18 November 2014

Endeavour 500km Relay

Bucket list event for every runner, 500km relay, run West of Brissey in the hot undulating Lockyer Valley. Started Friday at 4.30am {so I was up at 2.00am to get to the start} met up with 6foot legend and team captain Donney Wallace and picked up the rest of the North side runners and met up at Griffiths Uni Nathan campus for Criterion that kicks things off.
I went in Crit Two, 7.00km over three laps with one long hill and one short decent. How do you 'race' 7km when you've got to back up 5 times over the next 2 days?
Tried to take it easy 'letting' teammate  Dennis Fitzgerald disappear on the decent on lap 1, caught him going up the long hill second time but carried a group with me including our young Kieran Staunch who is an absolute superstar of the future {but more likely going to be a triathlete}, he had take part in the first crit finishing 2nd to our James Webster [who is another young running machine with such talent and prospects]. Kieran was too strong for me and glided away on the final ascent to win from me in 2nd {3;20's I think).

We then head West to start the relay proper and I'm not back on till late afternoon.
All I remember was how hot it was getting how hard the hills were becoming and little did I know!

Here is my 2nd leg of the day 5.5km in 3;26's - undulating with a killer 21kmph headwind all the way and 32 O C  !!

So Friday night the team stays overnight in a school dorm somewhere, 19 runners 1 volunteer driver Russel and 1 supporter (Ellen). Chicken and salad rolls and a couple of beers for sleeping purposes.
The kids in the team keep us awake from 9 till 9;30pm playing table tennis but we eventually fall asleep in the uncomfortably warm conditions. 
Other teams staying at the same place decide they need to get up at 3.00am for the 4.30 start = not what we had in mind with our clocks set at 4.00am we were rudely awakened!
I felt OK but had some issues with my hammy which I massaged for the rest of the trip.
My first leg of the day is about 6.00am a 3km criterion/race style leg with two other members of our team starting together with all the other teams for a near straight down the road 6.3km. Clay Dawson was up for 'In Training'. 
At the start I took the lead , running steady but still 3m15km first km. Myself and team mate Chris Waters had gapped Clay (still coming back to form following the 3 marathons in a month slaughter his body went through). Chris and I took it turns to lead, but I could hear Chris labouring a little in the breathing and looking down the road saw a bloody great hill we'd be climbing and determined I could ease away from here there which I did for the win in 21;28 at 3;25 KMs
It proved my credentials in a team of selected runners I was mostly meeting for the first time.

I dont remember that much about my run Saturday afternoon but there were something I do remember. It was getting bloody hot, Garmin records the run as 42 O C which is like 110 O F for you Americans!
It was so important to have our team water van ply us with drinks.Garmin stats say the run was 5.24km at 17;32 or 3;21 K's. Note my heart rate appears to max out 210bpm when I normally can only achieve 180bpm Max so not sure if there was a glitch because it dropped down to a silly level like 140'ish or if 'the incident' had an affect?

What 'incident'? 
Out on the lonely road feeling nothing but the devastating effects of running in the heat and I'm coming up to overtake one of the other teams, a mixed team of triathletes. So I'm about to pass the women running in one of those run skirts and she lifts it up exposing her arse to me! Takes my mind away from the pain for a few seconds, I make some crude, grabbing like gesture for the benefit of my follow team in the car behind (as well as myself!) and sail on past without saying 'thanks!' or 'do you mind!'
Never happened to me before!

Saturday nights accommodation a cabin at a caravan park in Toowoomba normally pretty cold (its up in the ranges) but not that night and no air con!
So Sunday dawned and temperature were forecast in the mid 40's!

I borrowed Brian McMannus's hand held roller for the hammy that seemed to work wonders in getting it right.
Before my first stage Denis Fitzgerald had the pleasure of the run down the Toowoomba range where he recorded a 5km section on his Garmin at 14;10!!
(4km downhill)
My first leg was a pretty flat, just one dip and rise as the road crossed a creek (river), the sun felt like it was angled straight at me as I slow cooked straight down the road.
I spooked a herd of cows that were hemmed into a narrow roadside enclosure between the road and a ploughed field. As I ran along I spooked more and more and as the stampede gathered momentum picking up more and more in number I tried running over the other side of the road to calm them down and no harm was done.
4.76km in 15m20  @ 3m13 Km's

