Monday, May 22, 2006

The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon

Everything went so well. My plan for the half was to run in such a way that I could encourage Norma over the closing stages of the race. I decided to mix some walking with easy running for the first seven kilometres then run hard for a while before easing off again.

I was staying with Norma at the Phillip Street Travelodge which was within walking distance of the start down at the Rocks. The previous night we'd enjoyed a surprisingly good meal at the downstairs leagues club with Don and Bruce. Then, to relax that evening we watched an absolutely brilliant in-house movie - 'Good Night and Good Luck'.

We walked across town arriving about 20 minutes prior to the start. It was great to catch up with a number of CoolRunners including Blkbox, Johnny Dark, Gronk, Plu and Go Girl. Before long we were off, shuffling like cattle through yards directing us over the timing mats.

After we were released towards the Harbour Bridge I had to run with the flow of runners down the narrow streets. I briefly caught up to Horrie and Gnome who were pacing the 2 hour group before I found some space to the side where I could walk. Pretty soon the 'unstoppable ageless wonder' overtook me. She was running well.

When I reached the 7k mark I decided to run hard for a while. I caught Norma running out of the Domain, then shortly afterwards I was lapped by the leaders. I covered the next six kilometres in 28:27 then walked. It was fun trying to spot people in the crowd coming the other way. I saw Nick Mesher from Canberra, Go Girl, Don, Plu and many others.

I stretched for a while at the bottom of the Argyle Street hill and was happily surprised when Norma rounded the corner and admonished me for slacking off. We then ran the last 2.5 kilometres together. She was really powering along overtaking many runners. We were joined in the last kilometre by 2P and Gnome which really lifted our spirits. Gnome ran all the way to the finish with us while 2P joined us for a few hundred metres before going back to check on some other runners in his team.

It was hard to remain calm in the final minutes of the race as I knew Norma was going to beat her time from last year. She put in a very stylish sprint for the last 50 metres to finish in a net 2:24:47, over 4 minutes faster than last year! Perhaps she is ageless. After witnessing that race, I know she's unstoppable.


Blogger strewth said...

What a great day it sounds. Well done coach! You and Luckylegs are both awesome! Incidentally I can't find that title box!!

11:16 pm  
Blogger plu said...

Yep Strewth they are a pretty remarkable team.


11:44 pm  
Blogger Hilda said...

Looks like a great combination, you and Norma, good for her. And how nice to have a couch like you... Your adevises are helping me a lot too!!

1:40 am  
Blogger Gronk said...

Good to see you on Sunday mate. Great result for you with LL. Well done. :)

9:44 am  
Blogger Rachel said...

Sounds like it was a great time. Lots of encouragement happening everywhere and awesome for Norma too!

12:08 pm  
Blogger 2P said...

Hey Ewen great to finally meet you. It was certainly the highlight of my day being able to run with you guys for a stretch.

Well done on another great pacing effort Ewen.

1:14 pm  
Blogger blkbox said...

Well done Ewan, your doing a great job with LL - we must catch up again on my next trip to Canberra

2:37 pm  
Blogger go girl said...

Lovely to catch up with you again Ewen. Thankyou for the support out there.

Well done Coach!

9:26 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Congratulations Ewen on the terrific race you had and the great job you did helping Lucky Legs run out of sight. Super coaching!

11:04 pm  
Blogger Tuggeranong Don said...

Wonderfully written post, Ewen. Even though I was there too, reading your post made me realise there was so much other action on the course that I missed. Your post, and the matching one from that 'unstoppable ageless wonder', deserves a wider audience. Someone should publish them both one day.

BTW, your comment on my blog about my casual attitude at the start of the race was very perceptive. I will be reflecting on that a little in my next post.

11:49 am  
Blogger Stu said...

Great stuff Ewen, sounds like it was a good night before and the day sounds a brillant success.

Well done

2:21 pm  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

I thought the movie was the best too, especially the first half!

5:01 pm  
Blogger BeanieBum said...

Good on ya Ewen! Great report, and congrats on your success with the unstoppable LL!

12:05 am  
Blogger Tesso said...

What a great account of the race, especially the closing moments. Once again your charge has performed incredibly well.

If I'm still running at LL's young age I might have to sign you up to coach me.

3:08 pm  
Blogger Aki said...

Has to be part of the effect you've had on her, watch out, I think she's actually found a way to get younger! She looks like a 30 year old anyway!

10:30 pm  
Blogger Eddie said...

There is no doubt about it Sir Ewen, LL is sure lucky having such a dedicated coach. You must be extremely proud of your charge. Arn't we all proud of her!

6:52 pm  
Blogger Hannah said...

Great stuff! Sounds like a fab race :)

4:41 pm  
Blogger miners said...

Wonderful stuff as always Ewen - glad you've found so many rewards working closely with our queen :)

9:33 pm  

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