Once again I dodge cones, lose my footing and slow on the dirt track. The last K has me preparing for the hated 10m uphill bend which then has me nearly walking. Uncustomary, there’s no sprint into the chute.
Finish time 34:15.
First half 17:10, second half 17:05:
– 0-5k: 3:19, 3:26, 3:25, 3:27, 3:31
– 6-10k: 3:22, 3:26, 3:23, 3:26, 3:27
The way I see it, is it is a great outcome if I exceed expectations. On the basis, I’m extremely proud for turning up and better yet, finishing. I could tell I gave it all because I was coughing up and could barely breathe on lap 3 (ie a 3k cool-down with Robin). I’d call out great runs from Rob (mid 33s) and Timmy, who FINALLY get’s his well deserved sub 37. Great to see a few other friendlies including Macca, Craig M, the Fattorini family.
Good luck to everyone running GC this weekend. I hear Tom Highnam had the run of his life to go 31:35. Mind-blowing performance.
I will post a photo of Timmy, who gets my performance of the day (in Sydney). Well done.