.....this photo tells the whole story! I finally got to finish the correct course for the Canberra 50km....with a whole lot of help from some extraordinary people in this Cool Running family
of mine..... but I never dreamed of a guard of honour finish!
I think that Saturday afternoon at the 5km & 10Km races is always the best fun of the weekend; gives an opportunity of meeting up with interstate as well as local Cool Runners ....great to meet all those whom I've never met in person before (too many so I won't mention names); too early for race day tension to have kicked in & still relaxed enough to laugh, enjoy each other's company & encourage the runners; I love race day eve!
We, not just I, had a brilliant run on Sunday! The Cool Running community, Ewen, Horrie & me...we did it together! Mine was the easiest part of this collaboration...I had only to keep putting one foot in front of the other until the finish line! After months of coaching me to "start to run out of sight...day or dark night", Ewen devised the race day plan which exactly took care of every minute, in blocks of each 10kms in a run/walk program ranging from 23-22.5 minutes running/3:40 to 4 minutes easy walking & to finish 50km in a time of 6 hours 35 minutes. He had settled on this run/walk program in view of an injury I had during the 3 weeks leading into the run &... did it work? You bet it did!
I have never ever felt I'd run what I could call my 'perfect race', but without any doubt, this was it! With the programme carefully in hand, Horrie's part was to see that (1) I didn't get lost (again!) & (2) to time the run/walk segments exactly, giving neither more nor less than what the blueprint said! He did this to perfection, even warning me before each run segment that we had 10 seconds to go! He gained a 3 minute lead on the set time within the first 10km & we kept that right to the end, finishing in 6 hours 32 minutes. It shouldn't surprise me then, that I felt strong, confident & relaxed for the entire run & without any thoughts of not finishing, but I was taken aback by finishing more than 20 faster than the time I set for the W70 Australian Record way back as a youngster of 74 in 2004!
Can I ever adequately thank both Ewen & Horrie? Or those who ran part of the course with us on Sunday? Or those who waited long hours for me to finish? Of course not! But deep down in my heart is a "Thank You" which I hope they all know is there. The same for the CR bloggers who gave such encouragement over recent weeks/months.
For the remainder of this year? A big change which I'm so looking forward to : trying to become faster over shorter distances & then, come October/November trying out for these distances in Canberra with the ACTVAC. I can see no reason for not becoming faster..even on a dark night....if I keep trying!