Gold Coast Half, 2007
On Sunday morning I walked from Main Beach to the start with Chris from Calwell who was hoping to run 75 minutes (he had a bad patch in the middle of the race and eventually ran 77:08 to place 55th). I made a bit of a tactical blunder by not lining up until 10 minutes before the start. The best I could do was to squeeze in close to the 2 hour pacer, near Ellie and Uncle Dave, well behind the green balloons which indicated the 1 hour 40 minute group.
Needless to say, the start was a bit frustrating. It was a 3 minute walk until we reached the timing mats. Thank goodness for chip times! After that, forward progress required quite a bit of dodging and occasional taking to the footpath in order to get a clear run. The green balloons had totally disappeared, so I worked on gradually catching the red balloons of the 1 hour 50 minute pacers. I managed this at 7k, then moved ahead.
The rest of the race went surprisingly well. I tried to maintain a heart-rate of around 150, which early on equated to kilometres in the mid-4:50s. These slipped out to 5:00 and slower in the second half. From 16k to the finish I was still feeling calm but there was nothing I could do about my slowing pace. I tried to keep a few people in sight – triathlete man, green jumper girl (running with a jumper tied around her waist) and Japanese neat long pants lady.
With about 500 metres to run, the famous CR Cheer Squad came into view. What a lift. Thanks Coolrunners – you were brilliant! Around the corner and down the long finish chute I raced, seeing the clock tick over to 1:48:10, which resulted in a chip time of 1:45:11! I think I'll take the latter for my 50+ PB. I was very pleased to finish feeling happy and well, four minutes quicker than the SMH Half and with an average km rate of 4:59.1!
Later that afternoon, I walked down to the Southport Surf Life Saving Club for the CR 'after event drinks'. It was a very pleasant afternoon hearing how people had enjoyed the day, over a few quiet ales, while soaking up that superb view of the Pacific Ocean. I also managed to pass on a few 'CR gut punches' from absent friends.