Race Report – FOAM Victor Harbor Half Marathon and 10k

I always like to have a goal in mind. It might be a small one (getting through a triathlon without falling off the bike, for example) or it might be super ambitious (such as completing 100 miles in a 24 hour race).

And it might not even be sport-related. Such as, playing ‘Desperado’ by the Eagles on piano without needing to look at the music (sooo close!). And, writing a concise race report.

The Victor Harbor Half Marathon and 10k fell a week after Murray Man and two weeks after Heysen 35k – two of my ‘big’ events for 2018. So naturally, trying to be nice to myself after all that, I opted for the 10k. Not that I need to justify my decision. More on that later.

It was looking like a perfect day so I convinced Karen to come and have a swim in the lake with me afterwards.

It was the first 10k I’d raced in nearly 2 years. I didn’t really have a plan or a goal time (although I would have been disappointed not to get sub-50).

It was a nice civilised 9am start for the half, 9.15 for the 10k, so I had the luxury of a Sunday ‘sleep-in’ despite driving down from Adelaide that morning (approximately 85 minutes drive).

I had a shiny brand new Mekong singlet to run in, I hadn’t even tested it out yet other than on the 3 hour drive back from Barmera a week ago! The hardest part was trying to match it to a skirt or shorts! I ended up going with a green adidas skirt which in hindsight was QUITE short (and for that I apologise to those who ran behind me!) but the colours worked perfectly!

On arrival at Kent Reserve I ran into a well known photographer and encourager (who will remain nameless other than the fact his name starts with G and rhymes with Barry) who made a comment about me ‘slacking off’ by doing the 10k. I didn’t really have anything to say in response to that but actually I was fuming!

It happens often and I’m sure not just to me. “Why are you only doing the ….?”


THERE IS NO ‘ONLY’! Every distance has its own challenges. I chose not to run the half but some people actually may not be capable of running the longer distances. And some people might just be really good at the shorter stuff, and why wouldn’t they do what they’re good at? (And, as I and other people have said before, who is going to ask Usain Bolt why he’s ‘just’ doing the 100m and not the marathon?)

Actually, if there had been a 5km distance, I probably would have done that…

The obligatory pre-race Gary pic 🙂


With fellow Mekong fan Julie before the start – modelling the brand new long sleeved running tops – I haven’t run in it yet (it hasn’t been cold enough!) but I’m looking forward to giving it a run soon! Thanks to Ian for this pic!

The half marathon seemed to be the more popular distance (running buddy Mark later commented to me, if you’re going to drive one and a half hours each way for an event, you might as well make the most of it and do the long distance – and I see his point, although I have driven 500km round trip for a 5km parkrun, so clearly that doesn’t matter to me!) so by the time we started the 10k, 15 minutes later, there weren’t too many people around. Just the way I like it!

I didn’t know a lot of the people in the 10k, as I mentioned above most of my Adelaide friends were doing the half. Julie was running the 10, as was Patricia who I knew from Adelaide and who I expected would be well ahead of me based on her recent City-Bay half marathon! There was another girl there Orla who I didn’t really know but I knew she’d be well ahead of me. And there were bound to be a lot of fast locals among that lot too! Karen and Daryl were both doing the 10k as well, and Karen and I were going to have a swim in the lake afterwards which we were both quite looking forward to! 12 year old Finn, son of Shane, was also doing the 10, and when I asked him what sort of time he was hoping for, he said he hadn’t trained, but was thinking around 50 minutes. Not too shabby!

I’m not sure exactly where I was positioned at the start. As always, people seemed to be very polite at the start line – no-one wants to put themselves at the front! Co-RD Simon quite rightly pointed out that if you started at the line you wouldn’t run any further than you had to! 10k was quite enough!

Looking focused, early on in the run. Official photo.

The 10k was a 2 lapper (the 21.1 being 3 slightly longer laps). We headed first along the Encounter Bikeway towards Goolwa (the bane of my existence – I’ve ridden on it twice and neither time ended particularly well, but luckily running on it was a different story), then a U-turn around a big tree where Sam was expertly marshalling, then back past the start, past the very familiar ‘Victor Harbor parkrun start line’ and eventually, after what seemed like an eternity, to the second turnaround point, back past the start, and then repeat!

Finn was well ahead of me for the first few kilometres – pacing it like a parkrun (except we were doing 2 parkruns) so I tried to keep him in sight as I got myself warmed up. I again opted to go with the ‘running blind’ tactic – not looking at my watch at all. I’d know how many kilometres I’d done as my watch would beep every time I ticked one off. And of course I’d know when I was halfway, because I’d go back past the start!

