Sunday, October 12, 2008

World Wide Half - Race Report

After entering this virtual event yesterday I was quite nervous and found it hard to sleep. It really did feel like a proper race. Weird eh? I think it was partly because I had annouced the entry on this blog and hence some pressure to put in a good effort.

Before the race I checked out the course from space (thanks Google Earth):

Headed out to the start line at quarter past 6 just before dawn here in Auckland on a cool but fine morning. No queues for the toilets and got a great pole position at the start (my driveway!). No start gun though this race so just pushed the start button on my G-Shock stopwatch and headed out.

On a serious note the early start was also so I could get the run finished while it was still cool. Running a half marathon with no planned drink breaks I needed to minimise dehydration. I had hydrated well the night before and had a glass of water after I had woken up.

The first 3km or so where along pretty flat suburban streets in Mt. Eden and Sandringham - Halesowen, Calgary, and Shackleton. This was the extra I had tacked on to my long training run to bring it up to half distance. Used that to ease into the run. Actually the start was great - there was no congestion with other runners! Usually a race there is a bit of congestion in the first part. I guess countering that there are no people to pace against later on and no crowd support. Have to say the atmosphere with a whole lot of other runners is something else (and what makes races fun).

The course wasn't too bad...

The 3km through 8km is rolling terrain up through Mt. Eden Village and into Grafton. Saw a few other runners out training and got a wave or two. They were probably wondering what the hell I was doing running pretty hard out early on a Sunday morning.

The domain was nice and pleasant - at around 9km the sun was coming up through the trees and it felt pretty good to be honest. I had started to feel fatigue round about here and the sunshine from down was a bit of a lift.

The section from 10km through 13km was pretty flat aside from a nasty little hill just into Gillies Ave. The sun was starting to come up now which was good.

13km through 17km was through Cornwall Park. Along this part of the run I tried to run on the trail and grass a bit - the uphill sections were a matter of just maintaining stride rate (albeit with a shorter step). In contrast really attacked the downhill sections felt like I absolutely screamed down the hill.

The last 4km of the run was tough. My feet, quads, lungs were starting to feel it. On the plus side not a peep from the knees and calves. Not much left for a sprint finish but certainly finished in better shape than my first half back in July. Still running reasonably strong. Absolutely stuffed though.

The face of victory! Well I am wearing a nike top and she is the greek goddess of victory. I'm shattered right about now.

I then took a photo of the time for the permanent record. Out of focus shot due to post race exhaustion.

1:35:47 which is a new PB! According to the route was 21.4km so average pace is 4:28min/km.

Doing the world wide half was great. As I said earlier it really did feel like a race! Even got a virtual certificate...

Absolutely brilliant and now I'm buzzed for the rest of the day. Hope everyone else had fun racing it.


Andrew(ajh) said...

Holy PBs Batman .... that is a truly awesome time.

You're getting stronger and stronger and faster and faster.

Great effort, well done.

Andrew is getting fit said...

That's a fantastic effort! Great that the Auckland weather played along as well eh!

Next year I'll do the World Wide Half as well.

SUB6 said...

Fantastic time. Well done for entering ... and inspiring 'andrew is getting fit' to enter next year ... this thing could snowball :)

Bruce said...

Nice race, well done on the PB too.