21 February 2017

Sandgate parkrun 17;43 and Queensland State 5000m 16:37

Mike Trees spent the weekend with us on his way to NZ for business (he will stay with us again on his way back to Tokyo in two weeks time). He had a fairly major back operation a couple of months ago and is very focused on his rehabilitation. Andrew Green has a nickname for Mike, 'Sensei' as in Japanese for teacher or Master. He is a very wise man and spending a long weekend with him is full of learning. He embarrassed me with daily flexibility workouts and his monk like diet. That said, my back has never got to the condition his did and my bloods (when tested) have never been a cause for concern (unlike his). Anyhow he wanted to run his 99th parkrun here in Brissy and we wanted to choose a course that would be least jarring for his back (no hills or slopes) ideally we'd have done a flat grass course but we settled for Sandgate where Mike could jog along side the pathway on some grass for part of the way and it is dead flat with only one tight 180 O turn at the head of the pier and two easier 90 O turns into the pier. He has done almost no running so was relying on his swimming for the endurance. He survived and managed a pain free run in 22;11. He set a world best M50 15;44 at the original Bushy parkrun a few years ago when I ran 15;48 at Sandgate old course.
See his complete parkrun history here
I had entered the State 5000m in the evening and really should have just jogged round with Mike but I cant help myself I went off pretty easy letting Jamie Simmonds charge off to a 3;03 first KM into the distance as I led a small group. I intended to only run as hard as they ran so long as that was relatively easy. As we rounded the the island to run down the pier Jamie was already heading back on the esplanade pathway towards the finish. He couldn't have run down the pier section!
That would have to disqualify him so I was now leading. Conditions as ever really hot and humid but it felt good running easy 3;35's. I decided a wins a win and to ensure I wasn't out-sprinted by the two guys who were running with me to apply pressure at 4KM to gap them, bringing it home with a 3;25km 17;43 and first officially 'over the line' as Jamie disqualified himself.
Conditions in the evening at ANZ QSAC were cooler with a strong wind blowing. I thought the wind would kill everyones chances of fast times but others coped pretty well in heat 1, the A grade faster runners. I was in the B grade race and there was a further C grade race following ours. I warmed up OK and felt pretty good on the start line. However, within a lap I was in trouble!
A sea of lactic hit me and I struggled big time. The whole field ended up coming around me as I hit the back of the field. Sweat was pouring off me, big time.
I contemplated dropping out as I just felt awful but I hung in there and when I saw Hintsa drop out, I wouldn't be classified  last now!
I gradually managed to rope in a few more of the kids and finished in 16;37.6. Actually for a M55 that's not such a bad time but lesson learned dont even tempo the day before let alone near 'race' the morning of a race! Where was Sensei when I dreamed up this unwise master-plan?
In two weeks I really will 'jog' Mikes 100th parkrun at Sandgate the morning of the State 10,000m in the evening!
Check the ages!!
parkrun trying to take it easy, the purple pant lady was about to overtake us (OK she was just out jogging)


With Barry and Jamie. My thanks to Olga and Barry for some of these photos



14 February 2017

BRRC 5Mile Championship 1st 27;53

The weekend saw temperatures in South East Queensland setting record highs (47 C out West!!).
For us runners it made for uncomfortable, tough conditions. 
I have to get up at 4;00am (instead of my standard 4;30am) to make the 6;00am start at trendy West End in the city. 
The club uses the facilities of the South Brisbane Sailing Club for registration/toilets etc. 
I ran a 2.5km warm up and we lined up for the race just after 6;00am. 
The temperature was 26 C with 84% humidity but as the course follows the Brisbane River I am sure the humidity levels there are higher. 
The course is built around a 5km out and back loop with a couple on inclines and falls to negotiate plus two 180 O turns per lap.
Clay Dawson and I had a little interchange during the first KM (3;14) before Clay stretched away over the 2nd and 3rd K's. 
Clay gapped me about 5 seconds as we completed the first shorter 3KM lap. 
On a slight decline Clay appeared to stub his foot on the tarmac as he then yelped in pain and stopped - his calf had popped. He told me to keep going which I felt uncomfortable doing. Clay did manage to get back on course and jog the remainder of the run. It left me out alone in front and I ran as hard as conditions allowed but it was really horrid and very uncomfortable. My K's dropped into the 3;30's and I finished in 27;53. It was interesting racing a 5 Miler/8KM, we very seldom race them these days but I am keen to try out these different distances and will be having a go at 15KM, 20KM, 25KM and may even do a 30KM in the winter.
Results are here
Mike Trees is staying with us for a couple of days next weekend (on a stopover from Tokyo to NZ). 
He is still recovering from a back operation and is hardly able to run which means I hope to be able to smash him at his 99th parkrun (North Lakes or Sandgate) on Saturday morning (I need to get some victories over him as our Head to Head is heavily in his favour).
I shall not be taking it seriously as Saturday evening is the State 5000m Championship.


