M7 Marathon - I always enjoy this marathon. It has enough undulations in it to keep it interesting and this race was to kick start my refocus on the road leading up to the World 100K Champs in October. I went into the race thinking that a sub 2:30 could be on if everything went my way. I assessed the conditions on the morning and thought that today may just be the day and then and there decided to give it a crack. I wasn't going to die wondering.
I set out at sub 2:30 pace and was generally in the top 3 for the first 21.1km alongside Barry Keem and Scott McTaggert. I went through the half in 1:14 and change and on this tough undulating course it was either going to be boom or bust! Not long after passing half way I was swept aside by the two African runners who had been just warming into the race. I found myself in 4th spot for the remainder of the race up until the turnaround at 33km when things started to unravel. No doubt the tough first half of the course was now taking its toll on me and was hurting big time.
Not long after the turn Barry Keem passed by and I couldn't match it with him, he had paced his run much better than I had. The first Aussie Scott McTaggert was also starting to hurt and was coming back to the field quicker than I was fading. Unfortunately I ran out of kms to catch Scott and he took 4th about 30s ahead. I took many positives out of the day. It not only was a course PB but I left thinking that a sub 2:30 has to be on this year and I promptly signed up for the pancake flat Western Sydney Marathon in early October.
Sutherland Half Marathon - On Saturday I went down to Audley and ran one of my favourite races in Sydney. It runs along the stunning Lady Carrington's Drive in the Royal National Park and although a trail is one of the easiest trail events around. There is something visually and aurally beautiful about this course. The Hacking River trickling by, the lyrebirds that curiously poke their head out on the trail and the mixture of vegetation just makes for a brilliant run. I last ran here in 2010 and finished 2nd that year but I was keen just to run a course PB and keep up the consistent results. I was fortunate to get the win from my old sparring partner Tim Molesworth who is just coming back from injury and local runner Nick Bennett.
For the race I wore the insanely light and minimal Inov-8 TrailRoc 155s. These are shoes that have no midsole, just an outer sole and I wore an inner sole in them too. They were perfect for this smooth trail and kept my technique pretty perfect all race. At the presentations I was handedh the Perpetual Mens Half Marathon Shield and I couldn't believe the names on it. Talk about a list of legends; Greg Welch, Jamie Harrison, Jon Andrews etc. I feel pretty honoured to be on the board, even though my time is nowhere near that of those just mentioned!
STS Race 3 - Finally, to top off the weekend I cruised down with Wes and Kel to go around in the last of the Winter series of the Mountain Sports Sydney Trail Running Series. My legs were pretty heavy and my heart was never in the race; especially after Mark Lee busted me towards the end of the first lap! I cruised around with Wes who was very good company like always; he was assured of his 2nd place in the series overall and was saving his legs for his big race next weekend in Mudgee.
It's going to be a busy month and a half for me coming up in racing. Mt Portal, then the Coastal Classic/Woodford to Glenbrook double, followed by a big race; the Hakuba International Trail Race in Japan. The week after will be the Surf Coast Century in Victoria.
|Finishing it off at the Sutho Half