Conditions on the start line were good, probably about 12 O C and still!
I didn't wear gloves or cap or long sleeves.
I wanted to go out easy rather than the standard blast from the start. I got away from the line OK and settled down. I thought running with the leading ladies would be a good way to pace myself. Pretty soon I was running with the four leading ladies ,Sara Hall, Eloise Wellings, Cassie Fien and Jessica Trengrove. Blimey some class in this field!
We joined onto the back of a large group of guys headed by John Bartlett from Sydney Striders. Barts appeared to be having trouble running in a straight line as he seemed to knock into the guy beside him at least twice if not three times. The entertainment was short lived as I found the pace not too comfortable and somewhere after 7km the elastic broke from that huge group and I was spat out the back.
So I ran pretty much alone save for a spell running with Chris Truscott who came past me having been dropped from the group before me. I was running low 3;20's which was plenty fast for me. At the 10km mark I was surprised to clock 33;44 I was happy running that.
Up to the turnaround at 11km and head back to Southport surprisingly I started to feel better. However, looking at my stats post race I see I was running 3;30's. Chris Truscott was pretty much fixed about 10secs in front. I thought I ran well and felt good 10km to 15km then had a slight wobble with a dicky tummy feeling for a few K's but I managed to survive and push on to the section where the road separates and we take the ocean road. I thought a head wind picked up a little here so though I was slightly surprised to get caught by two guys (Josh Faulkner and Mark Hinder) at this point, it did provided some welcome relief (wind break) and I positioned in behind them hoping that I could piggy back a ride up to Truscott.
The cruel, indeterminable 'run for home' on this course is unforgiving, stealing those vital seconds off you but, by way of compensation, the crowd was immense and hugely uplifting. Perhaps having your name on the bib was a key factor to believing you have a fan club along the whole course and I even got a 'Garmin Lama' close to the turn into the swimming pool section. Here another youngster caught and flew past me (thanks Hamish Hamilton). I tried to lift for a sprint to the line but I'd pretty much given it everything. Over the line and I reached for the railings and wretched. I was as close to vomiting as I can recall.
My preparation was not ideal and I said I'd be happy if I ran 72 minutes but I wasn't unhappy with 73 minutes.I won the age cat by 8 minutes, and was 10 minutes in front of 3rd place.
My previous Half Marathon experience;
17/6/1990 Borehamwood Half Mara 71;17.0 1st Age 29
2/9/1990 WMUH Half Mara 71;35.0 1st Age 29
1/6/2008 Queensland Half Mara Doomben 72;12 3rd 1st Age 46
6/7/2008 Gold Coast Half Mara 72;26 27th 1st Age 46
5/7/2015 Gold Coast Half Mara 73;20 37th 1st Age 53