you can see the 4x180 O turns


The first lap is a 3km loop with turn back at Davies Park the second lap is the  standard 5km lap



05 February 2017

Sandgate parkrun 16:36

It has just been so incredibly hot and humid this summer I am almost looking forward to cooler weather for training and racing.
I have adjusted my alarm to 4:30am for training runs. Normally starting about 4:50am in order to benefit from the coolest hour of the day. It is, however the hour of highest humidity so I am still paying the price. I just ran my biggest mileage week ever (145.4km) and I'm smashed after a 33km slog along the Moreton Bay rail extension track and back. I have to get water at the station's or I would have died. I find myself craving for water, water lovely sweet water!
There are lots and lots of cyclists using this new pathway and just a few runners.
I tried to run on the grass beside but it is still quite uneven in parts and needs to settle a while yet before it becomes fully runable. 4:50am gives me about 30minutes before sunrise.
I think I will reduce the mileage now and add back interval training as I try and finish off the track season. There is no way I could maintain this mileage till the Gold Coast in July.
Saturday I ran Sandgate parkrun. I tried to go off slightly more restrained than last time and ran 3:10 for the first K. The next K was 3:22.
At the pier, I kept left instead of going around the traffic island (The marshall didn't direct). I was OK with having 3 seconds added to my time as a penalty for 'cutting'.
In fact my choice cost me time as I had to turn 90 degrees too swiftly and ended up running far right hand side of pier when the racing line is left hand side.
The heat definitely cost time as I felt well cooked. I managed to maintain 3:22/23 K's to the finish.
Doing a 180 degree turn at the end of the pier and running back the way we'd came. I was about 30secs clear. Top age grading in Australia for the day.


Top age grading  of the 33,000 park runners in Australia.

I should have skirted right of the 'green island' then rounded to the pier

I was cooking in the heat




Blessed hose at the finish

28 January 2017

3000m 9:36.2

I had to head down to the Gold Coast Saturday morning so I thought I might as well run the Masters 3000m as I knew Matt McDonald had drummed up some interest from the youngsters to come along. I was slightly hesitant because on Tuesday towards the end of 18km I'd felt soreness coming on in my right calf which remained there for the rest of the week. Also I have done next to no speed work so I wasn't expecting anything exceptional. Conditions were warm (hot if you are not from Queensland) and humid but we did have the benefit of a cooling rain and cloud cover.
Standard 3km warm up. Few strides. Bracko went tearing off and I slotted into about 5th. 400 in 72, 800 in 2:29, 1000 in 3:07 1600 in 5:05 2000 in 6:21. I did some interchange position wise running with young Daniel James. 2600 in 8:20 so thought I'd make 9:35 but a slight clip of my heels with 300 to go made me steady the ship before giving it some more. Daniel had the better finish but I was pleased with 9:36.2, I should still be able to run faster when I add the speed work and reduce the miles. I think it shows the benefits of the LSD training I've been putting in.
Matt ran well close to sub 9. Bracko will be dissapointed but he probably ran a PB, Clay ran 9:16 his watch but 9:21 official, Elliott Carr 9:24 between Clay and Daniel.

