I was not sure what to expect today. Easy week of training, but first race in 10 weeks and no doubt non stop feasting and less running over the break has not helped.
Poor Lorie was dragged out of bed and forced to drive to Homebush all before 6:30am. The allure of a post-race brunch did the trick.
Reasonable turnout from HuRTS – Tommy, Timmy, Enda, Macca, Andy, Biggsy, James and Renee. However, where was Charlie D and Wooey, who only 12 hours earlier were keen?
I negotiated a 2:15 head start for Timmy and put $20 on the line. Although this is a great deal, you never know that day where you faint, roll down a hill and run a personal worst.
The first few km was a little confusing and I had no tactic. To my surprise I just manage to latch onto a group of 5. Even more surprising was the presence of Tom and Macca!
|Only guy in black|
3km of 3:20 pace did its damage, and the group fractured leaving Tom, myself and a third guy later revealed to be Lewis. Naturally I’m very nervous here, as Tom even being in sight should be a sign I’ve gone out way too hard. Perhaps my watch is wrong and we’re running 3:10?
As we pass the slower runners in the opposite direction, I noticed a happy Lorie who gives a smile of encouragement. The best I could do was a sweaty grunt then a grimace.
|Hiding at the back of a three-man group at 4km|
We passed half way around 16:40 and around here I was happy to do pacing duties. The bloke in front was clearly tiring, but there was still at 30m gap to close.
Turns out he was incredibly stubborn. So much so it took until the dirt track loop at 8km for Tom and I to shake him. It’s always at this stage you realise racing is just an exercise in pain management.
For about 1.5km, I sat on Tom’s shoulder thinking, ‘jeez a PB is probably a given, but what do I do about this skinny Pom?‘ I pondered too long and ascending the final ramp, it came down to a 200m sprint. David vs. Goliath here and what a poor tactical decision by me. I lost a good 6 secs to a much better runner.
Shocked at the time – 33:15 at an average 3:19 min/km. 4th place. This is a good minute on the same course in October, which itself was a 90s PB.
Splits show a very mild negative split. Not my usual style but this could be the new norm.
First 5km in 16:42 (3:17, 3:20, 3:17, 3:23, 3:25)
Second 5km in 16:33 (3:15, 3:20, 3:19, 3:22, 3:17)
Best thing from today is a huge confidence boost to race more aggressively.
As always Tommy is in a league of his own with a 33:10, whilst Macca and Enda went sub 35. Biggsy plus James E are both now back in action, Timmy did a predictable 37ish and is now $20 poorer. I missed Renee at the end but I was expecting her to go sub 39.
|HuRTS group after the race. Great morning all round!|