Well, I ran strongly today, felt good all the way and finished over five and a half minutes inside my 5km PB. Now all this would be great, and cause for celebrations, if the actual course presented today was actually 5km. In fact, it was closer to 4km, by my Garmin it was 3.96km and by Jays Garmin it was 4.03km. So, instead of feeling really good about a great run, I’m extremely pissed off with the race “organisers” (and I use that term loosely too). The course we ran was exactly as described in the course description (which I just re-read) and the map from the Garmin looks just like the advertised course map. How could a supposedly reputable organisation get the course distance wrong by 20%? I have sent them an appropriately worded email asking for an explanation and to ask them what the official course distance was.
So, the day. Firstly, the conditions couldn’t have been better. I arrived in plenty of time and had a bit of a warm-up run and stretch. About half an hour before the start people started lining up in the start area, including many who were obviously not going to run at any pace, and many with some very young children. Why, people? Why do you do this? I ended up 20 or 30 rows back, and actually lined up right next to my sister-in-laws sister and her husband who I hadn’t seen in a while.
The first 0.5km was crowded and spent dodging slower runners, but after that I just settled into a nice pace. I was quite comfortable all the way round, not really feeling any “pain” until hitting the wooden footbridge that leads up to the William Barrack Bridge. Up here I started to feel my legs, but once over the top felt good again. By now, with the MCG in view I was started to query the distance. The final lap around the MCG was good and comfortable, but when I crossed the line and just after the “Lap 04” signal beeped on my Garmin, I realised we’d been severely short-changed. There is no way I can run 5km in 17:37.
I’d been aiming to run at 4:30 min/km, and ended up at 4:27 min/km, with splits of 4:27, 4:22, 4:29 & 4:31. I know that if the race distance had of been as advertised I had another kilometre at that speed in me, so it would have been a PB day. Alas, not to be.
From there the day got better with some very pleasant time spent over a few beers and some chips with Jay, Cilla, Shells, Lee and an assortment of other CoolRunners.
Well done to all the marathoners today, and to Deb (my weekday running partner) who smashed her HM PB. Watching all the marathoners today, and seeing the pain on their faces, has made me realise how much I want to do it again. Hopefully 2010. Jay has also almost convinced to try the Tan Ultra next year. All of this of course is going to depend on the knee (which seems fine after today).
Bill, to answer your question from the other day, I am an IT Manager for an American-based multi-national, so the late night meetings are teleconferences during the US working day.