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Richmond Oval 10k

16 August, 2010

I didn’t know what to expect from this race. On the one hand it is pancake flat. But the surface is gravel, and kind of loose in places. Also the temperature was 23degC by nine o’clock this morning, and the course offered almost zero shade.

I felt like starting fast for some reason, which may not have been the best tactic as I had to breathe the dust kicked up from the lead pack for the first few hundred metres. Under a blazing sun, passing 2km in 7:04 was perhaps a little hasty.

The first half of this course is really nice — there is the river on the right and the ocean reaches to the horizon. While I was warming up, I found a nice spot by the oval, a rock pool, and I held this image in my mind as far as possible throughout the race. The hardness of the rock, stillness of the water. I could write a thousand words about why this was useful, but I’ll spare you. Although it’s out and back, the course loops midway and comes back onto the course around 6km, so you don’t necessarily see anyone coming back (as I didn’t). Not anticipating this, the effect was to make 4-6km seem very long! I went through half way in 18:06.

I lost my equanimity a little when I saw a runner in front of me cutting corners. It’s ridiculous that I spent perhaps three hundred metres fuming over this, even made a comment as I passed the guy. In retrospect he may not even have been competing, so it really was silly to get worked up. But if he was, we both know he didn’t run 10k and that’s good enough, so I didn’t take it further. Anyway, I was determined to catch that runner in particular and perhaps it made me faster!

I gained four seconds in the second half and I’m happy enough with the result of 36:02, 2nd in age group. Considering two people passed out from the heat within metres of the finishing line, it will do for now. The organization was a little bumblesque — the guy who should have won was directed the wrong way, ending up second, plus a few glitches here and there. But I’d do it again, if only for the chance of more schwag:

age-group medal

I’m resuming this blog, perhaps temporarily, my weekly mileage is shockingly low for someone who’s signed up to run a half in six weeks. Better get cracking. Goal for next week: 60km.

Last week: 45km

This week: 38km.

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