Saturday, June 10, 2017

A rare half marathon and a cross country win

For the week following Nail Can I ran a mostly easy 69 km then 81 km including a quickish Customs' 5k in 24:32 (a slower course than the Tuggers Parkrun). In a last minute decision I entered the YCRC Canberra Half Marathon as many friends were running and I thought it a good way to get in my weekly long run. My last road half marathon was at the Gold Coast in July 2014 (1:56) and I had a rough goal of improving on that time.

The race went quite well for the first 10k, with 5-minute kilometres not feeling overly difficult. On the run down the steep hill near the Governor General's side yard my left calf started tightening up and I had visions of a DNF (at worst) or a slow jog/walk to the finish (at best). Easing off the pressure just a fraction worked a miracle and I was able to run to the finish at a slightly reduced pace. I finished 138th in 1:50:16 with 5k splits of 25:08, 25:13, 27:15, 26:26 and 6:18 for the last k and a bit. I was pretty happy with that result and ran in recovery mode Monday to Friday of the next week.

On Saturday 3 June I raced the 8k event for Masters at the ACT Cross Country Championships. I ran well! Stayed with Roger early then drifted ahead but couldn't catch any other runners, finishing 11th in 39:25. As a bonus, I was the first M60 (in a field of one!) so was presented with a gold medal for my efforts. The small number of entrants across all races was disappointing. The Open Men's race had less than a dozen finishers. Way back in 1989 I was buried deep in the field, finishing 58th for the 12k in 47:51. Is running less competitive now or are people happy enough doing the Parkruns?

Flying (sort of) with 7k to run in the Canberra Half

All the medal winners in the ACT Masters' XC Championships


Blogger TokyoRacer said...

Well, even though it was a field of one, it was definitely a gold medal effort. Well done!

9:35 pm  
Blogger Janene said...

What TR said. Onya! Great going ET 😀👍

5:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done in both the HM and 5K.

I think you speculation that enthusiasm for parkrun has partially displaced enthusiasm for other events is correct. With regard to population health and well-being, parkrun has been a great boon. However it has only inspired a minority of previous non-runners to attempt more arduous events, but conversely has provided a satisfying opportunity for individuals who previously ran in other events but were not enthusiastic about competitive running

12:30 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thanks Bob and Janene :)

That's a good observation Canute. I enjoy parkrun and it can be very competitive in the mid-field. It's also a good introduction to timed running for people who might have been intimidated by organised competition.

1:19 pm  
Blogger Thomas said...

Congrats on that age group win. Hey, it's hardly your fault if the other guys didn't turn up!

11:12 pm  
Blogger Lize Brittin said...

That's great! Congratulations. I'm glad to see things coming along for you.

2:51 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You raise an interesting question Ewen. There are so many running choices and challenges from ultras, trail runs, marathon, 1/2 marathon, fun runs to triathlons now on the bucket list, that competitive track and field and cross country events seemed to have lost support. Running for me has always been about personal goals and running groups/friends rather than competition. You appear to be in good form, I expect you will achieve your 5km goal - keep it going. Nifty Nev.

7:46 am  
Anonymous James said...

Canute and Nifty Nev raise good points.

Is running less competitive now or are people happy enough doing the Parkruns?

I believe it is very competitive at the elite level and not so competitive at the fun run/club/Masters level. There is a huge gap in between. Parkrun caters for runners at all levels of ability. Club and Masters athletics appear to be dying a slow death. Not sure if it is terminal. Getting older and staying uninjured almost guarantees some success in distance running!

10:03 am  
Blogger Ewen said...

Thomas, yes, if you race enough, eventually you'll win one because nobody else turns up ;-) It's amusing to me but I'm sure we'd all rather run a PB in against tough competition than win by default.

Thanks Lize - I'm feeling fit :)

Nev, yes, it's personal goals and groups/friends for me too but as someone who loves the track, I miss the days of 3 heats of a 1500 or 2 heats of a 5000 with 25 runners in each.

James, thanks for your comment. That 'gap' is the place I would like to run! I think Masters track in Canberra could die out next season with the new cost of $10 per night (when it used to be free, included in membership costs).

5:44 pm  

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