16 January 2017

BRRC 15km 53;59 1st

Training has been going well over the last month, consistently covering 110 to 135km a week by going long on Sunday’s
and running 16km (Roo+Lake+Roo) instead of my standard 10.5km (Roo+Lake) and running some doubles.
I haven’t got back onto the track yet but have been doing some easy sessions on the grass.
It’s been incredibly hot and humid and at times running conditions have just been horrendous.
I have been sweating torrents, so much so that I regularly discard running in a top but this has the consequence of shorts getting saturated
– so I only wear the short shorts to stop the flapping of anything over a 1.5” inner seam.
I have also noticed how the sweat trickles down the legs to the socks and shoes, so it’s also back to short socks.
The body is holding up ok.
I have some soreness on the bridge of my left foot (metatarsal) but I have had it since before the Worlds
(I even took two days off when I first noticed it 6 months ago)
but so long as it doesn’t get too painful I will carry on.
The knees are also hurting – the left knee more than the right.
I think its tendinitis and cope with pain by applying  anti inflam cream in the morning and ibuprofen on a race day.
My back has not been the same since I injured it in October 2015.
I am getting regular massage to try and ease it and I use the hand held roller to trigger point release.

I have been eyeing off some of the other distances on the all-time Veterans Road Running Rankings.
It’s a great motivation. 
I would like to record official marks for M55 @ 5/8/10/15/20/25km (my Perth Half is listed).
I have joined the Brisbane Road Runners Club as they host races covering most distances on a 5km largely closed road course by the Brisbane River.
The lap has two 180 O turns and two short sharp inclines. Timing is done by chip and mat sensor.
For my debut I decided to try 15km. Three laps. Start time is 6;00am which requires me getting up at 4;00am.
My sleep had been further interrupted during the night with a couple of really heavy downpours but Brisbane city didn’t get any of that so conditions were incredibly humid at 6.00am (26 O C and 87% Humidity!)
A very casual start and about 150 runners head off (runners choose beforehand today's choice was 5/10 or 15km).
Some of Brisbane’s better quality road runners were tempo training including Clay Dawson and Aiden Hobbs , pushing his son in the stroller.
I was by myself from the 1st KM in 3;23. At the time I wasn't aware that Clay had actually missed the start by 30 seconds and was charging after me, he was probably 10 seconds ahead of me for the first 2km .
The 180 O turns mean you get a good chance to see everyone.
I gave my run a real effort but with a big lead and horrendously arduous conditions
It’s hard to say I was flat out. My watch was showing consistent 3;35’s or slower if the inclines were included. I ran through the first lap in 17;35 which I was happy with.
My second lap was 18;07 as I tried to maintain a consistent pace. So 35;42 through 10km.
I lost sight of Clay at the turnarounds (we were lapping people) and I told myself he was catching me to help motivate my effort.
The third lap was covered in another 18;07 for a 53;59 result.
There is a nice big clock on the line which provoked a flat out sprint to get the sub 54 ;-)
I think I would shave at least 1 or 2 minutes off this time in the winter.
Here are the current rankings for the M55’s.
15 guys have run faster than me but I will slot in, in front of Bill Rodgers ! (for the time being).



Here are the first few 15km Men’s result;


Check the sweat flicking off my arms (just passed 2.5km turnaround cone)

Wearing the Newton Distance 1V



13 December 2016

2016

Annual review

2015 finished with me injuring my back which affected my performances in Japan but meeting up with Mike Trees and Andy Green provided me with the motivation to push hard for the year where the goal was always Perth and the World Masters Athletics Championships at the end of October beginning of November.
The year started off with me trying to increase my standard mileage from 70/80km per week to 100+.
I tried to improve my diet by going alcohol free and cutting out chocolate cakes and biscuits. The aim was to get to under 60kg to help improve my chances of faster running. I'd previously thought 62kg was my ideal weight and have variously bounced around between 60 to 65kg.
Back in January I did a 26km run with a North Lakes parkrun 17;01 thrown in at 18km.

The following week I did a more conventional 3km warm up and ran 16;24.
My increased mileage did not last very long as the niggling plantar factitious I'd carried for the previous 12/18 months started to flair up. 
16:24 North Lakes parkrun my fastest for the year


I spent the usual small fortune trying to find resolution. Ultra Sound, Cortisone Injection, ice, Spiky Massage ball, wore the half moon boot through the night (I am still wearing it as I still get flare ups). MRI, Consultant  x 2, Podiatrist gait analysis, heel cups, strapping and rest! 
Night-Splint-Fit-Plantar-Fasciitis-Adjustable-brace-support-sport-protector-S-M
If you have heel Achilles problems get yourself one of these off ebay for about $25 well worth it.

