Flew to a raining Gladstone Saturday evening , leaving a similarly wet Brissie. Was wondering how id cope with the logistics of this 8km point to point race! Fortunately woke up to clear cloudless skies and warm enough to leave the gloves behind! Backpackers is only half a K to the finish precinct to catch a bus to the botanic gardens for the start. Warmed up with Jackon Elliot who is such a top top bloke. He had word that Ben Ashkettle from Melbourne was going to be running but knowing he'd just run the Townsville Marra in 2:22 was probably still going to have it in his legs (along with the $4000 cash he won in his back pocket. Jacko had won this race 3 x without competition so it was interesting to see what this threat would do. Other Gladstone regulars Chris Bracken and Clare Gerahty and her partner Scott Imhoff, lined up on the start line.
We took off slightly more reserved than I recall up the 400m hill!
I had 5 guys in front of me and became detached pretty quickly .
I felt I was moving ok at my limit, I held it together up and down the next few km's. Around 5km I could see I was catching 5th and 6th and swept past them running strongly. Forgot to mention in the first K Jacko had gapped the others and was charging off imperiously to his 4th victory in this event!
Pretty soon he'd disappeared out of sight.
For me I was looking forward (!) to the last big hill @ Goondoon St through Gladstone CBD. I survived it by slowing down and shortening my stride , over the crest and it's a steep downhill before things level off and then over the bridge to finish @ Central Queensland Uni.
I did have a point along this 'run in ' where I felt pretty uncomfortable but on checking my heart rate after I was holding steady but max 172/173bpm so not sure why the discomfort, I was in clear space and ran through the finish without raising the effort. I was pleased to run 40 (edit) seconds faster than last year on what seemed the exact same course. Jacko ran 40 seconds quicker suffering a cold but finding the threat of competition to his benefit.
I Decided not to give the 3km a go this year a, jogged back to the backpackers for a shower.
Flight back to Brissy at 2:00pm job done.
Will post a performance comparison of my runs here in 2011, 2013, & 2014
|2011 course was shorter last km was different but first 7 comparable.|