Balmain 10km Fun Run - 2nd Place (33:45)

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Balmain Fun Run - last one for 2015. So I'm told this is not flat.

Well, this is how my 10km unfolded - zig-zagging 3x steep ascents along the Bay Run facing hillside of Rozelle Hospital. Terrain changes, tight turns, potholes and pedestrian dodging. Repeat this 2x. 

For once, no Lorie today. She's encumbered by a relentless baby. Spectating Neil instructs me to 'add 2 min to a fast course'. So be it, sub-35. 

400 at the start-line. To my left - Runlab's Vlad Shatrov, back from a tidy 2:18 Berlin marathon. I write off first prize (Suunto Ambit 2) faster than an L-plate driving a Porche. 

To my right, a few HuRTS Europeans - Heyden, Eoin and Tym. Sadly, Tim Lindop is deep in a Sunday slumber and is a no show. I'm getting that feel this won't be a fun 35 min. 

Before long, horn blows and we're off. 

String to Vlad does not last long. We crest hill #1 and before 1km, it snaps. He's good on hills, but a demon on flats. Third place is forgotten. By 2.5km, I pass a sorry looking swimming pool and tackle a sharp climb #2. Gap is a steady 20m, but I'm suffering. That damn GPS watch is sailing away at 3:15s and there's little I can do. 

Hill #3 is a real grind - the ugliest of three sisters. Once she's down, I stretch the legs on the final descent, the course flattens out and now I prepare for round #2.

Half way split - 16:40. 

Hills seem steeper, I'm 5kg heavier and now there's walkers. Momentum stalls at every turn. 7km sign, my mind is scrambling. Did I just see Lorie and Trinity? Nope, must be a tree (turns out it was them).

I'm waist deep in red on hill #3 but still maintain self respect. Still, it's a long coast to the finishing grass track. As I'm still passing lap #1 runners, two marshals scream 'go right, you have another lap'. The mind is less muddy ... I go left. 

Had I gone right, that would spell the end of my running career.

33:45 at 3:22 min/km average pace.

Vlad's been waiting for 45s and is already being interviewed like a champ. What a machine. 

25s positive split yet I'm happy: 

- Lap #1 - 16:40 (3:33, 3:26, 3:15, 3:27, 3:21)
- Lap #2 - 17:05 (3:50, 3:26, 3:24, 3:30, 3:18)

Honestly, I did little wrong. Turned up fresh and had zero desire for lap #3. 

Cool-down involves a relaxing 7km Bay Run loop with Vlad and Neil. Vlad seems like a good guy and confessed he was also suffering. Neil, Vlad and I are shown below. 

Eoin runs a tidy 37, followed by Tym Blackwell - a PB on this course (high 37 min)! I think Heyden took it easy. Wise choice.

Long wait for the 10:30am presentations. Too long. Presenter puts me on the spot - choose Saucony, Brooks or Hoka shoes (2nd place prize). Talk about pressure. Saucony it is.

Top 10 shown below. Official photos will take a few days. 

Despite the hurt, no regrets today. It's been a great 2015 and now I can ease off the speed work. 

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