Today was Runs For The Kids, which for those of you reading this outside of Melbourne, is our biggest fun run, conducted annually to raise money for our Royal Children’s Hospital. This year the run attracted approximately 30,000 runners. The 14.1km run, that I did, takes you through the Domain tunnel and across the Bolte Bridge, adding to the attraction for the run.
I arrived in plenty of time and met a few Ausrunner friends before the start, including JH (John), Tigerboy (Tony), SassyCil, Shells, Duckgirl, Jaykay, MrsWombat and EatEm. After a bit of a chat I walked over to the start area with John and waited in the drizzle, trying to ignore the inane DJ spruiking over the PA.
As we started it was pretty obvious that it was going to be best to just “go with the flow” – today was going to be just about finishing in one piece, not about setting PBs. There was an awful lot of slower runners, and even some walkers who started up in the “blue zone” – organisers need to do something about this – IMHO.
Another complaint to the organisers – how hard is it to get km markers put out in the right position? The first kilometre marker was over 100m short in my opinion, and to put the 14km marker in a position where you really have about 500m to go, not 100m is just cruel.
The first few (7) kms felt really good, and as you’ll see from the splits were pretty even, but after that the legs started to realise how under-prepared I was. I just went back through my training journal, and the last time I ran 14km or more, was at Run Melbourne in June last year, and the average distance of all my runs for this year has been just over 6km. So, is it any wonder I started to feel it as we headed up over the Bolte Bridge? I have to admit to a short walk break as I approached the apex of the bridge!
I also had a few little walk breaks in the last few kilometres, but only short ones, because I could feel a few little crampy niggles in my quads and calves. I said g’day to the 80 min Pace Bus driver (Em) as I went past her on Footscray Road.
My splits were; 5:07, 4:55, 5:07, 5:06, 4:59, 5:06, 5:27, 5:52, 5:04, 5:25, 5:22, 5:32, 5:26, 5:19 with a watch time of 1:14:20 and average pace of 5:16 min/km. Whilst this is 7 minutes slower than last year, I am fairly happy with it given my level of preparation. Positives out of it are that from a fitness/cardio perspective I felt good all day, and the knee felt pretty good during the whole race too, and doesn’t feel too bad now either.
I had to head straight home after the race to head out for a family birthday celebration, so was disappointed to miss out on the gathering at the Transport after the race, but I hope you all had a good time!