Wednesday, April 29, 2015

An ACTVAC handicap in April

Sunday was the ACTVAC handicap held near Mt Majura, only my 2nd handicap since July 2013. As I was not eligible for the point score or placings and with a head cold settling in, the goal was to take it easy. The start is up hill and the pace of my fellow group 25 runners felt pretty easy thanks to my regular Black Mountain lunch time runs. At the top of the climb I settled into a comfortable tempo pace and surprisingly my fellow 25ers dropped behind. At the time I assumed they would catch up further along the course. However, when I reached the 7km marker, no one had gone past. At this point I slowed for fear of acquiring a nasty handicap. Poor Lou and Stu were savaged by the handicapper last month, ending up in the wilderness in groups 44 and 54, respectively. With only about 800m to go John Harding advised me I was in 4th position. Arggghh, the handicapper would be rubbing their hands together with glee. The brakes were heavily applied and finally some people went past on the downhill finish. I finished in 8th place after sheepishly walking across the finish line. My time wasn't anything special around 53:45, pretty close to my 'group rate', so I hope not to be too heavily punished by the handicapper for next month.
Happy handicappers
It was good to see so many familiar faces out there, with a special appearance by speedygeoff, who was very happy with his run despite the ever fogging glasses issue. It was off to Wilbur's after the handicap, a favourite place for coffee and brunch.

Friends' results for the Thomas Series (10km)

Position Name Time Age group Age grade%
5 Helen Larmour  47:56    W55   84.5
8 Janene Kingston  53:45    W50   71.1
15 David Baussmann  50:02   M60   75.3
27 Nadine Morrison  50:47   W45   69.9
34 George Kubitzky  53:16   M60   69.8
42 Margaret McSpadden  70:35   W65   67.2
49 Geoff Moore  51:45   M65   74.5
51 Louise Sharp  44:00   W30   74.4
54 Ruth Baussmann  67:04   W60   66.9
57 Stuart Doyle  39:17   M45   84.8
59 Steve Appleby*  64:12   M60   57.9

*Steve kindly stopped to act as a marshall as cones and signs were taken away too soon!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Against medical advice

Standing at the start line of today's Australian Running Festival 5 km the starter advised us that if we've been sick in the last 2 weeks that we shouldn't be running today. Oops! I guess I was about to run against medical advice. I was in bed asleep for most of the day on Thurs with a lurgy. Fatigue, sore throat, headache and mild snuffles. However, while not 100% on Friday, I was well enough to go back to work. I did a light lunchtime jog on Friday testing the waters so to speak and was still feeling pretty flat. Thing is, we pay money to enter fun runs, unlike parkrun, so it's hard to walk away with an entry fee on the line. Worst case scenario, I'd feel like shite and drop out, so it didn't seem like a lot to lose. A week 'under the weather' can also classify as a taper ;-).
Start line - ready to go
The warm up jog left me feeling optimistic that it wouldn't be a worst case scenario. The weather conditions were absolutely perfect, not too cold and no wind. A shame about the little hill in the middle of the course! It was a nice downhill start, which probably explains the rather quick first couple of kms. Although as the course distance did not match up on the Garmin, it is hard to be sure of actual km points. The Garmin said a 4:13 1st km and a 4:17 2nd km. Then as the course started to climb, the km rate dropped 4:35 for the 3rd and a tough going 4:50 for the 4th. At least the final km was mostly downhill to the finish, 4:16 + :16 for the bit where the Garmin disagreed. Final official time 22:31, not bad off an illness and with that tough little climb in the middle. Maybe the climb would not have seemed so bad with a slower start.
Course elevation
I did not see anyone I know running in the 5km, most were focusing on the longer events. Tomorrow it will be an opportunity to pedal around LBG and cheer on the hardy marathoners and half marathoners. Here's hoping for similar perfect conditions for them.