16 February 2008

Simon Hannaford

Friday 8.15pm SAF Nathan (QE11 Track) 1500m 1st 4m20.3

This was an invitation race held in conjunction with the State U18 and U20 Titles.
I found out when I arrived at the track that this race was put on at the request of Gerrard Gossens who is a blind runner. He was attempting to gain a qualifying time to qualify for the Olympics in Bejing! His goal was 4m22.
My goal was to improve on my modern day best of 4m 18. Gerrard had set up a number of friends to run 'with' him as well as his guide Dennis Fitzgerald. Gerrard is able to feed of the sound of having other runners around him. So I felt like a bit of an interloper in this race! My initial plan was to run steady over the first 800m and then really try to push from the third lap and bring it home on the fourth.
I led from the gun, past 300m in 51, past 700m in 2m00, and cant remember the times beyond that! The strangest thing about the race was having the lads behind me calling out time and distances for Gerrard and shouting encouragement. He was very close to me and I thought he was going to move through and overtake so I was looking around trying to determin if I needed to move out into the second lane to let Gerrard and Dennis through, however, the head of their phalanx (?) was Aidan Hobbs and Jared Huaschildt and they werent quite close enough . I clocked 4m 19 but of course you always get the electronic timing seeming to add a half second and so my official time was a somewhat disappointing 4m 20.32 .
Gerrard ran a two second PB (4m22) to qualify for the Olympics! how good is that!. My plan to run steady first 800m didnt work out. I still felt as if I tied up on the last lap and though I might have gained a couple of seconds on my third lap I think I lost 5 or 6 seconds by not blasting it from the start. I have good speed endurance but I probably dont have the basic speed to really pull things back on laps three and four after slow first two. How else can I manage to run two back to back 4m28's = 8m56 !
Dennis told me he has been fitted out for Olympic 'Suit 'etc fantastic heh?

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