Police Games: Cross Country

One down two to go.

A late venue change saw the course a little north to Norton's Park. As a result the event wasn't exactly a classic cross country, but it was still a very good route. Two 5km laps provided a mix of flats, mild downhills, moderate to steep hill, bitumen, concrete, gravel, grass and dirt tracks. A great variety, that allowed some areas for a rhythm, with other locations for attacks or simply a challenge.

The weather was a bit strange. Overnight the temperature hung around 26 degrees Celsius, but during the race varied from a mild, wind-cooled 23 up to a humid 30 degrees as the sun broke out

For me, the race went well. I lined up at the front and headed out at what felt like a very doable pace. My aim at this stage was to see how the field formed a pack or spread out. Immediately I found myself in the top six. Within 200m we spread out further and I upped the pace to keep with the two guys up front. Soon enough I was in equal second, but after a quick conversation I was doing better than that. The guy next to me was running the 5km option. So I really in a clear second.

Up ahead the race leader was obviously stretching out away from me. Better put myself in a winning position. This meant I steadily wound up the pace to try and slowly bring that distance back down. Over the next kilometre I discovered the best I could do was stop the gap from widening. I wasn't making any ground, I my pace was definitely above anything sustainable. I was forced to slow to something that was actually manageable.

It was now somewhere past the 3km mark. The starting effort was being felt throughout my whole body, but I was well clear of the next 10km racer, and now ahead of all the 5km competitors. First was just travelling too fast for me. Not too slack off I aimed to hold steady for the rest of the first lap and use the downhills over the first part of lap two to try and gain ground on first. Hopefully he had gone out too hard.

Not so. After the turn around it was clear I going to stay in second place. First was comfortable and had about a minute on me. Third place had obviously put in a surge, but it wasn't ever going to make it. In the end I finished second overall, but first in my age group. Giving me my first gold medal of Games. Looking at the splits versus heart rate, it was clear I went out hard early and had a gradual decline in pace for the rest of the race, despite obviously putting more effort as the race progressed. My time was 39:39. A result I am very happy with on this course.

Comments

  1. Congrats Jason and good luck for the next two!

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  2. Well done. You ran an intelligently paced race that gave you both a medal and a good time. Good luck for the 5000m and the HM.

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  3. Nice racing Jason. Congratulations on the age-group gold medal. Great time for 10k over the country too.

    I hope the 5000 and half go just as well.

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  4. Great work and a fab XC time, though it is a shame you were bumped from Jells, Nortons Park would have been tough.

    Feeling a bit sheepish too as I was runing in the event that yours got bumped for. The conditions were not exactly ideal for distance running yesterday morning that's for certain.

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  5. Congratulations Jason, a fantastic effort, and a very worthy result considering all the hard work you've been putting in!

    Winner, winner, winner!

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