Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The everlasting stars

I was well into the second lap of the Sydney Half Marathon, running through the lovely park called The Domain, thinking to myself 'this is going quite well'. I'd passed the 15 kilometre marker in 79:06 and realised a time of 1 hour 50 minutes was possible. I waved to Beki and BB, who were running side-by-side down to Mrs Macquarie's Chair.

My cautious start was paying off. At 7:20am, I'd lined up with Luckylegs in the middle of the field and it took about a minute and a half to reach the start line. I was quite relaxed, as the chip timing would provide a net time for the race. The first 3k was a little hectic, weaving a bit to find vacant space in which to run. No wonder they limit the field to 5000 starters!

On various places on the course I was having fun trying to spot people I knew. On the sidelines... Gnomey, Lulu, Tasdevil and Pat Carroll (behind the microphone). In the race... Luckylegs, Aunty Jac, Superflake, Tiger Angel and Ellie80. Afterwards I caught up briefly with a happy Rachel49 (who broke 2 hours and beat Simlin), Wildthing and Gronk.

So, down Hunter Street, my race cut it's way towards Circular Quay. I spotted LLs running back up Pitt Street for the last time and thought once again of the Banjo Paterson poem:

In my wild erratic fancy, visions come to me of Blondie
Gone a-runnin' "down Range Road" where the Mittagong runners go;
A herd of cows slowly moving, Blondie takes photos of them mooing,
For the pointy end has pleasures that most runners never know.

I turned right after the Quay, ran strongly though The Rocks, then plodded up Argyle Street for the last time. I was still passing more runners than were passing me – a good feeling. The final long drag down Hickson Road found me starting to feel the missing miles in the legs. Even Pat's frenzied commentary to "get these runners under 1:50" was to no avail. I crossed the finish line in 1:50:47, but with a chip time of 1:49:10. On a perfect Sydney day, I was perfectly happy.

I walked back up the course, then joined Eagle and Horrie, who were Luckylegs' 'mobile guard of honour'. We three rather fancied we'd rather change with Blondie, and take a turn at running where the seasons come and go; leave behind the ceaseless tramp of feet, and run at night under the glory of the everlasting stars.


Blogger Phil said...

Congratulations Ewen on a great finish to your half. Getting under 1:50 is a fantastic outing. I don't recall having such a lovely internal conversation during my last 1/2. It was more like, "why the heck am I doing this". Great run and a fun report to read.

4:05 pm  
Anonymous beki said...

I have to say that was one of the things I enjoyed most about the course - all the opportunities to spot people I knew! That and the fantastic weather, gorgeous scenery, blah blah etc ;-)

Great run Ewen - nice to almost meet you :-)

4:46 pm  
Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

Take the chip time, take the chip time!

Nice bit of verse. Glad you sorted out what old Banjo really wanted to say all those years ago.

Speaking of everlasting stars...sounds like there were a few on Sunday.

5:44 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

So glad to meet you on Sunday even if it was only briefly. Congrats on the sub 1:50. I'll take the chip time!

5:52 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Nice run Ewen, agree definitely take the chip time.

8:31 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Moving post there Ewen. Love the poetry. And definitely take the chip time - fantastic result especially so soon after Six Foot. Sorry you missed out on the heiress though!

8:54 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

You caught me in the best part of my race. The last 6k from the chair to the finish. Passed heaps, pity the rest was crap. Good run to get the 1:50.

9:27 pm  
Blogger TA and the Gnome said...

Very poetic Ewen, but if you really were thinking that at the 17k mark then you weren't trying hard enough :-)

Congratuations on the 110! May there be many more.


11:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It sounds like a wonderful race!

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5:49 am  
Blogger Tesso said...

Ewen, what a wonderful post. It really brings home to me the joys of running.

I don't understand why some people object to taking net time when its exactly how long the exact distance took to run. In this case it was 21.1k not 21.2 or 21.3 or whatever.

8:13 am  
Blogger Spark Driver said...

Great post there and a good time. Well done.

10:18 am  
Blogger Luckylegs said...

One of the best & one cheer more from me!

10:37 am  
Blogger Vicky said...

Both Nail Can and the Sydney Half sound great Ewen, well done!

Great that you are enjoying the racing so much too.


8:35 pm  
Blogger Scott said...

I've heard far too much complaining about this half marathon and it sort of put me off thinking about a run there.

The way you tell it though I'm putting it back on my list. You did run a good time on a course that is not known for being "fast."

Well done Ewen

Your running of late is going from strength to strength.

8:46 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

Great to see you in action on Sunday. Sounds like it was a good day and I agree with Stephen, take the chip time, that's what it's for!

9:08 pm  
Blogger R2B said...

Way to go Ewen!

9:18 pm  
Blogger D said...

Nice job on your speedy half marathon!

5:46 am  
Anonymous IHateToast said...

chip chip chippie!

because that's your race. pah to the gun gime. and when i say 'pah', i make sure extra spittle flies out.

7:58 am  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

1:49 is really awesome Ewen! I'd be really happy with that!

9:30 am  
Blogger Tuggeranong Don said...

I was sad not being able to make it this year to the SMH Half, which is one of my all time favourite races. I was especially sad that I didn't get to see you and LL's there as well. My memories of that night in Sydney last year with the both of you are very special.

Well done on a great run, Ewen

8:44 pm  
Blogger Ellie80 said...

hey Ewen, I am sorry to have missed you again! I think that I was in a bit of a daze after the race this year and before i knew it I was at breakfast with Lulu!

And thank you so much for your donation to my NY cause. I am so grateful for the support that I am getting from people. It is such a great cause, but I really feel like the person benefitting is me! THank you again, Ellie :)

9:01 pm  
Blogger 2P said...

Nice work Ewen - on the race and the Banjo interpretation ;-)

There was a runner named Ewen
In under 1.50 he blew in
Having finished afresh
And without quite a rest
He went back to see what others were doin.

12:31 pm  
Blogger iliketoast said...

it's all about the chip time .... but more than that having a good time

10:01 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

Ewen, not sure how I missed this one but if you don't mind a belated, 'well done'.

I think with major events the starts will always be problematic, even with timing chips and net times the sheer number of starters slows everyone.

8:56 pm  
Blogger CJ said...

Molto bene, campione!

9:48 pm  
Blogger allrounder said...

that's what running is all about!

re: Narooma's 3rd hole, that's called "Hogan's Hole"...it's rated as one of Australia's most spectacular par-3s...named after Paul Hogan who filmed an ad there...I'm happy to say I didn't lose any balls on that one...in fact I only lost one ball all weekend!

10:42 am  
Blogger Eddie said...

Good on you Ewen! A great run and an excellent time. You make it sound like a stroll in the park with friends.

7:34 pm  
Blogger allrounder said...

ahh, you are a funny man...

in my first life as a runner i certainly cracked 40 for 7k but it might be a little while before i do so in my current state!

hey, i'll be at the pre-race dinner for the GC...should be a good weekend...

4:26 pm  

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