Yarra Valley Grape Run 13.2km

It's a road I have cycled over many times. This will be the first time I've run it. There is something appealing about running a point to point course. Even more so when its from a pub to another pub. Leading in to the event it was unclear whether the distance was 13.2 or 13.7km as all the information varied between the two different distances. In one place they do write "(approx)" which I guess covers that half a kilometre difference. On the day the finish line announcer kept claiming it was 13.5km. I'm now convinced it was 13.2.

The couple of easy days to allow the damage over my tibia to heal seemed to do the trick. This made for a risky exercise by racing. Feeling rested, on the background of some very good training means I could race very hard and undo the recovery of the previous two days. I needed a simple solution.

The answer was to ignore heart rate and any splits and simply go out at a solid tempo along the course at least until beyond halfway. During this time I shouldn't be hurting, just feeling like I was running at a good pace. Depending on how things are unfolding in terms of both the race and how my legs feels, then I'll decide whether or not to cruise to the finish or pick things up a bit.

This is exactly what I did.

In fact, the race felt easy. With perfect spring weather, beautiful scenery and a pleasantly undulating to hilly course, it was a good way to spend a Saturday morning. Going from Yarra Glen to Healesville the hills became bigger and with an overall altitude gain in theory it could be hard to set a negative split. Yet, if you take the first section comfortably as I did, then picking things up over the larger hills can feel good.

As the race progressed I steadily improved my position from what I counted to be around 18th to what thought was 10th overall. Unfortunately for me, that is the problem with using Nett time instead of Gun time. While I was the tenth runner to physically cross over the finish line, I was still pipped by one second out of the top ten by someone who was behind. Not to worry, I've been in the reverse before.

It looks like I achieved the key criteria for today's race:

  1. Run a solid race, taking the place of a VO2 interval set
  2. Don't compromise or extend recovery

Today should only add to the marathon preparation.


  1. Sounds like a good hit-out. They shouldn't use net times in small (under 3000 starters) races. Anyone who wants to 'race' should just get up the front!

  2. Sounds like a fun event. I always thought that net time was not used for official placings. Hmm, sorry for you. But it's not for sheep stations.

    Sounds like a fun event. I love the countryside out that way myself.

    Only five weeks to go now!


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