Monday, April 14, 2008

Canberra Marathon 2008

What a day! Canberra put on 4 seasons in a day yesterday.

I'm over the moon with my result, made even better because a lot of my family were down there to welcome me into the finish line - thanks guys! Ye old sage Colin said at the 10k on Saturday I'd do 2:48. He is a good judge of form. I finished in 2:49:49 and 23rd position.

From starting out in rain I got to 10k in 38 something and knew it was quite quick but that did include some large downhill stretches, especially around Parliament House. Between 13 and 19 km out on the deserted highway I hooked onto a mini pack which was being well driven by a classy athlete. Lost touch with this group around the turnaround point and got through the half mark in 1:21 something. Normally I would be stoked with a half PB but not when I have another half again to go! So knew things were going to get ugly. Was passed by a few others including the 3 leading ladies on the way back. Was getting very fatigued by 33km and the sun didn't help here. Splits were slipping away but was constantly being encouraged by the crowd, some fellow Woodstockians and of course my CoolRunning buddies! Thanks heaps, was trying to do the same back in vain with my gasping for breath.

At 38km something strange happened and I got another wind and thought I 'mentally' picked up the pace. Did some quick calculations and had my sights set on a sub 2:50. I pushed hard the last 5 km a lot harder. At this point I was having second thoughts about the 50k option. Coming into the last stretch which is a lot longer than it looks and I was racing the clock to get under 2:50. Got there with 10 seconds to spare and then literally yanked the little red ribbon off my number and threw it down in very dramatic fashion. There was no way I was taking another step! Sat down and almost threw up 5 GUs next to the lovely lady helping me to take off the timing chip but managed to hold it down.

A new marathon PB but I think I can shave a few minutes more off with some consistent pacing. Bring on Macleay River!