The 21.1k runners went the same way to begin with, but went a little further along the VH parkrun course (probably, about another kilometre!) Consequently, we did cross paths with the 21.1km runners throughout the race!

Another official pic, not quite sure where on the course this was.

I made a point of greeting Gary chirpily (is that a word? It is now) every time I passed him. He was of course doing the half marathon and did not seem particularly happy to see me! (I tried to get a high five at one point – I am sure he didn’t deliberately snub me, I’m sure he was just ‘in the zone’)

I really liked the course for the multiple out and backs – I got to see pretty much everyone out there, on multiple occasions! I knew quite a lot of the runners anyway, but with the names on the race bibs I made a point of trying to call out people’s names as I crossed paths with them. Being quite a small community event, it was a really friendly atmosphere.

At some point, I think before the halfway mark, I found myself sitting right behind one of the other female 10k runners, who I later found out was Lauren. I’m quite sure she knew I was there, I wouldn’t have been more than 2 metres behind her at any stage in the second half, and I was constantly calling out to people. Not like sometimes when I am running behind someone and I am trying not to let them know I’m there! (Mind games!) With the out and backs, there was no way she wouldn’t have seen me.

Sitting just behind Lauren – and this time I DID acknowledge the photographer! Another official pic.

At one point, I ran past Sputnik, doing the 21.1k, and he made some comment like “I didn’t stop, how did you pass me?” to which I responded as I passed, “It’s OK, I’m only doing the 10k” and I realised as soon as I’d said it, that I’d broken the golden rule! (It turns out Sputnik wrote a little something about this in his book, which I had read some time ago)


So, all through the second half of the race, sitting behind Lauren, I was thinking to myself. I was pretty sure there was no-one ahead of us except Orla, who was well out of reach. So therefore I was in 3rd place, which would be a pretty good day at the office! I had thoughts about calling out to her, knowing that she knew I was there and probably thinking “Just pass me already!”, that I wasn’t going to try to pass her. But I didn’t. I was quite happy to sit behind her, knowing that if I DID pass her, she would probably pass me right back. All that effort for nothing. No, I would just sit right where I was.

I was also mindful that Patricia was not far behind, and expected her to make a move at any moment!

The end came as a bit of a surprise, in fact had Lauren not been so close in front of me, I could well have missed the tight turn into the finish line and just kept running!

There it was, the finish line, with Lauren a few metres ahead of me.

Were we 2nd and 3rd? Or was someone else in between Orla and us that I hadn’t seen? I wasn’t going to die wondering!

The following photos tell the story!

Aaaaand… done!

I did feel a tiny bit bad about letting Lauren do all the work for so long and then taking her at the finish line but, a race is a race after all! (And to be fair, I did call out to her before I passed her, so if she’d had anything left, she would have had a chance to pick up the pace!)

So that was it, I’d managed to sneak into 2nd place, which completely justified my decision (that needed no justification anyway) to do the 10k. I would have been nowhere near the top 3 in the half! My time was under 50 minutes – approximately 47:30, well outside my PB but given that I haven’t raced a 10k in so long, and didn’t really have a pacing strategy as such, I am very happy with that time.

And the new Mekong singlet, which I hadn’t run in before, did the job nicely! When you’re running along and not thinking about the top you’re wearing, that’s an excellent sign! (Can they please start making running socks? I am so in need of a decent running sock!)

It was nice to be able to go back out on the course and cheer on the other runners (including, of course, Gary! My encouragement MAY have bordered on heckling at one point – sorry Gaz!)

Karen finished under an hour which she was happy with, coming off the 6 day event (something that holds absolutely no interest for me, but good on her and all those who did do it!) and we decided to mark the occasion with a photo at the finish line.

…only to be completely upstaged by photobomber Sputnik getting some seriously impressive air!
After shot from Gary – volunteer Sam, and half marathoners Tania and Cassie.
The same crew again with Sputnik being inconspicuous in the background!
Thanks to Patricia, who finished not far behind Lauren and me, for this podium photo. Orla (in white) 1st, daylight second. With co-race director Isabella who did a fantastic job!
With ‘villain’ Gary and my very cool trophy! Environmentally friendly, carved out of wood, now has pride of place in my trophy cabinet!

I think I may have succeeded in my goal to make this a concise race report! I can’t finish though without thanking every one of the amazing volunteers who made this thoroughly enjoyable event happen – especially co-race directors Simon and Isabella, and MC Andrew. (The rest of you – you know who you are! Thanks again!)

Oh and well done to EVERYONE who ran, even the slackers who only did the 10k!

