Saturday, April 9, 2011

10km at BRR: the Duel

Saturday night, I text Nic Moloney: - "Hey mate, word on the street is that you're racing 10km at BRR tomorrow. Are the rumours true? Nic: "Word on the street is that I'm going to kick your butt in the 10km!" Zac: "Well well, it looks like we have ourselves a duel". So, after a fairly late night at Bogdan's, I was up at 5am and cycling through uni, over the Green Bridge, and along the river, still feeling like shit from this lagging flu/head-cold/possible minor bout of glandular fever. I was keen for my first sub 40:00, but due to the recent sickness/injury, I doubted that it was doable. I even doubted whether I would be capable of such a time when well trained Arriving at West End, I was indifferent to the race ahead, until I saw Nic and Mallani, and the banter began. After much standing around, stretching, and chatting, we lined up. Nigel Waddington, joint winner of Glasshouse 100 mile last year was there aswell, adding to the ecclectic mix of runners who were, by now, seconds from beginning the race. We went. We went out really hard; I was running with the lead pack of the five and ten k, but I faded marginally fairly soon, and just focused on keeping the 50-or-so metre gap between Nigel and I. There were a couple of runners in between us that I was pretty keen to catch. Nic was no where to be seen, except for at the 2.5km turnarounds, where I teased him and he encouraged me (not really fair was it). 5km mark, still feeling reasonable, under 0:40 pace, let's keep it going Zac. 6km, yes, we're over the psychological hump, you can surely maintain this pace now. 7.5km, ok, let's turn it up. To my surprise, the stocky runner who had partaken in a mutual leap-frogging with me for the whole of the run up just melted away. On the small incline, my uphill confidence (not fitness, but confidence) caused me to accellerate, then disposing of the serious-looking road runner in the Maroon singlet. As far as I could see, it was only Nigel ahead! With 1km to go, it was getting tough. The lungs were not too happy, but we pushed on. I'm gaining! Through the final bend, Nigel catches a glimpse, I'm only 80 metres behind! I sprint to make up the deficit, but so does he, and as Nigel goes through the chute, I relax and slow down a little. In the end, he was about ten seconds in front, but who cares. I finished in third, but who cares. I beat Nic for once, but who cares. The important thing was that I had decimated a mental road-block. New 10km PB: 37:51. This race reminded me of how easy short, fast races are compared to ultras. There was no deep pain in that race. Still, it was a heap of fun. I pushed hard on the cycle home, and I think I have paid for it, with a reasonably sore quad and subsequently ITB. Let's hope it's OK.

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