Sunday, April 09, 2006

West Met race 1 Haberfield report (beware:some tedium below)

After some months of waiting, West Met 2006 is here! Race 1 was held at Haberfield. It's weird, but every year we all say the same thing : "the first race day is always very warm!". Yesterday was no exception : around 26 degrees, little breeze.
A veritable swarm gathered to register for the season. HillsAths did a sterling job of taking registrations and cash upfront. A solid turnout of clubs, with Hills runners highly noticable.
Now, a preamble and then a brief description.
1. The runs are short (@2k), medium (@4k) and long (@8k). Generally, the races comprise runners as follows :
* 2k Little Athletics members plus some parents, 4k runners doing a warm-up
* 4k Semi-serious runners plus 8k runners doing a warm-up
* 8k Invalid runners who miraculously recover when they hear "go!"
2. In response to a blog-reading lurker, I am doing the shorter course because I am running with my son, who understandably won't do more than 2k - since his training has so far comprised playing cricket since September.
So, Saturday dawned fresh and crisp with a hint of warmer-than-average conditions. I decided to do a LSR, and headed off around the Clean Streets around 8am for 12k. Refreshing but uncomfortable. Weird, but with the extra distances this year, mentally I'm thinking 12k is just a nice jog, whereas 16k is a real run. It wasn't too long ago 10k was the LSR.
So, strangely unsatisfied, I spent the rest of the morning trying to motivate Son. His preparation involved putting on his soccer clothes, filing up a drink bottle and getting his runners out of his bag.
A few years ago - when he was a good Little Athlete - we did a few West Met 2k races together, as preparation for his school then zone then region XC runs. He did well, even pipping me at one stage. A natural athlete, he excelled at soccer until injury and a bad coach made him decide to quit after last season (along with half his team-mates). So, winter meant Playstation or Dad Intervention. Ex Mrs BB agreed with me (noted for memoirs) and so here we are. On the way to Haberfield, he asked me my PB. I explained it was 8.22 for 2k, but that I had also run 3k and 8k. His goal then became
a.beating 8.22
b. beating me across the finish line.
For me, I was very unsure about my speedwork, as I have been doing plenty of k's this year, but little speedwork - deliberately so. To state the obvious, I run for health and enjoyment, not competition against others. Except some individuals (won't say who because I'll see them again and again at West Met this year).
I secretly thought I might do 9 min, but was determined to do under 9.30.

Race report: it's always the same at the start of the season. Heaps of runners waiting at the start, plenty more still filling out the forms at the desk. 1.55pm. Lined up. Wonderful old Merv wandered over, and did his welcome and description of the course. He's a legend. Don't know how many years he's MC'd the show : at least since 1993, but I suspect many years before that, and many years helping out at Asics Wests. Just like an MC, he was told to stretch, as not all runners were ready. He did. As usual, grumbles from those at the start. This year was a little tricky. The flat grass and bike-path surface was easy, but avoiding the race-walkers on a similar course wasn't. Still, they were also official, and were there first.

Son got to the front of the pack, and importantly in front of me. I knew he'd beat me. But what time would I do?
As we took off, I resisted the urge to sprint and run over about 15 under-10 year olds; instead I held back and steadily wound in a few. Turning at the 1k mark, I was dismayed to see my watch showing 4.20 min; obviously my sub-conscious had decide I was trying for a PB. For the next km, the field had settled down, and I kept pace with a lad of about 11, who had apparently decide his race goal was simply to beat me home. He did well, as I really picked up the tempo but he did likewise. I had no idea until about 200m to go where the finish line was, but then I took off, and encouraged him likewise by yelling :"keep going - don't let me catch you". I didn't, and he was happy. So was I.

Unofficial time (my watch) 8.16 min, meaning I covered the last km in 3.56 min. PB !!! Very happy Jan (and Nat)!!!
Son didn't have a watch, but I estimate he finished in around 7.45 min, a fantastic achievement given his normal exercise level and the fact that he previously developed a huge stitch before halfway. Not today. He was excited - smashed Dad's PB and did sub 8 min. We'll get the official times when posted during the week. Next week : South Strathfield bike path - an unknown as I haven't run that one. Still, a good one for Easter Saturday and a great excuse to have to share a few Easter Eggs on Sunday with YD.

I managed a 14k run this morning along the Windsor Rd roadworks to Kellyville, followed by a weights session at the gym.What else during the week?
Apart from 62k for the week - a goodly total - I also found a coolrunner at Lennox Head : Lennox Loper, who is a pretty good athlete judging by the times on his profile. It was great to find someone with a running interest up that way : we love Ballina and surrounds, and want to move there in a few years, but do you think that I could find any local runners while there on any of our holidays? Not one - unless you count the Harriers. But I'm not a drinker with a running problem, so not a great fit. And it's such a wonderful area for training.

So Peter, good luck with the Banana Coast run 14/05, and Happy Birthday next Thursday!
I don't know if you feel old, but if you do, take heart - you're still younger than BB!

Looking forward to catching up on a few of the Bloggers over the next few days. Keen to see how Go Girl did in the Canberra 10k, and Robert Song in the Canberra Marathon...

"Exit, stage left"


  • At 4:38 pm, Blogger Beth said…

    Well done on the PB! Also a huge well done to your son for beating his dad because we all know how much kids love to beat their parents!!!

  • At 8:12 pm, Blogger Lulu said…

    Nice PB from son and father:)


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