I definitely plan to run this one again next year – and I’m not gonna lie, it will probably be the 10k again!

A close up of the trophy. All the runners also got a Mekong tech band – a lot more useful than a medal!

A few words about the McLaren Vale Half Marathon – preceded by a whole lot of words about the week leading up to it!

Don’t EVER let anyone tell you a 5k run is easy!

I guess I had better explain myself a bit more here. Just a word of warning, it’s going to be a little while before I actually get to talking about the McLaren Vale event. (If you want to skip the lead-up just scroll down to the picture of my cat licking a chickpea can)

I’ve just come into a particularly busy period of running and multisport events. 7 events in 7 weeks (which also means a lot of blog posts coming up!)

The timing of the events is tricky. Trickiest is the one week gap between the Heysen 35k (which I also ran last year) and the half Murray Man triathlon (my first Murray Man event, and third official triathlon). Finding the time to train adequately for both of these, around full time work, has been a challenge to say the least!

For the McLaren Vale Half Marathon event this past weekend, I chose to do the 5k (the other options being 10k and the half mara). It was the final event of the 2018 Triple Crown, and this year for the first time there were medals for all distances, and the medals from the three events fit neatly together to make a pretty picture – I had done the first two events and I wanted to complete the set! Given my relatively busy schedule of events, and wanting to really be able to put in a good Heysen, I figured 5k was the best option. Somewhat naively I thought I could probably do a long trail run on the Saturday and still be able to put in a good 5k at McLaren Vale! (Whereas I wouldn’t have even considered that if I had been running the half!)

Common sense prevailed and I ended up doing my long run on Wednesday after work, taking advantage of the first week of Daylight Saving (giving me a good few days recovery) and managed to finish before it got dark! Not something I’d want to do all the time but it’s nice to know it’s an option!

Trying to fit in cycling and swimming around the usual road and trail runs has been challenging, especially swimming which I don’t particularly enjoy. Following the black line for lap after monotonous lap can be mind-numbingly boring, although that has become somewhat more tolerable since I splashed out (pun intended) on a waterproof iPod shuffle! Still, I’ll take boring any day over the alternative which is swimming in West Lakes, known to be fairly heavily populated with jellyfish which can grow to the size of dinner plates (my friend Karen ‘lovingly’ refers to West Lakes as ‘booger soup’ which I think is a pretty accurate description!) – I will hardly put my head under water there, let alone open my eyes to see ‘what lies beneath’!

So when the opportunity arose to take a road trip down to Victor Harbor (the location of my last triathlon in March) and have a swim in the much more pleasant Encounter Lakes, I took it!

Two weeks ago I’d had my bike fit done (FINALLY!!!) by Hamish at Complete Physio down in Victor, and Shane had very kindly offered to go for a little cruise along the coast the following morning after parkrun to test it out! (He’d also told me to bring the wetsuit down for a swim in the lake but I wussed out of that one – too cold for me!)

This past week Shane had posted on Facebook that he was planning a full on triathlon training session on Saturday including a swim in the lake, a 2 hour bike ride and 1 hour run, and invited people to come join. Initially I had planned just to come for the swim – I wanted to get at least one open water swim in before Murray Man – but I had thrown the bike in the car too. I wasn’t sure quite how that would work and I thought I’d be way too slow on the bike, but it didn’t hurt to have the bike in the car just in case!

I definitely wasn’t going to do the run. The plan was to do the Victor Harbor parkrun (because it would be rude not to!) then the swim, and MAYBE a little ride. Definitely not the run. I’d done plenty of running already for the week. Plus I was ‘racing’ the next day.

A beautiful day for a parkrun! Completely oblivious to the toy snake that the RD had placed near the finish line – focused only on the finish flags!

Anyway, I went a bit harder at parkrun than I ordinarily would the day before the race. Then I had a FABULOUS swim in the lake – I had my head underwater for most of it and eyes open too! The plan was to swim for 30 minutes and I was expecting to do about 1000m in that time (based on my only previous accurately measured 1000m open water swim) and actually according to my watch I did over 1300m – surprisingly faster than I swim in a pool! Must be a fast lake!

SO much nicer than swimming with dinner plate-sized jellyfish!

The bike ride did end up happening – it was meant to be on the Victor Harbor triathlon bike course, and started out that way, but I managed to get myself super lost right near the end and did a Tour of Victor before eventually finding my way back to the car, a little over 45km in just under 2 hours with some challenging hills (45km being the distance of the half Murray Man bike leg so that was a great confidence booster!) and it felt great – really getting a feel for the new bike setup and the seat having being raised approximately 7cm!

