Saturday, May 22, 2010

Huntly Half Marathon Race Report

After not blogging for a week I turned up today to run in the 30th annual Solid Energy Half Marathon. My training this week has been severely disrupted due to lateral knee and ankle pain and so I made sure that I strapped the ankle and heel heavily this morning in preparation.

I had been out for a run on Friday night and comfortably got round 15km but Saturday had a very sore right heel so this left me fairly nervous. However, once I had applied the tape this morning (using the technique for offloading plantar fasciitis), it felt really good.

Got up just after 6 and had wholemeal toast and a cup of coffee, followed by a banana and a heap of water. My sister, who was also running, had driven up from Hamilton the night before and as she is also suffering an ankle injury we could empathise with each other. I cooked a fantastic penne pasta last night ( with lots of ham, sundried tomato, feta and parmesan) to help carbo load and we both felt pretty fuelled up as we headed out the door to drive the 40minutes back down the motorway to Huntly. The goal for the race was to beat 2 hours but with my disrupted training i wasn't at all confident.

We arrived at about 9:15 for a 10am race start. Thinking this was plenty of time we went and collected our race shirts, and started warm up. By the time we had dropped my bag off at the gear drop it was 9:55 so we headed to the start line. Claire (my sister) has been restricted in her training due to her ankle so we agreed that we would just run our own races and see each other at the end. Lining up we found the start was delayed by 20 minutes so it wasn't till 10:15am that the gun went off and with thousands others we ambled across the start line and into the foggy streets of a wintery Huntly. Across the motorway and river and a quick loop on the west side of town then back for a loop around the picturesque Hakanoa lake. Hit the 5km mark and felt really fresh although the pace back across the bridge was a bit restricted due to the one lane open.

Once round the lake it was a dash up Kimihia road to the 10km mark and the timing mat showed 54 minutes as I turned onto Russell road. This was an undulating but mostly downhill stretch which placed us eventually onto a long straight heading out to the mine. Passed 13km and still feeling good I picked up the pace. We looped around the loading dock at the Coal Mine then headed back along the straight for the final stretch. Passing 16kms I felt that I could really start to push so started picking target people 100mtrs ahead to pass to keep the motivation up.

Back into the streets of Huntly and with 2 km to go I looked at my watch and my race time was 1hr 40. I knew at that point that I absolutely was going to set a race PB which was a fantastic feeling.

Me finishing

Turned into the finishing chute after completing the final 2km in 10 minutes and sprinted down with my wife and eldest daughter cheering me on for a finish in 1hr50mins.

Georgia and I at the finish

As this was the thirtieth running of the event, all finishers were given a medal which we got engraved with our finishing time. Was a great run and a good event and will definitely be back to run this one next year. Of course, getting a PB on it has probably helped.

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