Sunday, May 18, 2008

SMH Half Marathon 2008

An absolutely beautiful day for running in Sydney today. Geez, these weather reports can be so wrong sometimes! I hardly felt a breath of wind all morning (except those wind tunnels in between skyscrapers) and so much for the rain that was predicted - just lovely blue sky nice and cool conditions.

I crossed the finish line in about 80 and half minutes. About 2 minutes outside my best, but I am very happy with the run, despite not achieving my pre-race goal of sub 80 (which would have got me a preferred start for next year). Ironically I finished a place or two behind Anita Keem (I heard the race announcer call her name as she was finishing). At the State 10k two weeks ago I finished one place ahead of her!

Righto...the race report. I'm not quite sure what the plan was today except to get away quickly to avoid the human traffic at the start and get into a pack and pace it out with someone else. Unfortunately, I seemed to be always on my own for a lot of the race, and, while I think the 'passing' ratio was pretty even, I never really could get into a real steady rhythm. I hardly looked at my watch all race too...I'm sure I could have gone under 80 had I been more attentive to the time. I remember going through 5k in 17:20, which suggested a good time was on the cards. I didn't see the 10k marker, so have no way of knowing my split but I have an inkling between 5 and 10 was quite a bit slower.

After passing the start line for the second lap, things did improve slightly and by the time I reached Hickson Rd for the second time I was beginning to reel in quite a few. But the Hunter St hill undid a lot of this good work and I really struggled to get my flow back up the top on Macquarie St. It was until the run down to the Botanical Gardens did I feel like I was back on track. I was pleased with my finish, although the new finish line position is not as 'finish friendly' as last year's. Two 90 degree turns slows down the momentum I had built up running up to St Mary's Cathedral.

This race last year was my first race after picking up running again after a long, long retirement! I have come the complete circle and I am stoked about the lifestyle choice I made in April last year. So a big tick, I beat last year's time! Now to tick off other corresponding 2007 events!