Well I didn't actually rest. Midway through February I stopped running and started cycling again (this worked well for me when I had a year off with PF in the right heel a few years back).
I tried running after 4 weeks cycling in mid March. 
It was too soon as though I managed 2 or 3 weeks of running, the pain was still too much.I had too judge what was the maximum amount of rest from running I could afford without cutting my Perth preparation down  too short? 
April and May were spent on the bike. I clocked up my 1000th 10km loop around North Lakes on the bike (10,000km around the same loop). 
The colder weather was on the way which I hate cycling in, so I was super keen to get running again.
At the end of May I strapped up the heel and started to run again. I had one blip during June where I jumped back onto the bike convinced I still wasn't right but 4 day later I started to run again on 12th June.
The countdown for my preparation for Perth had started.
Could I get back to my peak in 4 months?
I thought I could and I promised myself not to make any silly mistakes like cutting down trees or twisting my ankle running on a trail or injuring myself with a 2 hour  shoe less beach run. I also decided that I shouldn't let running totally dominate my life and relaxed my diet to include beer again (6 months without beer was more than enough and I am sure my wife appreciated having the old me back).
I had to miss out on racing at Gold Coast, Bridge to Brisbane, Redcliffe, Noosa and Gladstone.
So I started to build my mileage through July, getting a regular weekly interval session and a Sunday long run. I started to run a couple of double runs a week and managed to keep my weight at 60kg.
The last week of August and the first week of September I managed to peak at 130km weekly mileage.
16;29 North Lakes parkrun 20th August
September was  tricky trying to balance my non running life with my running life.
We celebrated  me turning 55, Natalie turning 50 and our 25th Wedding Anniversary all in the same week at the end of September beginning of October. 
We went to the USA to visit Los Angeles, San Diego, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon (South Rim), Yosemite National Park and San Francisco. I managed to find a track in LA and another in Las Vegas and fitted in a good variety of runs and sessions. Although the holiday wasn't the ideal preparation for Perth it perhaps helped prevent me from over-training at home and besides was a fabulous family celebration.

We got back from the States on 4th October and I had 3 masters races planned prior to departing for Perth. First up was a  3000m in 9;42. Nothing to write home about as I was hoping to run sub 9;20. Then I ran a 5000 and again underwhelmed with a 16;47. I was hoping for low 16's and this form was disturbing. My seed time for Perth was 15;54 which I ran in January 2015. I was well off target.
The Final race in the Perth build up was a mid week evening Masters 10000m. I had run a 34;13 10000m session at the end of August so I decided I'd run this race the same way, Hard/Float respective laps. In tough Brisbane conditions (humidity) I managed a 33;34 Queensland M55 record by myself. Which gave me a heap of confidence heading into Perth. I was happy with that performance and putting that time into the calculators suggested I would be happy with any distance from 1500 to Half based on equivalent performances.
On my knees following a 33:34 in Brisbane humidity!
And so to Perth. 
How lucky was I, to turn 55 the month before and have a World Masters on my doorstep (compared to France/USA/Brasil/Finland previous host countries) ?
I shan't go back in any great detail over Perth but suffice to say the Championships were a fantastic celebration of Masters Athletics, brilliantly organised in a beautiful city.
Getting to meet some of my fellow Master's from around the globe was an awesome experience.
The 8km Cross Country was run as a combined M50 and M55 race. Bruce Graham (Aus) and Anders (Swede)  got away early but myself and Paul Thompson (GB) pulled them back in (or did they hold up as a tactical consequence of having gone off to quickly ?)
Anders and Bruce had raced in Lyon at the Worlds, finishing 2nd and 3rd M50 there. The four of us ran together for 6km with the race only unfolding in the last 500m or so as Bruce skipped away for a much deserved win. I took the M55 honours and we also took the M55 team Gold.
The sprint for home with Anders (M50)



Next up was the 5000m. I had two guys much faster than me this year Alex (Hol) and Stuart (Can). The conditions were shocking (windy) but perhaps gave me a tactical advantage. Rather than sitting in and making a planned break with 2000 to go, we played cat and mouse for 1600 before I decided the safety of running by myself would beat a trip/fall/push. l made a break with 3200m to go. Neither Alex or Stuart went with me so I was home free winning by 100m from those two super quick finishers. I love my finish line photo, rarely do I show much satisfaction or joy when running. My time was 16:42
The satisfaction of the win


The 10000m came three days later. I expected to win this one and decided to again run it hard/float/hard. Conditions were pretty warm so it was tough hurting myself when I was so far clear but I was pleased with the performance given the circumstances. The finish line photo showed I'd truly smashed myself 33;15.



