Tuesday, October 09, 2007

My better Half in Melbourne

Me near 12k down by the Bay - photo by pastyboy
It just happened. Despite trying hard to sabotage my race, I finished the Asics Melbourne Half Marathon on Sunday with a new M50 PB. My chip time of 1:40:48 was over 4 minutes quicker than the Gold Coast Half. Hadd-training is working! I'm excited at the possibility of better things to come. Kerryn McCann is running the half next year, so I'll be back again with a goal of sub-95 minutes.

So... how did I almost stuff things up? It was a typical Melbourne "perfect weather for running" day. About 10C, rising to 15C at the finish, with just a zephyr blowing across Albert Park Lake. You'd think a runner of 26 years' experience would be immune to the rush of blood. Race starter Rob de Castella advised the field (the marathon and half started together) to "take it easy at the start" and "try to finish strongly". As soon as Deek sounded the air-horn I stampeded down the first hill with 8,000 others, past Katy (holding a "Not far to go now!" sign), and latched onto the 3hr 15min marathon pacing group.

After 4 kilometres at 4:30s, I belatedly realised I needed to switch to preservation mode. This tactic was surprisingly successful, and I spent the rest of the race trying to guess when I'd be caught by the 1hr 40min group. I survived for a fair way, feeling like the rabbit in that TV ad for the Yarra Valley, running past the brilliant CR cheer-squad for the second time, and back down St Kilda Road towards the city. I was finally captured at 15k, and managed to hang on for another kilometre before being unceremoniously spat out the back.

Pretty soon The G was in sight. It was a finish "to die for". Running 300 metres on the grass of that hallowed ground, then under the finish gantry, to be greeted and handed my medal by yet another smiling volunteer. Melbourne, you were good!

[5k splits: (31sec to start) 22:40, 23:46, 24:13, 24:52 + 1.1k in 5:17]

27 Comments:

Blogger Kelley Flood said...

Hi Ewen,

I do not like asking people their times for a run. I feel they will tell me if they want. You went really well good on you, what a great time.

Kelley

7:36 pm  
Blogger Hamburglar said...

Congrats Ewen - great run!

8:21 pm  
Blogger Scott said...

Outstanding! Ewen

Obviously your "Hadd" training method is working but also I reckon not wanting to write back to us here that "it" wasn't working helped you to hang on for the PB.

Also knowing LL would put in a gutsy one meant that you had to at least try to match it. Anyway well done.

I don't care what anyone says you haven't hadd your day, yet.

By the way, at what stage was that photo taken? And do you reckon you could of run a faster time had you not gone out like a rat up a drain pipe?

8:38 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Huge congratulations Ewen on a fantastic result. And on still being able to get out there yesterday and run 14km at training!

8:57 pm  
Blogger Stu said...

Great stuff Ewen! So you let my uncle pass you, he was pacing the 1h 40m 'bus'...

9:47 pm  
Anonymous Steve said...

Great running Ewen, if you remember we ran together for a short distance along St. Kilda Rd, on the outbound leg. I was feeling ok at that point, not so later in the run.

10:02 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

A good run Ewen. Hadd is working, although probably not in the 1st 4ks. I ran the Sportsco run to the g in 93 because it did a lap of the g at the finish. No training just did the race. I died!

10:24 pm  
Blogger 2P said...

Sounds like you Hadd a very nice time - well done mate :)

11:15 pm  
Anonymous IHateToast said...

what a crazy event. it took the runners 11 minutes to pass me at the beginning. i love that kind of craziness. you feel like you're a part of something big.

congrats on your peebie.

11:23 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

Gee when we were talking about pacing in the pub after the race, you didn't seem to mention then about your pacing execution for the Half!!

Give an decent passage at the start the first K could be a potentially fast one on this course given that it is down hill but a bit of a trap if you keep it up for too long. You should have started back with me. No chance of going to fast early.

As always it was good chatting with you. Please remember I owe you a beer.

11:28 pm  
Blogger TA and the Gnome said...

Ah, you're never too old - sorry, experienced - for a rush of blood for a while. Good to see that you caught it early enough to turn it into something good. LL's been training you well :-) :-)

Gnome

11:40 pm  
Blogger Gronk said...

Nice one Ewen. Sounds like a fun day. Love to run on the MCG.

7:05 am  
Blogger wildthing said...

You are a dead set superstar. Well done, you must be thrilled.

I love the photo too!

Cheri

8:33 am  
Blogger Tesso said...

Congrats on the M50 PB!

I think you should spend more time running and less time on your core strength. My knuckle is bruised from the belly punch I gave you.

Melbourne 2008 .... bring it on!!!

9:10 am  
Blogger Simlin said...

Great to see you Hadd a great race after all.

10:02 am  
Blogger Stephen Lacey said...

Ewen, congratulations. I think all the hadd puns have been taken, so I'll just say that perseverance pays off. One thing to think about is that well-applied Hadd training (and you have certainly applied it well) is always going to reward you at this distance. What is going to be really interesting is when you front up for the 5k races. I'm really looking forward to seeing how that goes.

11:11 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations Ewen. You certainly deserve it. I don't think I've ever seen anyone as dedicated and committed as you.
Great run.
When R U coming back to Calwell training? Missed you last night.
It was cold & windy though. Nice day to miss really!
Kathy.

1:29 pm  
Blogger Phil said...

Congratulations Ewen ... fantastic time and a fantastic improvement. You are really running strong.

I think I'll be on the first plane to Australia in the morning. You've got the best running weather on the planet right now.

5:03 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

Post after post you are reporting your improvement. Here is yet another. This is very exciting Ewen. It is inspiring to see such improvement.

Congratulations on a brilliant race.

8:35 pm  
Blogger Jason said...

Great to hear the training has been going well. It was a great day, great event overall. I guess I was a bit misleading in my own post about going uphill and downhill. I agree there weren't really any hills on the course, just slight, gradual gradients that you could term false flats. I think it was a deceptively tough race, with the gradual rise heading back up along St Kilda rd. Most people I spoke to commented they really struggled in the second half.

Hope you pulled up well too.

2:41 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Good one Ewen, thats a smart time. I'm impressed they give you a medal for a half!

8:14 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

Woo hoo! Great run :)
Looking forward to my own run of the 'G' sometime after reading all these reports....

9:54 am  
Blogger PortRunr said...

That's great Ewen. Well done on the M50 PB and for hanging in there despite the rush of blood. I'm sure there's more to come with all this Hadd training.

2:17 pm  
Blogger plu said...

I have three years from tomorrow to follow your lead.

Plu

9:52 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

Fantastic, 4 minutes improvement in 3 months, speaks volumes for your approach.

And it was a perfect melbourne morning for running.

12:14 pm  
Blogger jen said...

Congrats on the great race, Ewan! Thanks for stopping by my blog too. Keep up the good work! :)

1:52 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Excellent run! Bring on 08!

9:17 pm  

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