Tuesday, 16 October 2012

The race and Rutherglen Part 1

Having shifted to the kitchen I got a fair night's sleep and woke about 5:15 as required, with Rob and Carol coming to a little later.  We gradually got ourselves together and wandered out the door and down towards the G, together with a few others.  Much milling around and we got in to position about 6:50.  We didn't find Roger.

At 6:55 the wheelchair folk took off.  I hope none of them turned up at 7:55 as advertised in the program: what a cock-up!  The photos which follow are mainly those I took on my phone while running, so the quality isn't that good, but they give the general idea.

The start was reasonably non-chaotic and Rob and I got into a jog up the hill to Flinders St quite well.
 Neither of us spotted the 1 or 2km markers and it was a bit of a worry to find we had got to 3km in 17:20 (ie 5:40 per km or 10 seconds per km faster than we had intended).  Oh well, try and slow down a bit but basically keep going.   After getting down St Kilda Rd we swung into Albrrt Park and on to the Grand Prix circuit.
The crowd has thinned out a bit!  The slope is due to the photographer, not severe banking on the track!  Somewhere around here we were a bit surprised to meet up with Dylan Valentine, the son of a  deceased friend who we used to run with.  He's about 25 and after a couple of km he took off.  We kept going - unfortunately our slowing down had not been successful and we were still bowling along about 5:36 per km!

Shortly after this we did the trip along the finishing straight (of the GP, not the marathon and as we did the U-turn spotted Roger about 1km behind us.  He caught up in not too far and explained he hadn't been able to get to the right place at the start and had then lost 4 minutes in a queue for a dunny.  At times it was almost surreal with runners going in all directions (especially when this was reflected in the glass above the garages of the pits)!
When we got on to Beach road the kilometre markers went bizarre.  According to my watch we did the 16th km in 3:46 - I cannot run that fast!!  From looking at the full range of splits the problem was apparently with the 15th km which was long.  This wasn't a great problem as we were committed to running at the speed we were running at, but it is very incompetent of the organisers not to be able to do something simple like put the markers in the right place!  After the 25km turn people were again running in all directions.
We got up Mt Fitzroy St with little trouble and settled in for the 4km slog along St Kilda Rd.  It was apparent we were passing a lot more folk than were passing us!  A few casualties were seen splatted beside the road: I hope they were OK.  My splits suggested that the Great Slow Down started at about 34km, but I suspect that was another dodgy marker.  After a nasty hilly couple of km between 35 and 37 km (thanks for the encouragement up them Rob) our - being honest, my - pace had definitely dropped to about 6:20 per km but I kept going except for walking through water stops to make sure I kept up the hydration.

Finally, after about 41.4km there was the G!
 In we go!
As I took this photo I was pretty confident I was going to make it.
So we then staggered back to the car (which Carol had parked reasonably close to the G) piled in and headed back along the Hume Highway for a while until it was time to stop for lunch.    For some reason Rob had to apply a bit of concentration to the process of walking.  I am glad of two things:
  • The others didn't take a photo of me at this stage; and
  • I didn't actually crawl on hands and knees (although it might have been quicker).
The food - courtesy of QVM.
 Before going to our motel in Rutherglen we swung by Jones Wines where Arthur Jones (the third of the family around the place - we think it is his sister who is the winemaker) provided us with the wine. I acquired a couple of bottles of Durif.
Into the Motel and after a very welcome and relaxing shower we strolled across the road to the Tuilleries restaurant for an excellent meal.  This included the bottomless wine glass approach where we could keep chugging through 10 wines with the bottles being replaced as they were drained.  A great idea.
We staggered back across the road - mainly I think due to the race not the bottomless wine glass - to a comfortable and quiet bed!

Long time later Footnote
I received a great big glossy PR bullshyte set of results for the race on 25 January 2013.  It demonstrates how bad the organisation of the event was.  Some of the problems:
  • It is 3.5 months after the event!
  • The main listing -and I think the categories -  are in gun time order not net time order while the website only shows net time!
  • The category positions differ from those on the event website possibly due to the different time bases!
The last point is the most interesting, in that on looking at the times for the M65 podium I was somewhat less than 10 minutes from a bit of fame.  Given that I spent about 40 seconds in Albert Park waiting for a snake to be drained I curse my lack of commitment.  Knocking off 15 seconds a km should have been easy with a sensible training routine (and perhaps less fish and chips in Ackland Street).

That led me to look up the website to find out the results for M65.  I was 10th (out of 20) which is not too bad - more or less consistent with my rating for NYRRC events.  However the website has a different guy in 3rd place (the glossy's 3rd dude is 4th on the website).  Because of the gun order of the glossy it was hard to find the actual 3rd guy in the overall glossy listing but he seems to be a Spartan - done the race 10+ times - who was next behind the glossy's 3rd  guy 

However, in the spirit of Floggo calling out to Richard that he could be 2nd woman in some ACTCCC event, here are a few of the results my time could have achieved if my parents had been able to vary their schedule by a few years (their plans got interrupted by Mr Hitler) and/or I received a little surgical adjustment.

M70: 2nd!
M75: 1st by a bit over an hour
F60: 3rd by about a minute
F65: 2nd (about 20 minutes behind #1, who was less than 3 minutes behind the winner of M65
F70: 1st by about 55 minutes

Links to the rest of this set of posts.
Day 1
Day 2
Day 4

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