Has it really been a month since the last one? Time flies!
This was relatively familiar territory for me, having run this event last year. Also recently I ran the new Anstey Hill Recreation parkrun which takes in slightly different parts of the park including the infamous Torture Hill. I highly recommend giving this parkrun a go if you get a chance – the last 1.6km is epic downhill!
I didn’t do any specific training for this one, but unlike last year I have started running hills regularly once a week so I figured that was enough.
Before writing this I re-read my report from last year. I think the idea is that I am meant to read it BEFORE running the event, in case there is anything I had forgotten about that I need to know! Better late than never I guess!
My preparation for this one was remarkably dissimilar. Friday I had the wedding of one of my running friends which was an awesome night, then dragged my arse out to parkrun on Saturday. Instead of running with my mum like I did before this event last year, for some reason I decided it was necessary to go hard. I realised afterwards that this was probably not the greatest plan the day before an event, and completely unnecessary!
Race day was going to be hot so I decided to wear a tank top instead of a T-shirt. Weirdly it happened to be the same one I wore to this event last year! I figured for 8ish kilometres the compression shorts were not really necessary so I went with plain black shorts which seemed to work well! Like last month’s event I went with a bladder with about 1 litre of water which I was sure I was going to need! (1 litre was the ideal amount, enough to get me through but not so much it would weigh me down!)
I got to Anstey Hill about half an hour before the start, parking down the road near Ruby Raja (as it turned out I could have got a park really near the start but I assumed all the close parks would be taken by long and medium course runners, and volunteers!) and I felt like I’d done my run by the time I walked up the hill to bib collection! It was already pretty warm even by 8:00 – I was glad to have opted for the short course once again – even though it would be hottest at the later start, at least it would be over quicker! By the time we started at 8:30 it was already over 25 degrees – it was the first real warm run I’d done this summer – it’s been a bit of a cool start to the season!
I didn’t especially want to be at the front – I stood a bit back from the start line but then for some reason no-one else stood in front. I have this tendency to go out too fast and then pay for it later, and being at the front certainly doesn’t help!
The course was down at the start, then a whole lot of up, then finishing with some nice down! I don’t know why, it was probably my recent experience at the Anstey parkrun, I had it in my head that we would be going up Torture Hill. I later remembered (probably around the 7km mark) that it was not part of the short course, and that was one of the reasons why the short course appealed to me!
I went out nice and quick at the start, and then swiftly got overtaken by a bunch of people as soon as we hit the ups. I remembered in the past describing the course as ‘runnable’, meaning that it is possible to run the whole course without walking, but it would probably be quicker to power hike some of the hills. As soon as I saw people in front of me walking, that was my cue to follow suit! Like last year, I quickly realised that I needed to make it a run/walk (16 steps run/16 steps walk and then later 8 and 8) otherwise it was going to be a whole lot of walking in one hit and it might be hard to start running again.
The course was pretty open, with very little shade but somewhere around the halfway mark we were treated to a lovely coolish breeze!
At around the 6km mark I realised I wasn’t wearing my gloves (aka hand protectors) – this happened to be a slightly technical/rocky section so I spent the rest of the race repeating to myself “don’t fall, don’t fall!”. It’s funny that it wasn’t until I realised my hands wouldn’t be protected, that falling became a concern! (Spoiler alert: I didn’t fall! But I will endeavour to remember the gloves next time, just in case!)
Looking at my results from last year, I was around 2 minutes slower, and talking to others at the finish line most people recorded slower times due to the heat. I was glad to scrape in just under 50 minutes! I walked over to the coffee van and stood there for a moment deciding what I wanted, but as it turned out, what I really wanted was an icy cold can of Coke! (And then later went back for my caffeine hit – thanks as always to Neil from Stir!)
Despite it being slightly warmer than most of us would have liked, it was still a fantastic morning for a run in the hills! Well done to everyone that ran, especially the long and medium course runners (hands up short course runners who were super happy with their life choices!)
Thanks to ATR and all the amazing volunteers for putting on another wonderful event! Can it be a little bit cooler for Belair in January please? Thanks 🙂