Well, here it is. My first ever official 10km run.
As mentioned previously, I was a bit nervous coming into this race. Mostly because for the first time I would be RACING, not just accomplishing a distance.
I woke early, ate my traditional pre-race peanut butter and banana sandwich, drank a couple glasses of water, grabbed a spare banana, and headed off to the train station.
My plan was to catch the 6:30am train into town rather than fight traffic, but I must have just missed it because no train was to be seen. I went back out to my car to listen to the radio for a half hour while I waited for the next train. The 7:00 train would get me into town at 7:30, still enough time to walk across town and get to the start of the 8:00 race.
About five to seven, I saw a couple other runners head towards the platform, so I joined them. I hadn’t been sitting long when I noticed the sign that said “Next Perth train, 64 minutes”
We verified with a security guard that yes, the next train was over an hour away.
I dashed to my car and drove like a mad man (edited note: I’ve since received a $75 speeding ticket!) into Perth. Amazingly, I found parking almost straight away, very close to the event. I parked and dashed towards the starting line area, where I met up with my son Russell and his girlfriend Cindy. A quick trip to the loo and Russell and I were ready to join the throngs of people awaiting start time.
It was a very crowded start, took a while to get free. Russell fell in behind me and we zig-zagged our way through the crowds trying to find space to run. This was Russell’s first ever race, but he wasn’t in it for his benefit, he just wanted to support his old man. He’s a good kid and I think I’ll keep him.
Despite the crowds, the first km was a 5:11. I was aiming for 5:15 but close enough. That was followed by 5:17, 5:15, and 5:07 (got a tad carried away there). Russell found water stops interesting, dodging people and trying to drink out of a cup without pouring it all up your nose as you ran. Kilometer 5 was at 5:13. I started to tire about halfway through kilometer 6 and those nasty voices in my head started piping up. “You’ve gone out too hard and fast”. “You’ll never be able to keep this pace”, “You need to slow it down and rest a bit”. Nasty, nasty voices.
I did slow down a tad to rest a bit and kilometer 6 took 5:18. I kept the slower pace (about a 5:22) halfway through kilometer 6 and halfway through kilometer 7 as well until my people watching noticed a vision ahead of me, a cute young thing doing a fairly good pace. I slipped in behind as she wove through the crowds and when I looked at my watch my current pace was about 5:07 again! Invigorated, I left my muse behind at a water station and picked up the pace with only a couple km’s to go. Average time for kilometer 7 was another 5:18.
I was back to my pre-doubting pace running kilometer 8 at 5:12. Putting in everything I had left, kilometer 9 sped past at 4:53 and kilometer 10 at 4:48. The course ran a bit long and the last 110 meters were run at a 4:36 pace across the finish line. Russell raced off ahead of me in the last kilometer or so and ran in about 40 seconds before me.
Gun time was 53:15 due to so many people having to cross the start line ahead of us. My Garmin showed 52:03 for the 10.11km and strava.com picked out my 10.0km time as 51:27, almost three full minutes faster than my previous best of 54:14! WooHoo!
Race results: 53:15 Overall 592/1,895, Male 444/833, Age Group 36/73
Winning Times: Overall/Male 31:29, Age Group 39:14
Russell and I caught our breath for about 20-30 minutes and it was time for him to head off and do his thing, but it was so great that he took the time to run with me.
So what did I do after Russell left? I dropped my bib in my car, then went and ran the 10km again in an easier 1:04:13 because… because…. well… because I can!
I do love running.