Monday, 18 June 2012


There were three reasons for running this race: the $25 price was reasonable; I could walk to the start line; and MCVET is a deserving cause.
The race began at 0830 and already the humidity was in the high 80s and the temperature was in the high 70s. I decided to abandon any attempt at a sub forty time. In the first mile I made a conscious effort to hold back and all those streaming past me made it hard not to go with them, but I have had too many bad experiences in the heat to make that mistake again.
The first mile split was 06:35 with a HR of 171, indicating I was definitely working hard. By now we were approaching federal hill park and the field was slowly settling down and I was catching some of the early hares. The course double backs on its self on key highway, about 2.5 miles in and my second mile split was 06:57. My own slowing pace showed just how suicidal some of the hares' pace had been.
The course then turned right onto Pratt street and past the USS Constellation and right again onto President street, towards Harbour East. Here I looked at my Garmin and saw a pace average of 06:54 and thought,'hey, I'm maintaining pace pretty well'; and just then the Garmin bleeped to record the third mile split of 07:13! Blast, I had been looking at the total distance average pace and not the current mile average pace. From that point on I ignored the pace and the Garmin, save for a few glances to make sure the HR remained in the low 170s. It was at this point, with the pressure of the watch banished, that I began to enjoy myself and just concentrated on maintaining effort. Well into mile four I overtook a few more of the earlier hares who I had been stalking since I resolved to ignore the watch. A turn around on fleet street back towards Little Italy and I was soon to complete mile five in 07:12; mile four was 07:06, so I had settled down to a sustainable pace. As we approached the final 1.2 miles, turning right back onto President street, I could see a couple more runners up ahead. The field was quite strung out now and I had been running on my own for about a mile.
I slowly closed in on the runners in front and remembered the first runner I encountered from the race's beginning. I decided to make my move as we turned right from Pratt street onto the hill on Calvert. My thinking was that the combination of me overtaking him on a hill and putting in a surge would break any morale to respond. His constant looking over his shoulder as I approached indicated he was running on empty. As I put a surge up the hill I realised the next two runners were within reach. As I reached the top of the hill I took a look over my shoulder to see the runner I had overtaken was slowly falling away and I turned my attention to the two in front.
With about half a mile remaining I moved into a controlled sprint as we moved downhill and turned right onto Lexington street and towards the finish; I soon passed the next runner and moved into a full sprint in the last quarter mile to overtake the next runner. The crowd at the finish line warned him of my impending approach and as he looked over his right shoulder he tried to respond but it was always going to take too long for him to get up to speed before we crossed the finish line and I finished a few seconds ahead of him in 43:16.
This was a personal worst by over two minutes but I was satisfied with a well executed race. If Jeff Galloway's estimations about the affect of heat on performance are correct then the heat and humidity undermined my performance by at least 10%, giving me a cooler performance time of 39:20. Looking at the results revealed that two of the three runners I overtook in the last three quarters of a mile were in my age division and making that move in the last mile got the bling below.

1 comment:

Grellan said...

Well worth the bling Westley. Excellent race plan and all the more enjoyable to be reeling in the early speedsters.