Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Brooks Half Marathon

The original plan was to knock out the first half of this race at a steady pace and then nail the second half with whatever I had left. That was before I over strained my right hamstring on a Tuesday night run. Wednesday and Thursday were about working out how to walk again so there was a big question mark over whether the race was going to happen.

Coach Steve in the first instance said no (Ironman Melbourne in two weeks) but warmed to the idea that I was going to be sensible and pull out the second things got iffy. So the new plan was to turn up, tootle round and do nothing more than that. If there was any sign of further injury pull out.

I'm not sure how I was going to pull out if I was miles away from the car at 6am in the morning but hey-ho that didn't turn out to be an issue.

I woke up at 4am and it didn't feel good. I was just about to get back into bed but thought, "No, that might just be an excuse to bail on an early start" so I thought I'd go to the stadium and start at least and pull out in the first 100m if things weren't looking good.

I was nicely early as Bukit Jalil stadium is quite close to my house but I didn't bank on the idiots collecting RM2 per entry for parking. Why not do it on exit like last year - NUMPTIES! It took me about 45minutes to get in and parked. Naturally I wasn't the only one and they had to start the race late by a few minutes.

I went to the back and as soon as the race started got into a tootling pace (no much option with so may people in front of me). After a couple of K I was delighted to see Arif running along side (Arif is also doing Ironman Melbourne). We chatted along, jogged at a comfortable pace, had a pee stop together, water stations...we were brothers in arms! I couldn't have asked for a better partner to take my mind off the very uncomfortable hamstring issue.

Fortunately it was just discomfort and although unpleasant I didn't feel like any more damage was being done. At about half way we started hitting some seriously steep hills but even then all was just about OK with the leg. In fact at this point I think we picked the pace up a little. With 3k to go my leg was feeling none the worse for wear (or maybe it was just numb haha) so I started pushing the pace a bit up the hills.

At 22.9k (funny half marathon distance that) it was all over. Our hero Tey got some great snaps of us. I was even smiling and some have said I didn't try hard enough (you're right I didn't, I'm saving myself and my poorly leg until March the 25th).

On that note I'm reliably informed that my bib number for Ironman Melbourne is "990" so you can find me come race day on with that number or surname "Cross" if you're interested.

Back to the Half marathon, final comments - very well organised, great goody bag, brilliant to start and finish in the Commonwealth Games Stadium, huge amounts of watermelon, food drinks etc at the end, excellent stuff. Only gripes were the parking fiasco and the poorly measured course. There's just no excuse for this or inaccurately placed distance markers but organisers seem to get this wrong in most races.

I don't want to end on a negative though, it's a great race, the early start meant that it didn't get too hot so no worries about that. I'll be back next year no doubt.

1 comment:

Matty O said...

I came for the sexy pictures... uhhhhh where the heck are they? haha.

Smart man on pulling out if anything felt funny, takes a lot to go to a race w/ that attitude and listen to your body.

Hopefully everything is in check for the big boy race coming up!