I drove to Canberra on Saturday, stayed overnight at the "Waldorf Apartments" (NOT as in the 'Waldorf'' New York!), but a very convenient 10 minute walk to the start in Commonwealth Park. On Sunday morning, for the first time, at 8:00a.m. I ran the ACTVAC Half Marathon, 2008. This time I didn't have to smash my way out of the apartment like Arnie, although I was considering a dramatic exit like that to get off to a good start!
The course followed the cycle path around Lake Burley Griffin. To my surprise, in some sections it was far more hilly than I'd expected : long steep hills, short steep hills & long inclines that (dare I say it?) younger runners around me were walking. I didn't walk at all because I'd made up my mind that if I train on hills, as I do, I wouldn't walk them in the race. That way, I got ahead of a few stragglers. As far as difficulty goes, I found it a harder course than Bankstown, The Hidden Half, which I've run for several years but which I didn't run on the previous Sunday...I thought it better to try to do well at one half marathon rather than do two not so well!
The day couldn't have been better : no wind or snow. Calm & plenty of sunshine ...a perfect Spring day on which to run such a beautiful course through the forests that encircle the lake. Volunteers were everywhere. Water sachets great! A big thank you to all volunteers especially the ones who manned the 4 road crossings along the course & made sure no one was in danger of being run down by cars. Those red flags worked better than any traffic lights could have done!
OK...the run! How did I go? I ran "goof" ....as Ewen & I say it! Not as fast as the recent very flat Gold Coast Half Marathon (2 hours 27 minutes) & I didn't expect to. This one....2 hours 36 minutes. Exactly the same time as Bankstown Half last year! Yesterday's time gave me 1st place in W75 age category. Yes, I did have some competition! Second place getter's time was 2 hours 52 minute. The previous W75 ACTVAC Record for the Half Marathon set in 2003 stood at 170:47 but, as of yesterday the Record now stands at 156:47!
Very special thank you to Ewen for continuing to program my training & to keep encouraging me to do better. Not that he has any choice...I've told him, on 'goof' legal advice, that there is no expiry date to our contract!
Blackmore's Half, September 21.
Melbourne Half, October 12.