The Half Marathon was 5 days following the 10000 so I was well rested but still, 4 tough races in 11 days would take a toll on anyone. The key ingredient a Kenyan M50 or M55 runner who had told me he expected to run a bloody quick time. He looked good, like maybe only African runners look. Super light on his feet and fast. Conditions were hot and windy on the way out and I was suffering but so was he. After tracking him past half way I hit him with my best effort for about a KM and was able to hang on to win the M55 in 73;42.



Back in Brisbane and the Summer humidity combined with a lessened motivation as I came back off the boil to close out my year. A 16:22 5000 the only performance worth mentioning.
There are lots of goals for 2017 based around the Queensland M55 record books.

08 December 2016

5000m 16;52.84

I brought my racing year to a conclusion last night at QSAC with a 16;52.84 5000m at a rare Queensland Masters  evening Meeting.
Conditions were extremely humid (80% and 26 O C) and windy down the home finishing straight.
There was also a plague of flying ants!
The field included a bunch of youngsters, the usual Masters and Clay Dawson and Osman Saleh.
Clay and Osman immediately gaped me at the start but I had help from Andrew Willey for 5 laps.
Andrew kindly offered to pace for 2000 and managed 6;30.Our first Km was about 3;08 so we were slowing and when Andrew stepped off  it was just a case of survival. I really suffered both because of the conditions and my fitness level. I wore the heart-rate monitor and managed another 179bpm maximum and 166bpm ave.
I need to regroup and target over the next 4 weeks. Since Perth I have been using races instead of sessions and racing in warm weather with high humidity seems to be taking a greater toll on me.
As mentioned previously I will be looking at racing and training more for 1500 for the  rest of the Summer.
Next winter I will probably race the Half at the  Gold Coast on 2nd July and try for some quick times on the road at 5KM and 10KM.
Andrew Peter Me Paul and Clay
 Results from 7th December

05 December 2016

Sandgate parkrun 1st 16;32

It was oh so sultry at Sandgate Saturday morning 7.00am parkrun start. 25 O C and 80% relative humidity. I'd done a 3.5km 'warm-up' . Back to the car to put on my Asics Racers and singlet and the sweat is pouring off me. I toed the start line and smashed out the first K in a way too fast 3;05 - what was I thinking! I   reigned  back the pace. This was my first time on the new course where we head South to the Pier run 800m to the end and do a 180 O turn and trace our way back. The pathway is much wider and better condition than the one we used to run. Some sea spray dampness and sand on the cement pathway added technical consideration to the run. The Shornecliffe Pier was redeveloped just a few years ago so the wooden pier is fine for running on when dry. The 180 degree turn costs a few seconds but the old course also had a 180 0 turn.
The conditions really began to bite after about 3km but I managed to hang onto the same pace (3;22) for K's 2 , 3 and 5 with a two second drop on the 4th K3;24




you can see the 180 O turn and also note the maximum HR was right up at my max 178bpm and ave 167bpm.
Sandgate parkrun 303 finishers 
IO smashed out the first KM in 3;05
I took it incredibly easy and just jogged in !
Sandgate Bramble Bay, Pacific Ocean
Shornecliffe Pier

