Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Slip sliding away

The 2006 Nail Can Hill Run
It's hard to remember all the details about a run you last did 25 years ago. One thing I do remember about 1981 was the lack of rain.

This year it was wet. Ten minutes before the start only a handful of the 700 or so runners were lined up ready for their 11.3km journey. Most of us were sheltering under tents or up at the club 200 metres away.

I can remember running in worse conditions, such as the time it snowed at the ACT cross country championships, but at least snow is wondrous. There's nothing wonderful about a cold gusty wind and scudding showers. I felt woefully underdressed in shorts and a CR singlet. I'd have to run faster than I wanted in order to keep warm.

After we started I spotted Gronk in CR cap and Striders singlet about 20 metres ahead. I couldn't get through the crowd to say "g'day" and in any case he soon took off into the distance. The third and fourth kilometres are the hard ones, made even more so this year by the slippery clay soil. I walked and jogged these in 7:32 and 7:24. Once up on the ridge of the hill I found myself running sub-5 minute kilometres.

The downhill sections of the course were truly scary. There was a good chance of hitting the deck with every footfall. There were a few lurid skid-marks in the mud which really opened my eyes. Finally I was safely back on the bitumen for the last 2k down to the park. I spotted Gronk next to the finishing chute cheering in the runners. I found out later he'd run an 8 minute PB!

As for myself, it was a 10 minute PW. 60:56 placed me 262nd. Thinking about it a couple of days later, I really did enjoy the run. There's something whimsical about running through kilometres of mud, around puddles as big as small lakes and splashing straight through the little ones. Good fun! It'll be somewhat less than 25 years before I'll be back.


Blogger Wobbly man said...

Great race report Ewen! I think puddles bring out the inner child in us all.

9:21 pm  
Blogger miners said...

... in fact, I haven't run through a puddle in years! You've inspired me to do so again very soon.

Great effort to brace the conditions and get out there!

9:54 pm  
Blogger go girl said...

Glad you had fun out there Ewen. Great race report.

10:16 pm  
Blogger Hilda said...

The wet start not fun, but as soon as you run, every changes, right?

Great pace, looks like 25 years makes no big difference!

2:57 am  
Blogger Tuggeranong Don said...

Loved your post Ewen. Wasn't there that great Australian book, "I can jump puddles" by Alan Marshall. I thought about that when I read your post and noticed that wobbly man and miners referred to the puddles as well. Very primal thing I think. But great post, mate, and a super effort on the day despite the conditions.

9:32 am  
Blogger Superflake said...

Nothing like an aquathon to start your winter running season. Great race report Ewen.

9:49 am  
Blogger Tesso said...

After 25 years you should have run in retro gear :-)

10:01 am  
Blogger Robert Song said...

I can borrow you my beanie and gloves for next time.

12:41 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Great run in tough conditions - 262nd out of 700 runners is not to be sneezed at (altho after running in that weather you may well be sneezing)! Well done! Hope you warmed up quickly later in a bit more than a singlet - brrrr! Oh and maybe you should wear gumboots next time!!

11:09 pm  
Blogger 2P said...

Nice report and a top half finish - well done Ewen sounds like you had fun.

6:14 pm  
Blogger R2B said...

Nice post Ewen.
I can't wait to try out the pair of Nike miler XC shoes i bought pre injury through puddles and mud!

Are you running Willy 2 Billy this year?As you suggested i am running this race.

I am about to start writing a training plan to get me there (and qualify for 6' next year!!)and also to try and get a low 60minutes time in C2S depending on how quickly i can recover my fitness.

Any advice?

Cheers R2B

3:46 pm  
Blogger Eddie said...

Our Glasshouse trail runs (the short distance ones), especially when it's nice and wet, would be good training for Nail Can Hill. They are good fun though..as long as you can stay upright.

7:27 pm  
Blogger Don Juan said...

Sounds like a wild ride out there. Good effort to stay positive and focused.

8:21 pm  

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