The race was one event in the first of the High Noon meetings to be held at the AIS track over winter. It was an "all-comers" meeting. The weather was all-perfect — 16°C (61°F), sunny, just the occasional zephyr ruffling the windsock near the long jump runway.
A field of 23 runners and 2 race-walkers crowded the curved starting line. Our ages ranged from under 10 to 60; boys and girls, all anticipating the excitement and tactics that 1500 metre racing provides. At the crack of the gun we charged off, aiming for the same bit of Mondo 100 metres away. I thought I'd started with blinding speed, but looked around after 50 metres and thought 'wow, I'm last!'. Why couldn't I run with childlike abandon? Why was my central governor set permanently in slow motion? It didn't matter. I was racing. I was having fun!
Around the top curve and some of the littlies started to slow. I picked my way around them — at times contemplating testing my steeplechase hurdle technique. Speedygeoff was just ahead, but he pulled inexorably away. The Seiko showed 1:04 at 300 metres. I didn't get any other splits — I just chased the one other person in the race who was on the ancient side of thirty and within reach. I caught him with a lap to go, then increased the pressure trying to bridge the gap to Emi. Youth prevailed by 3 seconds. I finished 13th — incredibly pleased (and surprised) with my time — 5:38.49. This was an M50 PB, but what gives me hope for the future is that it was "out of the blue" and run off endurance training. When I introduce interval training, theory has it that I should become faster.
For the record, the 15-year-old winner of the race ran 4:11. The first in a line of talented girls ran 4:52. My 5:38 is apparently equivalent to 4:56 for a 33-year-old.