I started writing this one week ago, and now that I am in Boston, I figured I should finish it. So……
My race in the Run for the Kids (R4TK) fun run went to plan. Well, sort of. I didn’t win, but I ran about what I thought I should have three weeks out from Boston and I believe that I am prepared to run a fast marathon. (probably not African fast, but fast enough)
The R4TK course was an interesting course to run on. Some “highlights” of the course included:
- The mile-long Domain tunnel (which incidentally was very warm)
- The tough climb up and over the Bolte Bridge
- Running along the waterfront at Docklands and Southbank
The biggest annoyance for the race was the windy conditions we got to run in. Let me tell you, we were very very exposed on the Bolte Bridge. My wheelchair racing mate, Richard Coleman, told me that going down the other side of the Bolte Bridge he had to push. Normally these guys just coast down. Now that’s windy!
When the race started, I tried to settle in and just relax. I wasn’t stressed about running fast, just wanting to have a good race, so that meant that I was perfectly happy with whatever the opening pace was. With no lead car clock, there was no way of telling how fast or slow we were actually going. A few surges occurred in the opening kilometres and by the time we came out of the domain tunnel, I was in the lead and contemplating whether I should try to open up a break.
I tried, but opening a break proved to be futile. Every little surge I made was matched by Duer and Craig. As we progress through the middle five kilometres, Duer and I traded the lead into the wind. It was tough going, and we only reached the ten kilometre mark in about 30:20. The pace remained steady through eleven kilometres before Craig took off and dragged Duer along with him. I lost about fifty metres on them and had to work really hard to get back up. I got back up just before thirteen kilometres, and just decided to keep going to make my bid for the win.
The last two kilometres were hard. I just kept pushing and pushing and pushing and pushing, but Duer would not drop off. In the end, I managed to run the legs out of myself instead of Duer. With 400m to go, I went “to the well” and found nothing. I ended up finishing the race three seconds behind. It was apparently the closest finish in the history of the event.
I was happy with the race, but not the result. I expected to run around forty-five minutes and I did that. Unfortunately, I came second AND I missed out on two airfares to London. That sucks, but I have Boston in my sights, and will gladly take a second place in Melbourne if it means I run very well in Boston. With that in mind, stick April 15 in your diary for my next race. Happy Running!