The race weather forecast was for a 43deg high for the day so I knew it was going to be a hot one! Mum and Dad were over from NZ for Christmas holidays so Dad decided to do the 25km as well as my good mate Adam.
I was approaching this race knowing it wasn't going to be my best race of the year, I was more intent of running well and hoping to pull up well afterwards to continue training into 2013. From the start line I quickly settled into a nice rhythm and was ticking over the km's quite nicely at around 3:45-3:55 pace. The unknown for me was how much the heat was going to hit me when it really heated up!!
I went through 10km in just under 38minutes which was pleasing as I was feeling pretty good and the legs were going well. 15km clocked in at exactly an hour so I knew I had slowed down a bit, mostly because of a really rutted out rough section from 7km to 15km alongside Great Eastern Highway. Being in front with a bit of a gap on Adam the plan as it got hotter was to try my best to maintain pace as long as possible.....
Then came the heat! Being a kiwi it is pretty safe to say that I am not really accustomed to the heat all that much. It seemed like one minute I was sitting on 4min km's and the next I was looking at 4:30-4:45km's. I was what seemed like jogging along thinking when the hell did that happen. I ended up finishing in 1:45:27 for first place which I was bloody happy with. To run how I did after how things had been going the past few months I was more than happy. Adam came in 2nd place about 6mins behind in a great run for him and then surprising us all, Dad came in 3rd place only 5minutes behind adam and 11minutes behind me.
It was so cool having the three of us on the podium and really special having the old man on the podium with me for the first time ever! It's something that I will always remember and think about when i'm out training.
The last few weeks as I mentioned have been going really well. I have finally had some consistency in my training and I am not going to bed at night worrying that I am going to pull up sore the next day. I ended up heading out for a solid 21km with James on the Bibbulmun the day after the race and felt quite good. The quads were a little shagged going up the last few km of hills but it was a good feeling to be running well the day after a pretty good race.
2013 has started off with a real positive feel to it. A few days ago, Dave Kennedy a good mate sent me a message saying something along the lines of "Tarawera? You should see if you can get an elite entry..." The Tarawera 100km Ultra is a race held in the North Island of NZ just out of Rotorua. After reading Daves message I asked Liz why we hadn't looked into heading over for the race earlier. Then I looked at the website for the race and saw the list of elite runners. The list absolutely blew me away.
So as usual when I get excited about a race, I approached Liz with a smile a mile wide and she knew something was up. I said what I was thinking about doing and then explained to her the runners that were all heading over for the race. I was getting carried away very quickly about the prospect of getting to run in a race with a lot of real fast guys and I hadn't even emailed the race director to see if I could get an elite entry.
I decided to call Roger from Hoka One One and get his 2 cents worth on what I was thinking about doing and my plans for early 2013. He liked the idea of me heading over so I decided that it was definitely a good idea to email the Tarawera race director with some sort of request to run the race as an elite runner along with my running resume.
I went to bed that night with fingers and toes crossed hoping that the reply would be a good one and hopefully I wasn't going to have to wait too long to find out the outcome. I was up early the next morning (5am) to head out for a run with a running mate Mick. Just before I pulled out of the driveway at home I thought I might as well check my email just incase Paul had emailed back. He had! And it was fantastic news!!!
For those reading this post you may be thinking I am a tad excited about this race, you are bang on correct about that. I imagine for a few of the other elite runners that this race may be "just another race" for them which is absolutely cool. As I am pretty new to this whole ultra running thing, this is my first opportunity to race against a world class field and I am stoked to be doing so.
It seems funny that I am going to be racing aginst a whole heap of guys whose blogs etc I follow and have been thinking for a while now that I would love to be doing what they are doing as far as travelling to different countries and running in some beautiful and challenging races. It feels like I am taking steps, (baby steps) in my pursuit to be running in races all over the world, and it's really exciting to think where things might lead.
As if the first week of 2013 couldn't get better, it did! I got an email yesterday saying I had been invited to race in the Miwok 100km Trail race just out of San Francisco. It was a race I thought I had missed out on entering in due to it being such a popular race and having a lottery to enter. Tia the Race Director messaged me saying she would do her best to get me in and I am more than stoked to be running in her awesome race.
So now I am going to be doing everything I can to get to NZ in the best shape I can be in. So here's hoping for a good couple of months of training and I'll be there in no time. Time to hit the trails!
|Not a bad night for a New Years Eve fun run|
|The elusive Stirling Ranges. The only kind of mountains in WA apparently. I haven't managed to run here yet but will be soon :)|
|The Bibbulmun Track near Denmark is awesome!|
|One of our many runs on the Heritage Trail with Dad|
|Winners are grinners. I managed 1st in the 25km and my speedy wife managed 1st Women in the 5km at Tammin to Cunderdin.|