28 November 2016

1500m 4;35.8

Saturday at QSAC Nathan 8;00am start, typical humid warm and windy.
I think I have run 1 x 1500m in the last 5 years. My aim this year is to try and break Alan Bradford's stranglehold on all Queensland 1500m records from M45 to M65. His M55 mark is 4;27.4 and its possible that with the right conditions and in the right condition I could get close.
I have been no where near his marks at
M45 = 4;03.16 (my best was 4;18.3@ age 47)
M50 = 4;08.09 (my best was 4;22.5 @ age 50)
M55 = 4;27.40 (my best is 4;35.8 @ age 55)
However, this is a whole different world of pain than that generated in a 5 or 10,000m.
On Saturday our race field was about 15 strong (including two walkers). I immediately led and worked hard. Getting to 300 in about 50 (the stadium finish line clock was running 5 seconds slow showing 45 and I was thinking blimey that's quick! Through 700m in 2;05 and the lactate feeling starts to take hold! The finishing straight wind was causing me to work very hard and sensed I was 'tieing up' but tried my best to relax. It is a horrible feeling but I will do a few more 1500's as I feel they will help my 3 and 5K times. 4;35.8, it wasn't long ago that I was able to run two of those back to back in a 3000m - the tragedy of ageing! Can I knock two seconds a lap off that time? I'm currently at 73.x and I need 71.x to run 4;27.3.

25 November 2016

3000m 9;43.54

This race open meet is put on by the University of Southern Queensland Athletics Club the track is at Sippy Downs about 50mins North from my home. I saw a 3000m advertised with an 8.00pm start the hope was for calm benign conditions and fast open age runners to drag me around to a sub 9;30. I'd rather race than do a track session by myself.
The day was really really hot. Where I was working in the city and Caboolture the temperature had got to 34 O C early so I was a little concerned that heat was going to be a factor. However a wind blew up in the arvo that cooled things down unfortunately the wind didn't die down and at start time was blowing at 32kmph with gusts to 41kmph (according to BOM). The field comprised Sam Blake (a hugely talented kid) who was aiming for sub 9;00 Adam Hulme (Phd student doing doctorate on running injuries) aiming for 9;30, myself and Zac (goal high 11;00).
Just before we started John Lean (age 20 who had run  a 1;56 800m earlier - in that wind!) agreed to jump in to pace us for a KM which was fantastic especially as he stayed on track for 2km.
Sam disappeared off the front after 400m (about 70) John Lean led me and Adam sat on my tail. Unfortunately John was always a touch too far ahead to provide any wind break and besides the wind was coming diagonally (Adam was able to position himself on my right shoulder every time we hit the wind in the finishing straight). We ran 3;08 first Km 5;44 at 1.8km. With 600m to go Adam rounded me and offered wind protection for the last two laps but I was gone and he gaped me a massive 15 secs by the finish! Adam ran about 9;26 and as I crossed the line they called 9;41 'highs' but not sure what my official time is yet. I stopped the Garmin past the finish.
My glute/hamstring that has been given me gip  since the winter was quite sore during the race. I am using the hand held roller on it and get it worked upon when I get massage.
I'm going to run a 1500m on Saturday which should be interesting.
I have done no appropriate speed work at all and expect to suffer horribly. My goal is to run close to 4;30 but would like to under 4;27 this summer with a little appropriate training.

20 November 2016

5000m 16:22.04

This was a Queensland Athletics Open meet at the Queensland State Athletics Facility ANZ Stadium Saturday evening. Start time 6:00pm just a bit too warm at that time and wind blew up after it being calm all day. Only 8 entrants in the men's two in the girls , only one showed up so we went off together.
Originally they had scheduled two women races and two men's and a 7:00pm start time would have been far preferable.
The state of track distance running is shocking if we can only get 8 entrants for a 5000m race. The 800m had 4 heats, which shows that the Athletes are there but they don't want to run 5000 on the track. Big shame for me as I had been hoping to get some help to run 16:00.
Saying that, there were two quality guys in our race Aiden Hobbs and Charles Chambers
with Brendan Press providing 3:00km pacing duties for 3km.
At the gun the 3 young dudes headed off to immediately gap Peter Bracken and myself, as I tucked in behind Peter for 200m but 38 was way too slow so I took his lead and picked it up. There was no time at the 200m mark (race start line) just at the finish line an official appeared to be calling out random numbers that hardly corresponded to our actual times or even lap times.
Did hear 3000m was 9:45 so I had fallen off pace suffering in the wind and heat. Peter (age35) stuck to my arse like a leech with occasional moves to my shoulder but never took it on once!!!
Well not until the final 120m when he rounded me and sprinted past like he was racing me! We get very few opportunities to run 5000m in evening track meets (only two a year!) So it was disappointing to not get the entrants and not get any help to run a quicker time.
Saying that, 16:22 puts me #3 in the M55 World Rankings this year, and by way of further context only 5 pommie M55 have ever run faster (all time) and it ranks about 30th fastest athlete on the all-time World M55 list.
M55 5000m 2016 World Rankings

