Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Race Review and Spring Classic

Welcome to my late race report. I thought I would bundle all of these words together to form some sort of blog/make sense of what I am doing with my life. I can honestly say that last weekend when the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic was on, was the busiest I have ever been in my life. It’s also in the top 5 most stressful moments of all time.

I will talk about the Spring Classic from my perspective later (as an event) but if you are skimming this and not going to read the whole thing – I want to quickly say that we at HRE have taken your feedback on-board and will make a number of improvements for next year. Some of these items were due to budget constraints, others simply growing pains. We want you, as an athlete, to have the best experience so aim to improve every time we bring you a HRE event.

The couple items for next year that will be improved;

  • Earlier start time for all events, 6.15am start for the main race
  • Longer course, course will go all the way to the roundabout for the 10k and half marathoners – thus reducing the laps and congestion at the turn around points
  • Army of aid station volunteers – and larger aid stations
  • Better race precinct, a half marathoners finishers area, bottle of water for every finisher, more kids entertainment, more food options, better viewing area of finish line,
  • Pre-race pick up all day in Yeppoon on Saturday, all day in Rockhampton Friday
  • Communicating our sell out points earlier (sorry if you missed out we only have insurance for a certain number, will raise this to 1500 next year)
  • Singlets will be for sale, so if you want a cool singlet you simply order it before the cut off date – if you want one you can get one
  • Early bird entry fees – discounts for people who like to sign up early
  • Participants hand book, so you have all the details in one easy to reference book prior to the race

Thanks to everyone who raced, we loved bringing you the big city race experience here in CQ – bigger and better next year!

Before I get onto my experience as a race organiser/spectator I will go back 3 weeks to my racing in Townsville.

We had a family trip to Townsville – a chance to get out of town, and for me to test out my winter training. I had nominated for the Masters division but in a conversation with ANQ they placed me in the open division. This didn’t seem to be a bad thing, I wasn’t looking to win any events, just use the faster runners to “pull” me through for a PB.

When I was lining up one of the kids said I was a huge 800m runner! Huge as in muscular. I am no whippet like the other middle distance kings.

My one little gripe was the timings of the event. The races didn’t start on time, so by the time I warmed up etc. We had to wait – up to 45 minutes till the start of our races. The first race was the 800m and I was looking to run under 2.20. The race included the opens and under 18 mens, the pace was insanely quick and I went out way too hard going through the first 400m in 62 seconds, down the back straight I completely blew up and was passed by just about everyone. Finishing in 2.21 I was spent. I should of ran the first lap in 1.05-1.06 and wasn’t “listening to my body” – by the time I got to the car I was dizzy, the 5minute drive to the motel was hell. When I parked the truck, I stepped out and vomited everywhere! I made it upstairs, laid in the cold shower and tried to recover.

Bel thought I was going to die, and kept asking “is this more fun than marathons?” in her really concerned caring way. I love her so much, she was really worried about me. At that point I was glad she wasn’t at TNF to see me near death! 20 minutes later I was back, feeling better! Weird.

The 400m was my showdown event. I really wanted to bury myself and run under 60 seconds.

The same again, the race was moved and I had to run later in the day. They again combined a number of races. Kids were talking about running 55s – so I knew I was going to be close to last again. I settled into my blocks and tried to push out hard, and go balls out. Coming down the home straight I was pushing and knew I was close to a minute, it felt quick. Maybe because of the heat or wind, but it felt faster than the 61 seconds I was awarded with. The elusive sub 60 minute 400 still eludes me. I’m not far off it.

Sunday was a mess. The kids had a swim at the water park and by 11am Bel was feeling sick, we went back to the motel and she had a migraine (from the heat I think) and was down for the count. So I went and ran the 200 by myself. I have run a 27.00 self-timed on the track and a 27.89 on the grass self-timed and was really hoping I could execute a sub 27 200. As I was in my blocks the gun went and I launched out as hard as possible, again it felt really quick, the adrenaline was pumping and I put in a huge dip at the line. I waited around for my time and disappointingly ran a 27.39 – there isn’t much in it I guess between a good race and a great one.

