Well how will I sum up my first interstate race, which happened to also be my first marathon and the first race that I crossed the line before everyone else. It was a tough course, challenging conditions and a bit of a debark-al!
I went to the race in Canberra with Brendan for the Bush Capital Weekend and we crashed at his sister and brother in laws place on the Saturday. This allowed us a decent nights sleep and time to get ready before we started on the Sunday. A front had just come across and the weather was cold, wet and windy, when we woke the peaks surrounding town were dusted in snow, so it was thermals and wind jackets all round.
Steve-o joined us for the morning, assisting with his go-pro, offering support and cheering us on, this was awesome as it was a pretty dreary old morning. Brendan and the ultra race started at 7.30am and I set off in the marathon at 8.30am. I was quickly into the lead and held that position the entire race.
After 1k I was on my own, so I settled into my race taking it fairly easy hoping to run a negative split, I knew if I finished I would win so it became a good personal challenge. I ran the first loop well, uphills were good and my pace was fast on the flats and downs, I had no issues with the flu that has been lingering so it was all going to plan.
|Out in front with the lead bike|
By halfway I had a 2k or 8 minute lead and was feeling great. This was how I felt until around 34km in, this is when I began to fatigue/cramp in the hamstrings on the uphill, this was an issue as there was 3km of uphill running in front of me. I changed my stride and slowed down, I was on track for a 3hr run but this wasn't going to happen now. At the out and back section, which was tougher the second time due to a headwind picking up, I still had a huge lead.
|I was lucky enough to be able to stop and drink at aid stations without rushing and spilling water all over me|
I ran the last 4.5km into the finish quite slowly but confidently as I had done the hard work and put myself in a comfortable winning position. My second loop was slow, very slow, partly because of fatigue and partly due to my position in the race, I probably was taking it too easily. I ran into the last km quite happy and enjoyed the experience of my first race win, I got the trophy, announced as the winner and even had a photo. This was quickly taken away!
|2nd in the Marathon and 1st in the Ultra|
The 1st place was awarded to a runner who at the marathon distance turn-around had withdrawn from the ultra, setting a time 2 minutes and 2 seconds quicker than mine. He had done this an hour earlier and ran in different conditions in a different race, even starting at a different time, but as confusing and odd as it seems he was not only awarded a time (fair enough) but given a place in a race he did not run. So I came second, finished first but had the second fastest time, or in reality 3rd fastest, as Brendan ran sub 3hrs and was the quickest on the day.
Anyway, it turned out to be a real let down, one that I had to deal with in as sporting way as possible. I did not protest or complain, rather accept it and move on, there is always next year and another race and if I keep at it I'll get my first win soon.