So my last leg would be in the middle of the afternoon, it was stinking hot there was a blast furnace wind frying us out there supporting the others along the way.
You really didn't want to leave the air con of the bus for the seconds it took to cheer your teammate as they pass by, cooking on the street. 
The roads were melting quite literally.
The final stage was a criterium (race) stage with 6 of our best runners starting (Denis had slaughtered himself on the downhill morning stage!). The route followed a former rail corridor from Lowood to Fernvale.
At this stage I could barely stand being outside, I took a very short jog down the trail to answer the call of nature in some trackside bush (previously having shat that day by a telegraph pole and a storm culvert under a road!). The talk on the bus was how hot does it have to get to call this off? 
Earlier in the day's morning criterion the boys had run as a team and I was keen to get our guns to do likewise but the guys told me our teams star runner James Webster would never countenance anything but an all out, full on , effort regardless of conditions. 
So off we go, Team Nike  Victory go straight into top 6 positions and cruise through 1km in 3;15 ! The surface is a loose cinder pathway reflecting the heat straight back onto us. Jame's leads the way I'm second, we get to 2km in another 3;20 and I'm feeling it, I drop back into 5th position hoping I'm not going to be our last scorer. Then I see Jarryd Grantham and Lachlan Pascoe coming back to me. 
I say to myself I'm going to have these kids. 
Jarryd waves me through with about 1500m to go so I'm 3rd scorer on the road (trail) and would be pretty happy with that (delirium had set in with the heat!). 
However, good on him, Jarryd who is a 1500m gun was never going to let a grey haired wrinkled scrawny git like me beat him without a fight and gunned it with 500m to go and pulls out 5 seconds on me! (At least I beat Lachlan and Chris). 
James Webster and Matt Carlsson had pulled out 40 or 50 seconds on me up front.
4.27km 14;14 or 3;20 Kms (of Purgatory).

What a weekend! 
I took Monday and Tuesday off to let my body recover which it did! 
Reports of my early demise are somewhat exaggerated!
Nike Team Victory = the best bunch of guys (and Kylie) you'd want to be spend 3 days just all round great guys who love running like me.



Garmin Lama off the record said...

It was a rather sunburnt , dehydrated and subdued David McSweeney who addressed the world's gathered media from his hospital intensive care ward bed still attached to his dehydration drips from his week end heroics . " They said it was crazy and foolhardy but when the President of the United Sates rings you up from the G20 and says to find a way to focus world attention on climate change you sit up and take notice ," explained the man whose very name now stands as a pseudonym for Garmin . " When I saw what temperatures were forecast over the week end , temperatures directly related to global warming , I knew this was the time to make an emphatic statement that would make the world sit up and take notice . I was scheduled to run at Sandgate in my Dugong costume but luckily Con Dimarou filled in for me there . I gathered at short notice a team of volunteers from the nearby mental asylum, many initally climate skeptics and the rest is now history . Just watch the video . I think I showed what the future holds in terms of climate change for 500 kilometer road relays and it isn't pretty . Abott will have to sit up and take notice now and not be such a cynical climate skeptic . The courage and sheer balls I showed on the weekend out thefe on that melting tarmac masquerading loosely for a road plus that of my crew who survived this relay will serve as never before to raise awareness to this critical issue facing humanity in the decades ahead . I may not recover so I encourage you all out there who read my informative and well crafted blog to pray for my swift and speedy recovery . If I don't pull through this is the Garmin Lama , over and out . It's been fun . Thank you all . "

Anonymous said...

Geez hope you pull through mate . Sad if this is in the end of your blog . If you don't make it next year's event may be christened the The Garmin Lama memorial Endeavour Relay . That's almost as good as immortality . Did you have a NDE ( that's near death experience ) ?

Couldn't wait so had to watch said...

I had to have a beer just watching it ....unbelievable . Mad dogs and Scotsmen go out in the .....

coach dion said...

Wish they had some great relays here in cape Town

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how Coach Dione is able to summarise the pathos and drama of life with such pithy , witty and perceptive understament . Another classic gem from his book of sub Saharan wisdom .

Lucille Lovelace said...

What do you mean exposing my arse ? I was just trying to lift your spirits . You can be very cruel sometimes David.

Runners without knickers or jocks said...

You only have yourself to blame Dave . It was mentioned on your blog that you would be giving away your jocks this weekend to raise funds for your Dugong Foundation . You can hardly whinge and go on when some of your female groupie followers follow your example . How about we have a !ets run with no knickers or jocks park run ? The 27th of December is looking good . Last park run of the year . Park run venues are encouraged to bid for hosting rights and can register their interest via this blog . David may do a reenactment of his 500 kilometre relay heroics where Lusty Lucy gave her famous " look I've got no knickers on " salute and Dave showing extraordinary restraint and composure .

