VRR Westerfolds Park Half Marathon
- Run relatively conservatively on the flat & uphill (no spikes in effort)
- Use the downhill to gain some ground on 1st (hopefull) and put a buffer to 3rd
- Leading into the final climb, ease back in order to be able to hammer the last section.
- Surge the climb (expecting an attack from behind) and use my descending skills for the finish
I put the above into action.
The Catch and Then Some
The two points seemed to go okay. However, it was clear 3rd place was working to catch me and he looked better than earlier. First place was now out of sight. My legs were burning. Burning like they were hammering a 5000m on the track. Which isn't exactly how they should feel during a half marathon. I was beyond the point of being able to find any sort of recovery while racing. Hanging on to whatever I had left was all I could do.
Somewhere around maybe 17km was the blow up. Hydrogen ions flooded the muscles and bloodstream. The pain I just suck up, but the lack of coordination in my legs was insurmountable. The acidic bath removed all ability for anything remotely near race pace. I felt old, and forced what I could out of what degenerated into some very ugly running form. I was quickly removed from 2nd place.
Onto that long climb and things got worse. Those that had posed no threat in my earlier on simply ran past as if I was walking. Over the crest and even the descent was difficult. My legs tried failing to keep me upright, my mind was still clouded in the haze of the sustained blow up and eventually I crossed the finish, in 1:28:09. Fifth place overall.
I know I am getting older, and I was having a bit of trouble walking post race, but surely I don't qualify for the Veteran category. According to the awards ceremony I do. I was handed 2nd place for the over-40s, and despite my protest at the time that since I'm only 33 years old this just isn't right, the organises insisted I take the medal. I'm pretty sure I should have 3rd place in the open, but it doesn't really matter.