Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Kurrawa to Duranbah

Here i my belated race report from K2D, earlier in December.

We were up at 0315 to drive down to the Gold Coast for this one, and I must've slept for only four hours. However, as we lined up at the start, I realised that the 60km run/walk up Mount Glorious on the back of a completely sleepless night had adequately prepared me for this. Nic wished me a good race, and we were off.
I started at a ridiculous pace, running through the streets of Broadbeach with the chase-pack; a mixture of upper-end 25km runners, and some of the fastest 50kers.

I felt suprisingly good, despite the pace, until my calves started to cramp around 15kms. My fears of going too fast were reinforced when I talked to Tressa Lindenberg, who had recently finished eigth at the 50km World Championships in Dublin. Nevertheles, I managed to stay near to her through Burleigh Heads and over the bridge, until I had to take an ill-timed dump in the bushes. This robbed me of a couple of minutes, and by the time that I had returned to the course, I was no longer running with the hot-shots, but was still around tenth place. I pushed hard to the turnaround, encouraging a 25km relay runner who was just behind me. He pulled ahead on the final hill (that I would see again on the way back), while I slowed to a walk, overtaking the guy in the blue shirt who had been running in front of me since the pit-stop. I hit the turnaround in 1:55:28, realising that I had nearly PB'd 10km, and had definitely PB'd the half-marathon and 25km. I would certainly fade later on, I thought, but I believed that a sub-4:30 time was assured.
Sure enough, I was passed by a few people on the way back, including Nic at 35km, who had seemed dead at 30km.
I had made the mistake of bringing gel-lollies to keep my energy up, without having tried them first. They were pretty chewy and very hard to keep down; I hacked up small amounts regularly. I had also forgotten to bring salt, which was the cause of the cramping which I had not experienced in the past.
From 35km onwards, I ran with Trevor, who also seemed to be in a world of hurt. At first, I would pull away from him when running, but when I walked for a bit, he would catch up. However, after the 40km point, he appeared to have been given a new lease of life, and was definitely the stronger runner out of the two of us. With about 6km to go, my mind was fried from the cramps, and I had to let him go. It was a shame; we had worked really well together.
I then proceeded to walk more frequently, and then from 46km to 49km I did no running. My chance of finishing under 4:30 was shattered, but it was really my own fault. I couldn't find the strength when I needed it, and really psyched myself out, using the cycling trip the week before as an excuse.
With 500 metres to go, I was nearly caught by another runner. I thought of conceeding my place to him, but decided to pull what is becoming my signature move; I ran really hard for 300 metres to demoralise him, an then cruised to the finish for a final time just under 4:37.
My race had been good, despite the fact that I had made a host of elementary errors (food choice, no salt, going out too hard). I was incredibly grateful to all of the volunteers working the aid-stations, to Trevor for helping to drive me onwards, and to Nic, who had given me a lift up and back and plenty of valuable advice.

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