Spot the difference – my ride on the left and the one I was SUPPOSED to be doing on the right!

I decided still not to do the 1 hour run but ended up doing an ‘easy’ 3km run off the bike because it’s always good to practise that. And then of course smashed a Coke in record time and ate ALL OF THE FOOD!

So now we move on to the McLaren Vale event on Sunday.

This year was my 5th consecutive McLaren Vale, having run the half marathon the previous 4 years (2015 and 2016 as a 2 hour pacer, and 2014 and 2017 for myself!) so this year it was kind of weird to be watching the half marathoners getting ready and just standing off to the side knowing it was still an hour before I would start running! (And some of the lead half marathoners would be nearly finished by then!)

Numbers were great, with almost 1300 entrants across the 3 distances including over 800 in the half marathon. Even the 5k, which usually has quite a small field, had 177 entrants and eventually 149 finishers! It goes to show that if you put on quality events, the people will come! The weather was also not terrible – it had rained a fair bit overnight and more rain had been forecast for Sunday but it looked like that would hold off until the afternoon. It was pretty warm too – even when I arrived at about 7:15am I hardly needed my hoodie! The only issue was possible strong wind – it was enough of a factor to stop the finish arch being put up for fear of it blowing away!

I got to see the half marathon and 10k starts, as well as the half marathoners coming back through the finish area at about the 7km mark before heading back out again. This is the point in the half where if you’re not having a particularly good run and are having any thoughts about pulling out, it is a bit too easy to pull out – after all, why run another 14km if you’re already at the finish line after 7?

At the start of the 5k I was near the front. In the front line of runners there were 5 females and a couple of guys. Generally if you line up at the front you mean business, either that or you’re just way too ambitious! So I pretty much knew I was in 6th place, and it would be nice to be able to improve on that, but at least hopefully no-one would overtake me and I’d be able to hold on to 6th!

Very early on! Official photo from Colin (Geosnapshot)

This was the first SARRC event to introduce age group medals, similar to what they have in triathlon and duathlon events. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd male and female in each 10 year age group in each of the 3 events would be awarded a special medal (along with the finisher medal everyone gets!) I thought it was a great initiative – it gives those of us who aren’t likely to win overall trophies, a chance of winning something! I didn’t know the 5 girls ahead of me but hopefully they weren’t all in my age group and I might be a chance!

At the start I very nearly tripped over a kid in an Adelaide Harriers singlet who started just behind me but then passed me straight away but after managing to avoid falling before the start line, I got into a bit of a rhythm and tried to keep the lead pack within reach. There was an uphill bit pretty early on but then it seemed reasonably flat. There was a 42m elevation gain overall in the 5km which is something but not huge. The elevation map on Strava makes it look like a mountain!

It felt like a mountain at times but this profile is a bit misleading!

Trying to keep up with the fast runners was a mistake, I definitely went out too fast in the first kilometre (4:20) and then paid for it in the next two (4:51 and 4:53) and never really managed to get back to the pace I should be able to run. I’d call it a rookie mistake but after 6 years I probably can’t use that excuse anymore! It was warmish but the sun really didn’t come out for real until after we’d finished, and the wind wasn’t really a factor. So the conditions were probably as good as could be expected.

Another early pic from Colin (Geosnapshot)

We encountered some of the half marathoners – it hadn’t occurred to me that we shared the same course, and realised that running with my head down was probably not the best option! I managed to keep the 5th female runner in sight thanks to her bright pinky purple SARRC top, and I don’t think she really got away from me but I never seemed to be able to make up any ground either!

Towards the end I saw Gary with his trusty camera, he managed to catch a few action shots and also got a bit of language from me – apologies to the man with the kid in the pram who also got to hear the fruity language! Who knew 5k could elicit such a reaction from a normally mild mannered person?

Guess what I’m saying here? Thanks to Gary for the pic!

I managed to hold on to 6th place, and finished in an official time of 23:49 (50 seconds slower than the previous day’s parkrun!) – seriously that was hard work!

Finish line feels! Never again will I say ‘only’ and ‘5k’ in the same sentence! Official photographer Colin (Geosnapshot)

Had to sit down for a few minutes to catch my breath after that one, before ‘recaffeinating’ and taking the obligatory bling shot with the 3 Triple Crown medals together against the backdrop of the vines. (Shout out to Stir Express for the outstanding coffee!)

Clare at the front in purple, Greenbelt in the blue, and finally McLaren Vale in the orangey brown.

