Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Studley Park - Race Report

My lack of leg speed has been an ongoing source of frustration since I started taking running a bit more seriously back in 2013. Strava lists my fastest 1k effort at 3:42, and I'm pretty sure that was down a steep hill. When I was 15, I ran a half marathon at 3:50 pace, so I know I had it once, I'm just not sure where it went!

With that in mind I decided to run some shorter races once I had recovered from TNF, and entered Race 1 of the Salomon Trail Series held at Studley Park on Sunday 21st June over 15km. The races, put on by Rapid Ascent, gradually stepped up in distance over the series, with the idea that people training for Surf Coast Century (also put on by Rapid Ascent) would enter them as part of their training.

On race day I packed the family into the car and we headed up to the city on what was a bitterly cold morning - coldest of the year so far. The kids ran around to keep warm, while I did a 45 minute warm up to get the circulation going still wearing my hoodie, beanie & gloves.

Already gasping just after the start

When we started, I was still so cold I basically ran as fast as I could, which was still not fast enough to maintain touch with the lead group, who dropped me before we'd even gone 2km. After that I settled into a good pace, and started to enjoy the scenery around Yarra Bend Park.

Running a little wide on the bend

I had only been back training for a little over two weeks, and with the remnants of TNF still in the legs, I started to bleed positions from about the 5km mark, but only one every now and then. It was a strange feeling to be racing such a short distance, and having the heart rate so high for a sustained period of time. I do intervals and tempo runs, but to be basically redlining it for 15km is something else altogether.

From about the 12km I really got the stitch, and lost a few more positions, but really enjoyed the last little stretch along the river. The last guy who passed me (Jade Merrett) ended up being the one who won the masters category, and did me out of a new pair of shoes. We had a good chat afterwards and he thanked me for stopping him going the wrong way at one of the turns!

The Home Stretch!

I was 15th overall in 1:00:18 (you count the seconds in these short races!), and 2nd Male Masters. I even think I may have broken that Strava 3:42 a couple of times if I hadn't forgotten to start my watch - D'oh! All in all, it was a really fun day out, and definitely a race I would like to do again sometime, although it looks a little close to U-TA next year to be feasible.