On yet another beautiful Sunday morning we set off as a family for the 2012 Marysville Running Festival to compete in the 10km race.
It was an interesting set up, at the Marysville football oval with the finish line kind of in the middle after a half lap. We were there early to collect our bibs and it gave us the chance to watch some of the 21km runners come through on their second lap of the course. We were very pleased to see my wife’s sister come through as the leading female runner, in a very impressive sub 40 time.
We cheered her on as she continued on for the last 10km and we began to mill around at the starting line.
The starting line was the ovals edge, and we had to take care not to stop any of the 21, 30 and 50km runners who were coming through…
238 runners toed the line...
238 runners toed the line...
The starting instructions were issued and the countdown begun, we were still saying goodbye to the kids and the horn went off! See ya later kids, dads gotta run! I took off with the leading pack and let the runners run while I found my comfort zone for the hardest part of the run.
As this was a trail run I had studied the course and worked out my race plan. Would I stick to it?
The first 4.5km was up a 5% incline on the road to Stephenson’s Falls. My target was to pace at 5 minute ks and hit the first downhill at the 20 minute mark. Having found some of the hardest local hills in the area my wife and I were pleasantly surprised at how well we managed this first section. I was running well, breathing hard but with a little smile as I watched the other runners drop off along the way or really huffing and puffing their way to the top. I was even able to encourage and keep another runner kicking along beside me – we had the same sub 45 minute finishing goal.
I reached the falls in 20ish minutes, this section perfectly timed. The first trail section beckoned and I watched as he took off. I eased into a rhythm, picking up speed and picking off other runners over the next 2.5kms. From this point no one passed me, ultimately a great feeling! I think I looked pretty at this point...
Thanks to Wildplans [Tegyn A]'s photostream for allowing runners access to the above image (from the days collection of course) - great shots of the day!
At the end of this section I had caught him and we had a chuckle at his effort and then settled into the next 1.5 on the gravel road. At this point I had planned to push the speed and I eased into a really nice stride and managed to leave him behind and weave past another dozen or so runners. How many had I passed, who knows as we were now well mixed with the half and 30km runners.
I made the turn at the 8km point and knowing this was where I would make up clock time. From here to 9.5 it was a fast section on the walking/hiking track that was essentially downhill with a few brief but sharp rises. I picked up the pace and threw caution to the wind as I almost sprinted this section to the finish. It was fast and furious and the best fun that I’ve ever had running. There were a few little twists and turns on the path but as it was man-made gravel I felt pretty secure with my feet. The Trailroc 235s also did exactly what they were made for – gave me traction where I landed and let me feel the track.
As I drew closer to the oval and the finish the track flattened out and I was starting to search for the finish, I’d almost run my race. At the final turn back onto the oval I was spent but gave one last kick to do the last 200m half lap to finish under my goal time – 44:31 - 5th Overall! Official results page if you don't believe me
So, yes, I stuck to the initial race plan. It was the best run I’ve had and I’m now looking forward to the Victorian Trail and Cross Country Championships next year.
My amazing sister-in-law won the females 21km and my incredible wife beat her goal time of sub 55 with a very respectable and I’m proud of her time of 52:30 to come in 7th of the females.