Saturday, 13 June 2009

Coburg Harriers 15k: 3rd in 61:54

This was probably the hardest race I've ever done. The pre race briefing was so exhaustive that phrases such as 'rubbish tip', 'bugger of a hill' and 'cyclone wire fence' just went in one ear and came out the other. He could've made it a lot less confusing by just saying 'follow the flags':P

Scanning the crowd, I didn't see too many good runners (field of maybe 50 for both the 7k and 15k races), but Stewart, who I've raced a couple of times and always finished behind was there, so at least I didn't have to worry about leading and getting lost:P The first 3k were around the athletics track. I didn't feel too comfortable for the first km (3:55), but gradually got my stride together and as we left the track to do 4k on the bike path, I was in fifth place, feeling pretty good. A downhill stretch saw me move up to second (actually leading the 15k field because the leader was only doing 7k). I was happy to stay right there, even though he had obviously gone out too hard and was slowing down. Number three wasn't so keen on staying where he was though and leapfrogged both of us. I ran off his shoulder all the way back to the aths track (technically winning the 7k race when he veered off to get a drink:P), still feeling pretty good at 3:46/k.

The second part of the race was two laps of a cross country course. It was absolute murder. After having no difficulty staying with the leader for the first 7k, he'd put 100m on me within 5 minutes of crossing onto the grass. Before that I'd been able to do well off my aerobic fitness, but from the very first hill, my legs, weakened from all the training I'd done this week, began to let me down. I had no power going up, and found it hard just to keep my footing, especially in one section where the track turned to mud. Stewart passed me back, having a strong second half as he always does (I guess a 15k race is like a sprint for someone who's aiming at marathons).

From that point on, it was a case of just trying to hang on as best as I could. Fourth place had almost caught up to me on the uphill part of the course, but I widened the gap again on the downhill and flat that followed. I knew that if I could stay within 200m of him with 1k to go, I could probably outkick him to the finish line. Surprisingly, given how hard I was finding it, it took until the last punishing hill on the second lap for him to catch up, and even then, I managed to distract him with angry words about the hill for long enough that he didn't get a chance to capitalise on his superior strength:P With only two km to go of relatively mild hills, I had it in the bag after I dropped him on the next downhill. One last lap of the aths track and I was done, very pleased with my effort.

Considering I was going 3:46/k for the first 7k, and didn't let up on the effort one ounce on the second half, it shows what a tough course it was for me to finish in almost 62 minutes. I reckon
I'd have done close to 55 on a flat course (we'll see next week at Lake Wendouree:)).


Off to Lake Mountain tomorrow for some XC skiing. It'll be interesting to see how much my technique has deteriorated in three months since I last strapped on some planks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"speedveganism" - I like that term. Man, your times have been getting good! That's awesome to are going to be moving up the veganfitness time lists quick!