Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The 2009 Melbourne Half Marathon

In August I wrote a story about a half marathon being a long way to run. Well, on Sunday I raced in the Salonpas Melbourne Half Marathon and it didn't feel quite that far — I was wanting it to finish at 17k, not 14k! I think the lovely Melbourne weather helped immensely, as did the picturesque course — the shaded St Kilda Road, the Albert Park Lake, the city skyline and the spectacular finish location inside the MCG.

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).


Blogger Scott Brown said...

You should be happy with that run Ewen. Good job! As for that spectator who yelled at you, perhaps it was an exgirlfriend you missheard and she was saying "GO to hell EWEN!"

5:08 pm  
Blogger Grellan said...

Sounds like a great run Ewen. A big improvement on Sydney and while it's not the sub 1:40 you wanted it is a move in the right direction. Looks like your endurance has improved, with a very steady HR throughout. A bit more speedwork and the minutes will fall off th last 10k.

7:15 pm  
Blogger Bruce said...

Sounds like a fair result. Well done.

7:47 pm  
Blogger Rob said...

Another excellent Half Ewen. May be next year I will get to Melbourne too. It a pity about the faulty chip.Just as well you remembered to sop it at the finish. I sometimes forget.

8:31 pm  
Blogger Sling Runner said...

Well done Ewen on the run. A good improvement from Sydney and also your fastest HM for the year.

8:59 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

I hope you liked the weather, I put in a special request, it was one day only 'coz it's all gone to hell again down here.

9:09 pm  
Blogger strewth said...

It sounds like a great course and a fun day and that's what it's all about. Well done - sounds like an excellent time to me! It's good to have you back in chilly Canberra - pity you didn't bring back the warm sunshine!

9:27 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Ok, you're not a fan of long races, but what does that have to do with the half?

Just kidding. Well Done!

9:40 pm  
Blogger Superflake said...

They were yelling out "we want you in the draft for the demons Ewen"
Good run Ewen. Although going on your HR you must have been cruising rather than racing. You could have had a 99.

9:57 pm  
Blogger Two Fruits said...

Well done, I'd take that on the road, but then I may DNS before a DNF. We should have bet on you, next time.

10:16 pm  
Blogger RICK'S RUNNING said...

Nice improvement, now your ready for a marathon!
Then once you complete the marathon a half will only seem like a very short race!

2:36 am  
Blogger rinus said...

Thats a good time and i think you can run faster like 1:40 the next time.
Well done.

6:47 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well run. You have persevered through a year that has been difficult at times. It appears to me that your pacing strategy on Sunday was right for the circumstances, and you have finished the winter/spring season on a rising note. Next time, a sub-100 minute HM is on the cards.

7:13 am  
Blogger Girl In Motion said...

Great job, Ewen!! Sucks about the timing device though - aarrghhh. Hopefully they'll get it straightened out as they often do.

7:54 am  
Blogger Love2Run said...

Glad you enjoyed the weather and the scenery. It helps to take your mind off what you're forcing the body to do. How long does the good feeling last in a 10k?? (about 100m for me)

8:50 am  
Blogger trailblazer777 said...

Excellent run Ewen! Well paced, and have to agree about the course and weather. I could almost move there, (seriously wanted to when I was young, and it has crossed my mind ever since, even now with a wife and kid, just the pull of the MCG, Albert park, and "The Tan" alone does it) Melbourne truely is a runners Mecca IMO. Pity about the timing chip. Photos should be up at Fuse any day now. It was great chatting afterwards, even if I did get into that silly pet tautology of mine of max. fast reps vs threshold reps...
Hope you can maintain the momentum and knock off that M50 PB and the 100min obstacle, its there for the taking by the sounds. Nothing hellish there, just some serious momentum short or long race...
Go for it!

12:09 pm  
Blogger Ali said...

Great result ... well done Ewen! Congrats.

Hey maybe it was a blog fan oh or a stalker!

12:31 pm  
Blogger Robert Song said...

The run into the MCG has got to be one of the great finishes to a run anywhere in the world. It certain was magic for me in 2007.

I will be back one day to soak it up again.

Thanks for the donation. Much appreciated.

6:12 pm  
Blogger jojo said...

since when am i jo not jojo...lol..

oooh famous..what famously bad???...hehe
and any race that you feel like you gave what you had, you have to be pleased with. im sure this will make you feel better, its faster than my pb for a half(and i even tried that year!!!) of 1.43.46 or sround there!

9:16 pm  
Blogger Jason said...

Nice run.

It was a perfect Melbourne day. (and thanks to Em for ordering the top weather).

6:39 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Hi all. Superflake commented on my HR for the race... I have a low maximum HR (about 167), so 149 is 89% of maximum. I've always had a low max, which has declined over the years - it was about 185 20 years ago.

I found the video of my finish, which shows 1:43:13, so my self-timed 1:43:00 seems right for a net time.

Thanks again Em for ordering the weather - I'll get you to do the same thing next year!

Jojo, you're now famous for being 7th in the world at 800m in almost an all-time PB.

Scott, if it was a misheard ex-girlfriend she would have been saying "OH... EWEN!" ;)

Thanks all for your comments and encouragement. I'm writing a blog post about running faster - should have it ready in a few days.

8:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wannabe said:

Perhaps "OH EWEN....you have let yourself GO!"

11:43 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Wannabe, you know my ex-girlfriends (and myself) too well!

6:09 pm  

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