23 August 2017

Australian Half Marathon Championship 22nd 76;05

I nominated and gained selection to represent Queensland in this Australian Half Marathon Championship Race. It's cool to be able to represent your State in Open competition at 55 years of age. My performances at the Gold Coast and Perth World Championships (73;13 and 73;43) would have secured my spot.
My build up was OK with some solid mileage weeks from 4 weeks out in the 130km+ range. The week of the race I tapered by just running 10km each day and a reduced grass interval session.
My plan for the race was to go out a lot steadier than at the GC and see if I could improve my second half performance.
The morning dawned freezing cold 7.8 o C. I would wear gloves. 
The race combined with the Sunshine Coast Marathon runners who would run their first half alongside us then complete two 10.5km laps. A cold Southerly seemed to blow at us from all directions and the skinniest slither of a moon hung out over the ocean at Alexandra Headlands.
The race start was no where near as hectic as at the GC and we had room to get into our stride. The first KM is nearly all uphill as we follow the ocean road heading South over the headland. Matty McDonald (QLD 12th 71;21) and Peter Bracken (15th 73;23) sped past very early.
I fell in behind Marathon Man, Clay Dawson (1st 2;27;30) and fellow Queensland runners James Turner (20th 75;03) and Wayne Spears (18th 74;48).
Clay was making a bizarre rattling sound that was mesmeric and disconcerting at the same time. I think he indicated it was glucose tablets but when I rounded the Northern turnaround point and saw a set of beads on the floor my guess at the time was he was carrying Rosary Beads to go with his prayers for attempting to get through his 3rd Marathon in 6 weeks.
20th ; 2;26;54 at the GC,
1st and 2;28;15 at the Brisbane Marathon).
- Clay's running this year has been overseen by Ipswich Super Coach, Peter Reeves (The Robot) his  running has been sensational.
The first few K's were quire uncomfortable for me. The hill sent my heart rate soaring. My hammies were feeling really tight and sore (this has been an issue for me over the last few months). I couldn't hold onto Clay/Jim/Wayne and they gapped me between 5 and 10km. 
5KM with Clay followed by Jim and Wayne, Tim Toner and me

A few trains came past, I tried tucking in with one led at the time by Daniel James (24th 76;31) others on that bus rally managed to push on and run decent times from that slowish first half. Mathew Gluyas finished 11th in 73;49 having run through not far in front of me at 10km in 35;25, his 5km between 15 and 20 was a swift 17;02 and his closing 1.1km was at 3;17 pace! I think he has got a much quicker performance capability!
The Gluyas bus caught and spat out the back Nic Hull (23rd 76;21) who was running ahead of me for most of the race. I eventually managed to catch Nic and Daniel James came back to me during that 4th 5km section. On this homeward stretch I was caught by the first lady Linda Spencer (21st 75;38). I tried hard to stay with her and in managing to up my pace managed to gap Nic and Daniel. I remember that at the time how my hammies were really hurting and in order to pick up my pace I had to 'run ugly' with an awkward gait but who cares. A bit like the GC it is a really long straight run for home at the Sunshine Coast and I ran as hard as I could. I hadn't taken too much notice of my 5km 10km 15km 20km splits but had noticed a few times my Garmin reeling out km splits in 3;40's or 3'30 were as at the GC I was reeling off 3;20's and 3;30's. Still I was somewhat surprised to see the clock tick over 76mins for a 76;05 net result. Hard to fathom it really but I was interested in comparisons with the other Half's recently completed. Shame I didn't wear the heart-rate monitor in the other races. Of particular note my stride length at the Sunshine Coast was the shortest.

Race results here

Garmin Performance State here

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