The 2009 Melbourne Half Marathon
I didn't receive an official time or place as my timing chip appears to have malfunctioned. I timed myself between the start and finish mats at 1:43:00. Perhaps it was a second or two faster, as I have a habit of waiting until I've crossed the finish mat before stopping the watch. Anyway, I'm reasonably happy with that. I'd loved to have been a couple of minutes quicker, but I think I got the most out of myself on the day.
My starting speed was about perfect. Nothing Pre-like about this one! I was behind the 1:45 pacing balloon up the hill at the start and around to Federation Square. I gradually drifted ahead and was feeling good, passing the 5k sign in 23:33. Onto the smooth, flat bitumen of the Grand Prix circuit I was still entertaining thoughts of an M50 PB and possible sub-1:40 at the 10k sign — 47:16. Running up the slight hill out of the park I lost some momentum, but failed to realise I was now running 4:55 kilometre splits rather than 4:45s. I was being overtaken by runners but didn't feel like I was slowing that much. Strange! By 15k I knew the M50 PB was out of reach, but thought the final time would be about 1:42. Running through the dark tunnel into the huge stadium and onto the hallowed turf of the MCG was a special moment. There was even an unknown spectator who yelled out, "Go Ewen!"
Even though I'm not a huge fan of long races, I think I'll run this one again. I like it — and how could one not like Melbourne? The weekend is also a welcome respite from the cold and wet of Canberra. I enjoyed catching up with friends old and new, including the famous 800m runner Jo and Western Australia's Jonathon. Sorry I missed others. Next time!
5k splits (Av HR): 23:33 (148), 23:43 (149), 24:44 (149), 25:27 (149) + 5:33 (151).