The toilet cleaners G said...

Lowood to Fernvale former trail corridor ? You mean the most famous trail run in Queensland . The one and only Rail Trail Fun Run with Jacko Elliot the record holder . And the best you could do was sh*t on it ! Obviously a slap in the face for the Robot and a leaving of your calling card saying that you'll be back in 2015 . Didn't the Robot become the oldest man ever to win money there this year ? My money is on the Garmin Lama to become the first international celebrity to win this event . He came , he saw
He sh*ted . What a class act .

Hijacker Ronnie said...

Hi all.

David I am glad to see you have lost your 500k relay virginity. You are now a fully initiated, and slightly hornswoggled, runner. Team Victory lads and grals are mighty folk.

Jonnie, my wife and I were in Canberra that weekend for the Stromlo classic. We all got to shake Deek's hand and run over the trails where so many Aussie running legends have trained.

And get this: while you folks were overheating and cursing the weather gods, we spent the few days we were in Canberra freezing, and soaked to our bones a lot of the time.

It rained and squalled, for the whole race. Muddy as a highland dairy farmer's gum boots. It was soooooo... cold and wet compared to Feral Grove and Itsabitch.

Robot et al: I was away on our roadtrip so missed the "getting Ronnie to a parkrun" campaign. Thanks anyway. I am, at heart, a track and road runner so, even though a bit slower, i will see you all soon.

David: hope you don't mind the hijack.

Take care all.

The Ghost in the machine said...

He was raped Ronnie . Like the true champion you are you're putting the best spin on it . But it was rape pure and simple . The Garmin Lama's virgin innocence was seduced by the hollow promises of Team Victory ( Team Deception?) and he was taken advantage of in the most callous way possible . A date rape of epic sporting proportions . They whispered sweet erotic platitudes promising ever lasting fame and glory into his innocent Garmined ears and cashed in on his celebrity status and ruthlessly exploited it . Team Victory, like the rest of the world , also read the blog and captivated by its' magic they callously weaved their heinous plot to waylay our Highland hero , innocent as he was . Had we , his friends and followers , caught wind of what was planned then wiser counsel may have prevailed over short term expediency to make quick profits at the GL's expense . Coach Dione ,that sage from a distant continent , could have been called upon to dissuade our cherished hero from embarking on such folly . Even his kinsman Braveheart was not consulted nor was his erudite wisdom of all things Scottish plumbed for insight . No doubt he would have counselled caution . As you say Ronnie , road and track is the true milieu for superstars such as yourself and the GL . Trails are things to be lost on and led up and to be deceived with . David has learnt from his folly . That which doesn't kill you strengthens you is what Coach Dione once said . David has survived and is now much stronger in character . He will be able to say no next time . Of course let us not forget Lusty Lucy who has a lot to do with this and her brazen depraved conduct shocked us all . What that woman won't stop at to get her man back . Thank God he's still with us as it seems you still are as well . Absence is a breeding ground for idle gossip and groundless speculation . It's to be hoped that the 27th of December can be set aside for a day to cast not only underwear aside but in doing so contemplate the big issue of world climate change and what it means for Dugongs . Stay tuned to this blog for more .

Coach Paul said...

Ist of all. Well done David in running those fast times in that 40 degree heat. Congratulation must go to team victory in winning the 500km relay although it was noted by myself and others that you had a higher percentage of male runners in your team compared to the Intraining team which came 2nd.Even if they did hire Lucy Lovelace to distract some of your runners by exposing her backside for all to see, the females just can't run as fast as runners like you and can't handle the heat as well either. But a win's a win Jacko as the xxxx add goes. So credit must be given where credit is due. Speaking of credit. It's great to hear Ronnie is still out there running around. He is still a legend for being out there continuing to run. Doing something we all know he loves to do even if he can't run as fast as he used to. Good on you Ronnie. Let's hope we can all get together again soon for a run.

Ms.Lucille Lovelace said...

So now I'm just a distraction am I Paul ( didn't see you looking the other way) but at least you're right about Team Victory . Very overrated . The difference was David . If Intraining could have afforded his appearance fee then they would have had the winning edge . David said he was doing it to focus attention on world climate change anyway and he did . His appearance fee went to the Lets Save The Dugong Foundation . No body on this blog cares a rat's arse about teams anyway so why go on about it ,unless of course it has David in it to make it look better than it is . Now that I'm all fired up how about telling us where the park run is for the 27th next month or do you need a secret handshake or something to find out ?