A learning from the event, is not to warm up so early. The other factor was being prepared to wait. Just waiting killed my energy and buzz.

So the next 12 weeks will be about building a base again and after Christmas concentrating on the Queensland Masters Athletics Games again. I need to be stronger out of the start and build a better tolerance towards the end. A few improvements should see more running PBs.

Donald has been hounding me about the blog, and to be honest I really miss the finish line of a marathon. I have committed to running at least 2 next year. Maybe I could run 3 and get my marathon total to 10. I don’t have a burning desire to run a PB just do it for the experience. Track is where my energy is still going.  

Speaking of Donald he ran his first half marathon on Sunday. As we spoke on Monday for the debrief I can hear in his voice that a lot has changed, his focus on becoming a better athlete is 110% - there is nothing that will stand in his way of GC 2014. I said to Bel last night, that it is motivating to hear how he is changing his life. He will become a better man by running. If you are willing to listen, you learn so much about yourself.

So last week arrived, I had been given the honour of Master of Ceremonies at my Cousin’s wedding. Owen was marrying his fiancĂ© Cedar in Byfield. She is absolutely the perfect life partner for him, so caring and compassionate, but also will take charge when required. They are so much in love, and it just warms my heart to see them both so happy together.

The MC duties however provided a logistical challenge with setting up the CQPhysio Group Spring Classic and being in 3 places at once, of course the wedding reception was in the rainforest so no mobile reception!!! Painful!

With regards to the event – Jason and I started HRE in January 2011 with the dream of bringing a big city race to CQ. Sunday actually felt like we had achieved that goal, with 900 runners tackling the beach front it was a sight no one had ever experienced.

A lot of work goes into events, and it included us working 38 hours straight over Saturday and Sunday to pull it off. For those of you that have already provided feedback (good and bad) we are listening and will make course changes, start early, improve aid stations, have more organised finishers precinct, and do a full 2 day race pack pick up. There are a few other details which we want to get right to ensure all runners have the best possible race day experience. If you have any feedback let us know at humanraceevents@hotmail.com

Whilst on the thank-you list, I must thank all of the Aid-Station Volunteers and Luke Fallon for working over time getting aid to people. Like I have said earlier, aid stations will be better stocked and resourced next year – one of the growing pains this year.

The race itself was run and won with the favourites in the 5km and 10km men’s getting the money, Paul and Miles both ran great races. Drew came in from Emerald late in the week and wanted to run his first half marathon, a new course record of 1.16 it was insane to watch him carve his way through the field. Rodney ran really well also, setting himself up for another big block of ironman training leading up to Port Mac. Raelene and Gav get prepared to run the Coast to Kosciusko Ultra – Rails wins the 10k event! Loved seeing our Cooee Bay Pharmacy pace runners bringing people home on their goal times!


For my little family, Joel and Hayden loved the kids dash again! The kids ran the same course as the adults Mile Bolt – I loved it. I loved seeing Hayden and Joel race hard and push themselves. Hayden really surprised me in the 5km – he ran 26 minutes, which is another 2 minutes off his 5km PB. I bet you all think we train and I pressure him, but it’s the opposite. We do no training, just ride our bikes and kick the footy. I am ever conscious of not making them both do too much whilst they are young. I want them to have fun and enjoy it.

For me the greatest moments are when people are suffering yet still have the courage to push through to finish. Nicole was aiming for 2hrs and fell off the pace, and finished with 2.07. I know she is capable of running under 2hrs – but it just wasn’t her day – next year for sure.

Also a big shout out to Aaron and Leah Benson who were married the day before. Leah was adamant that she was going to pace run no matter what and made it quite clear she would “protest” if she was left out! We had her bib made with “Just Married” on it. It was so cool. Aaron decided his form of protest would be to take our cash and ran 3rd in the 5km! Awesome to have both of them there running and sharing their experience with everyone.

That about covers it for the last few weeks, I am back in the gym and doing some track sessions and general running at the moment.

Be safe