M55 5000m All time World rankings


M55 5000m All time British Rankings (Power of 10)

08 November 2016

World Masters Athletics Championships Perth Half Marathon M55 1st 73:42




I had a 5 day break between the 10000m and the Half, where I just 'ticked over' in training and lazed about. I saw Deep Water Horizon and The Accountant. Both excellent films. My mate Stuart Moore works for BDO in Perth, one of the main sponsors of the Championship, so we attended the Athletes Party with sponsors tickets. Among others we got to meet Stuart Galloway from Canada, 3rd in the M55 5000m and 1st in the 1500m.
He is retired from work! I can't believe people my age are so well set they are retired at 55! Really nice guy.
So to race day. 
Conditions had cooled down from previous day's 33 O C but the wind was blowing a gale for the 6:30am start and the temperature was about 20 O C. The race plan was to win the M55 first and foremost but have a crack at the M50's. 
At the 10,000m a Kenyan sat down next to me and we got talking. He told me he was entered wrongly as a M50 but was actually M55 and only doing the Half!!! I asked him what time he expected to run and he said 67mins!!! (3 minutes under the M55 WR !)
I later Googled him and saw a 78min result probably in hot Kenyan conditions on crappy roads - definitely a threat. His name Stephen Kihara. 
The Race starts and the strong headwind meant a lead group of Kenyans and others formed, as we hammered along narrow bike or pedestrian Swan River side pathways. 
It was a surreal moment where it felt like I was watching an elite big city Marathon TV coverage.
They (the Kenyans) hand signaled the numerous street furniture hazards (bollards or slower moving earlier starting Marathoners).
At about 5km the younger Kenyans and Portuguese M45 Davide Figueiredo gaped our group that comprised the young M45 Dutch guy Patrick Kwist, a tall Czech M35 Vladamir Srb, the M55 Kenyan Stephen Kihara,  M50 Pommie Paul Thompson, the M50 Swede Anders Dahl , M50 Aussie Bruce Graham and myself.
The Kenyan looked good, very good as he took turns to lead our group. I was worried. The left glute was painful, the heat was building, I managed a gel at 10km but no water. Our first 5km was run in 16;53, the second 5km wasn't much slower @ 17;11, so 34;04 for 10km (my Garmin lost GPS tracking so I'm giving Paul Thompson's splits).
The course was difficult to navigate as we past more and more Marathoners who had started 20 minutes before us.
Finally we reached the turn around (Bruce Graham and Anders Dahl had been dropped), I was hoping to benefit from what should have been a following wind. However that also meant we would start to heat up. I followed behind the Kenyan and he started to drop off our small group. The 3 gaped us and I was happy to sacrifice possible M50 success as Paul Thompson pushed on. I spent about two km following the slowing Kenyan before I decided to make my break for category victory at about 13km. I kicked in a hard K and dropped the Kenyan!
Then it was basically 'hanging on', hoping I could coast in without too much effort as the pain of the campaign started to bite. I ran the last 8km by myself.
My friend Andy Green had counselled that at some point 'its going to hurt' and his prophetic words rang loudly in my head. 
Very happy with 73:42 because I reckon that's pretty good (ranks me 14th best M55 All-time) and in a one off, cooler, less windy race, I think I could still knock a minute off that time.
It was a fantastic experience meeting like minded Masters runners who love doing what I love doing and what a joy to get to the start line and be able to perform to the best of my abilities.
The early leading pack, Czeck, Dutch, Kenyans, Pom and Aussie.

I made only one grab for water = unsuccessful!

I carried a gel till 11km

Closing in on the finish, "what's my lead on the Kenyan?"

The pain of 4 races in 12 days starts to bite and the head wind that we battled on the way out died down on our return (note the limp flag) so the heat was building

They said it was flat!



Immensely proud

The main threat in my Category coincidentally sat next to me 5 days earlier.

M50 winner Paul Thompson a New York based Pommie!

Bruce Graham unfortunately born just a few months too young to make the M55 nevertheless had a sensational Championship competing in the same events as me



Skippy HuRTS squad member Andy Hayden finished 4th M40 behind three Kenyans