Sat Feb 6th:
Sun Run 10km from Dee Why to Manly. It was my first attempt over this course now in its 6th year. I had heard all sorts of opinions on the course and expected times. Vlad ran 31:40 last year, Barts 32:40 so it wasn't going to be too hard surely. A few hills including the first 500m straight up but mostly a mixture with a fast finish was the brief. Perhaps similar to Fairfax's other event over my way.
We stayed overnight at a mate's in Freshwater which was perfect. 3km jog to the start line, usual catch up with others including Tom who ended up being the only other starter from the four of us (Barts out with a sick wife and Quentin out being sick himself). They couldn't have nailed a better day to DNS. With a southerly blowing, rain showers around but humidity still in the air, conditions were shaping up to be tough.
And we're off. As you can see, I've taken an early lead over Tom and feeling confident. Rejoov Runners singlets donned a few in the elite start including stand in wife - Beck Munro. Top runners from left to right - Tom De Canto, Courtney Atkinson and Vlad Shatrov cleared out up the first relatively steep hill, with myself, Tom H and others (Lewis Ingram, Mitch Dean & Co) making up the chase pack.
A steep down through 1km (3:18) and into Curl Curl Park run territory that took us through to 3km (9:45) and a right hand turn into a cyclone. I had just dropped off the back of Mitch, Lewis and Tom as we turned and headed up towards the Diggers. The wind was strong. Maybe not quite cyclone level but it was up and it was to persist all the way to the finish unfortunately.
At 5km Lewis dropped off Tom and Mitch and then promptly pulled out. Not sure why but it was an extra place for me so all good. My goal was top 10 and I was in 7th as another McGrath runner had caught me and surged ahead between 3-5km. Tom and Mitch were gradually pulling away but I had them sort of in my sights as I went through in 16:40.
And then the wheels really fell off. Hill after hill, an out and back section that gave us all the lay of the land with each other but all the while, into a strong headwind. Perhaps it was the 40km long run six days earlier, or a tough follow up session with Barts on the Tuesday, I'm not sure, but my legs had nothing. Probably a combo of everything including a lack of specific hill training as usual. So I battled on and low and behold I even made up one place over the McGrath singlet runner which was comforting - into 6th and looking forward to this ending. I hadn't failed to notice a hungry Nick Roberts not too far back either so I needed to stay on top of this finish.
As this picture shows, not really having a lot fun am I? Tom and Mitch were fighting it out for 4th spot and closing in on Vlad quickly and I was trying to keep ahead of Mr McGrath. And then it was all done. I had failed to break 34mins (34:16) as the course and conditions took their toll. Vlad hung on for 3rd but was almost 90secs slower than last year. Tom D won in 32:05 followed by Courtney. Tom H was just ousted in the final straight by a couple of seconds by Mitch but really had one of the runs of the day as he ran almost exactly what he did last year. Well done Tom, you've kicked off the 2016 season well. Now take a day off for god's sake.
Rejoov Runners took out the teams event over HuRTs (I know - competing allegiance there for me). The girls and guys from Greta's Centennial Park group all ran a fantastic race and it was a real pleasure seeing them finish.
Tick - won't be doing that one again I don't suspect.
Sun Feb 7th:
Whilst Greta whisked herself up to the mountains for a 6ft training run with the Jordans and others, I was left with juggling Jaden, the babysitter, my long run and a dash over to Nippers at Greenwich. Time was of the essence.
After dropping Jaden, I took off and met the Hurts crew for the standard 16km worth of loops. No girls today with Sonya down with a niggly hammy, LJ out, Elle looking after young Harry and Corky.......... well the usual excuse. Last seen in her Gisha girl outfit staggering around the Cross post Rugby 7's with Sumo hubby Kevin (they can fill you in).
The group ran consistently early on then gradually increased pace and once we arrived back at the café, Jeet decided to take off and run a hot lap to finish his run. Neil and I took the bait (me mainly because I was running out of time and wanted 30km). We ran a 3:50 average lap of the white fence then another before I pulled off and headed back to my car and Jaden. Total 30km in 2:10 (4:20 av)
Total for the week 104km. Next few weeks the plan is to increase mileage. That's the plan anyway.
The best news was making Nippers without tears and tantrums. Jaden didn't have any either.
No specific beer review this week so I can make one up for you.
VB - just don't touch the shite! 0/10