Running for a Sheep Station
I was a spectator at the Stromlo Running Festival yesterday to watch the Australian Age-Sex Adjusted Cross Country Championships. A number of my running mates were competing in the 7.5k handicap race. The winner was back-marker and marathon silver medallist at the Delhi Commonwealth Games, Michael Shelley. My friends did well — Kathy being the first female to finish, with Liz, Michelle and Geoff not far behind.
It was a bit of a worry to see Kathy get "the staggers" in the last 400 metres, only just making it over the finish line in front of the next (much younger) female. It was a warm and humid morning. I can't do that. Don't know whether my Central Governor is wound up too tight, but I just can't push myself to the extent where I might collapse in a race. I'll stop running first. I think it comes from having done that a few times in my early years of running (particularly in the City to Surf), and giving myself a scare. Since those days my strategy has been to get in better shape than I need to be and race conservatively (my Dad would have said "you're not running for a sheep station"), only pushing the pace in the last couple of kilometres, and only if the weather is runner-friendly. How do you race? For a sheep station, or not?