Saturday, May 10, 2008

Thinking of Kate

Last Sunday I went on a day trip to Albury. My mate Jim was driving — we left Canberra at 3am! The purpose of our foolishness was to do the Nail Can Hill Run. I ran this race last year; and the year before that. It's becoming a habit. I'm not sure why. Nail Can is an 11.3km race with a thumping big hill! I'm no mountain goat. Give me the flatness of a 400 metre Mondo track any day.

It was foggy and cold as I shivered with a record field of 1500-plus starters. I carried my trusty Sony phone camera, thinking I'd take some photos to show you what you're missing. As I raced towards "the hill", I thought of two Kates. One Kate we've nicknamed KFC — after her initials. Kate's parents named her before Kentucky Fried Chicken became KFC. She's a very talented runner. The other Kate, I first saw on Countdown. I sang a tune of hers in my head as I plodded up "the hill", pausing occasionally to take photos...

Say if I only could,
I'd make a deal with God,
And I'd get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
With no problems...

Singing along with Kate worked. As "the hill" flattened out, I started to run, and realised my pace was good. I was having fun running fast, just like KFC used to; so there were no more stops for photos. I raced down to the finish, very pleased to record my best time since 1981 — 56:53. My mate Jim ran 54:11 — watch out next year! One runner I'd loved to have swapped places with is my training partner from Calwell — Kathy was the third female, and broke the 50+ record running 48.34!

A tad brisk before the start. Kathy (in pink) finished third.A tad brisk before the start. Kathy (in pink) finished third

First part of the hillFirst part of the hill

Runners appeared out of the fogRunners appeared out of the fog

It was a long hill!It was a long hill!

Nearing the top of the climbNearing the top of the climb

The finish line was a welcome sightThe finish line was a welcome sight


Blogger Sling Runner said...

Ewen, thanks for the comment on HR data. Yes, I think you are right about using av HR. When I ran my tempo last week at around threshold (~4:00), my HR kept raising, from 145 bpm at the start and ending at 187. Yesterday, I ran the tempo slightly below threshold (~4:05) and the rise wasn't steep and it never gone beyond 180 bpm.

11:21 am  
Blogger Hamburglar said...

Nice run Ewen.

I never seem to match up my visits to Halbrook/Albury on the same weekend this race is on. I never knew it was so big. I will have to try and make it next year.

12:13 pm  
Blogger Shane said...

Nice run Ewen, I never ran this event when I lived in Wodonga. I rode around the area a few times on the mountain bike and that was tough enough. Nice running there, well done.

1:59 pm  
Blogger Dusty said...

Nice job on the hills! I like the lyrics, there are several people I'd like to change places with on hills, or at least swap out legs! haha!

2:29 pm  
Blogger plu said...

Too dedicated for me. Thanks for popping into my blog.


5:03 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

Sounds like you nailed it this time Ewen. Great run. Good snaps too.

5:59 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

Good run Ewen. You almost made the beat your age time. Next year maybe. I see Jeremey Horne did the State Road 10k Saturday and won Nail Can on Sunday.

6:23 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

Great running Ewen.

Forget the 3000m goal, work on getting on that age masters list for next year :) Must say the 20% for women seems a bit generous.

6:29 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

Glad you didn't have this 80's song on your mind -

Looks "ice" at the start. Good to hear you are running so well.

7:32 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

Wow, awesome piccies - looks an amazing run. Well done! Now, if you didn't stop to take photos you might have saved another minute and remember next year you'll be a year older - it's looking good!! Love those lyrics - I'll memorise them for next time I'm at Cotter!

8:29 pm  
Blogger Runner Susan said...

Those are some pretty groovy photos Ewen! Hills are for whimps. I'll take flat any day of the week.

2:47 am  
Blogger Chad in the Arizona Desert said...

Wow, that race looks like fun! Great job with the run and I love the photos.

6:42 am  
Anonymous Em said...

And my mate, Kate, was the first female and broke the course record :-)

Not such a shabby run from yourself either, by all accounts a pretty tough course, looked like a great spot for a run though.

8:10 pm  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Well done on a great run!Excellent photos! Thanks for sharing them. I had a bit of a laugh at "runners appearing from the fog"...I know a few Kates too but different ones...Might have to visit that race some day...

6:50 am  
OpenID IHateToast said...

how long is that hill? how many repeats of the song did you do to get up that hill?

it's a good running song.

you always do pretty runs. you have good taste for a mutant mountain goat.

9:32 am  
Anonymous Steve said...

Cold and foggy mornings. I thought you'd be use to that coming from Canberra.

That's an early get-up, 3am, no point going to bed.

Like Em said, not a shabby time.

10:46 am  
Anonymous beki said...

Re: your song list -your embarrassing one isn't that bad - how can it be when it was also sung by Nick Cave???!!!

6:45 pm  
Blogger Stu said...

All that talk about Kate's at Nail Can Hill, my first thoughts were to the winner Kate Seibold-Crosbie who is coached by Old Miler.

9:11 pm  
Blogger Rachel said...

I was thinking how much fun it sounded like and then I saw the pictures and remembered what a hill looked like.....mmm, maybe not.

5:37 pm  
Blogger Scott Brown said...

That is some time for that course Ewen, well done.

Impressed by the quality of the photos for a "phone camera" as well.

I don't know why you like running up these sort of things though this roughly translated old Japanese proverb might help clear things up.

"Only Smoke and Fools like high places."

10:05 pm  
Blogger bill carter said...

Hi Ewen

We truly are creatures of habit. I'm certainly that way as there are certain courses I run over and over and a few different races that I have been doing since I started 4 years ago and will probably do every year. I know that Kate Bush song quite well and it was one of my favorites way back in undergraduate college 20+ years ago. You have to embrace the hills and just not let them wear you down too much.

Anyway... Congrats on your best time since '81! That is absolutely amazing and just goes to show that as time goes by you are getting faster... no aging going on here.

Great pics of what looked like a really cool course.

Best of luck and I always enjoy reading about your adventures.

10:51 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

Fabulous pics of the course and it looks like something I'll avoid for the foreseeable future!!

8:11 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks all for your comments, questions and advice - much appreciated.

Rob, I think I've heard that pun before ;)

Flake, next time you see Jeremy, ask did he drive down on Saturday arvo (tiring drive!) or fly.

IHateToast, the hill is only 2k long - from 2k to 4k in the race - three repeats of the song and you're there!

Scott, I'm a big fan of Japanese proverbs - love that one, and it might explain why I like the track.

Bill, thanks for the encouragement - my PB from '81 is 50:40 - perhaps getting closer to it is possible!

10:46 pm  

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