No snow this year, just a whole lot of fun in the Sun…. well not really much fun for me…. well I can’t really complain…. I was able to run…. and I did come 2nd in the half marathon…. and now I’m starting to sound a bit like I’m an entitled, whingeing, ungrateful person…..I work hard and hold myself to high standards but it just wasn’t really my day in the end.
From labour day Monday (the Orienteering National Champs Relay) to the next Saturday morning was a pretty tight turn around and to make matters worse I was nursing a damaged ankle. When I walked into the Physio on Thursday afternoon, I was 80% sure I was going to have to pull out. But after some manipulation and some strapping, that evening I managed to run around the block relatively pain free, so it was set, I was going to head back to Mt Somers to see if I could break the 2 hour mark.
Early on Saturday morning as I drove inland to Staverley I wasn’t quite feeling the “vibe” so to speak. I think looking back on the year so far its been pretty jam packed with races and some long ones, so I just wasn’t feeling like I was in the perfect form or frame of mind. None the less it was an almost perfect day weatherwise and I started to feel excited about running through the forest, albeit a little apprehensive about how it was going to go.
From the start I took the lead, I made the start fast as I wanted to make sure only those who could keep up would be around. I charged on up the hill and strung the field out good and early with all but one person on my tail, Flavio. I held him off up to the mine, but that was about as far as I could, and he slipped by, looking fairly calm and collected. And that was basically it. From there he gradually built a lead that I could not get back. I felt every now and then it was getting closer but by the time the final big climb to the saddle came up I was struggling away watching him bound ahead opening a good gap.
I rolled the dice one last time once over the saddle, this was my only chance to get some time back, steep technical downhill so I absolutely smashed it down the hill through the rough stuff. I was breathing so hard I was grunting and growling so loud that I was quite glad I was on my own! Once I hit the tree line I tweaked my ankle again and the fight went out of me a bit. I just didn’t feel sharp and in control of my limbs to the point I would have liked. The legs were heavy and there was fair amount of walking going on on the steep hills. I had Sam Clark’s voice in my head going “never, ever, ever give up” but this was sadly not enough to pull much time back at all as I struggled down the hill without hurting my ankle too much.
By the time I was at the carpark I knew I was out of time to get close to the 2 hour mark, and the pressure went off a bit. I ran the last hill by myself, just cruising at a fast pace, then it was a lonely road run home. I ended up 2 minutes slower than last year in the snow, second place behind Flavio who continued to have a blinder and flew home to slip one minute under the magic two hour mark. To which I was left pretty gutted about, I gave it my best shot and as it turned out on the day Flavio was just in a league of his own and sealed himself a place in history! Good job Flavio! I will just have to wait a bit longer to have my day in the Sun!