After this I helped out on MC duties for a while – it was challenging with so many people out there, I found it too hard to read the names off the iPad as they approached the finish line so ended up just reading the names off the bibs – and I definitely missed a few but hopefully managed to capture most people! (The ones without names on their bibs were a bit harder!)

The kids fun run, a relatively new addition to the programme but now a firm fixture at SARRC events, was a bit of fun too – Race Director Ben asked me to be a marshal – luckily it was a pretty easy gig because as I am known for being a bit ‘directionally challenged’, I’m probably the last person you’d want to rely on to ‘tell people where to go’! Pointing is actually pretty hard work – I noticed a bit of muscle soreness in my right shoulder but I’m assuming that was from the swimming and probably not from what had to have been only about 6 minutes of pointing!

I hadn’t looked at the official results but was still hopefully I might sneak in for an age group placing – in the end I was second in my age group behind Leonie who I’d kept in sight for the whole 5k but hadn’t quite managed to catch – there was only 15 seconds between us too! Still – bonus bling is always nice!

With my second place age group medal along with my collection of 3 Triple Crown medals – thanks to Gary for the pic!

Congratulations to all the runners especially the majority of the half marathoners who had to deal with the warm conditions later in the morning! Also as always a huge thanks to the volunteers – extra special thanks to Voula who was supposed to be running but gave up her run at the last minute to give out medals at the finish line, and her husband John who had the unenviable and I can imagine difficult task of being the sweeper for the half marathon – on a bike! I would DEFINITELY have fallen off! Last but not least well done to the event team Ben, Sheena and Malcolm for putting on another great SARRC event!

Race Report – City-Bay Fun Run 2018

City-Bay has been a staple in the SA running calendar for over 40 years now. When I first started running a little under 6 years ago, my first goal event was the City-Bay 12k (as it is for many new runners) and I completed it 4 times, in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016. 2016 was a bit disappointing as I didn’t get close to my 2015 PB (which I now realise was significantly wind-assisted!) so I opted not to run in 2017.

I hadn’t really planned to run it again, and then in 2018 the half marathon was added. I was a bit dubious at first, but then I realised, “Hang on, this could be a fast one!” The last 12k, the same 12k that the 12k runners do, is essentially all downhill. Yeah, the first 9k is kind of uphill, but it’s not really THAT uphill. The only thing that could possibly make it not a fast course would be strong winds!

So I decided to run the half, my first ‘proper’ road half for the year, my last one being McLaren Vale in October 2017, which was not as fast as I would have hoped.

My half marathon PB was a touch under 1:38, set in the Australian Masters Games nearly 3 years ago. I kind of ignore that when I’m thinking about PBs. It was the only time I’d ever broken 1:40 in 18 half marathons, and I hadn’t got close since. My next best half was Barossa in 2016, 1:41:45.

The only downside I could see to the half marathon was the arse o’clock start, scheduled for 6:15am at Morphettville. That was to ensure that all the half marathon runners were well past the city and on their way back to the Bay by the time the 12k kicked off at 8:00. There would be nothing worse for an elite 12k runner trying to win one of the not insignificant cash prizes, or any runner wanting to go for a good time or a PB, than having to dodge tiring half marathoners!

My hope was to be finished by the time the 12k started – that would be a sub 1:45 time, which I had just missed at McLaren Vale. The coolest thing would be standing near the finish line watching the elites (and other friends not far behind them) finish! I’d never seen the ‘pointy end’ of the field before, apart from at the start line and at the presentations!

During the week I had happened upon an old ‘pace band’ from a previous half marathon (not sure which one!). The 21k split was 1:41:17. I would be happy with that! I contemplated wearing it but decided against it – I’d just go by feel.

The pace band!

I was lucky enough to get a lift with regular running buddy Riesje and her family (I say running buddy but I can’t keep up with her these days – I’m usually eating her dust!) so we didn’t have to worry about parking at Morphettville. We got to the start area at around 5:45 which just gave us enough time to queue up for the toilets and JUST make it to the start line in time! (We later found out there was a large block of portaloos at the main Morphettville carpark on Anzac Highway, but by the time we found that out there would not have been enough time to get there and back for the start. I must remember that for next time!)

I opted not to wear my compression shorts as I normally would for a half marathon, because they would have looked weird under the floral skirt I’d decided to wear. I’d worn the same skirt for my last City-Bay and thought it was time to give it another run! I also went with the compression socks I’d worn for my last City-Bay, it was a bit of a risk because I have been known to get black toenails from said socks, but I liked the look of them!

Nutrition/hydration wise I’d just bought a bottle of Gatorade and hoped that would be enough to get me through. That’s no different really from what I would normally do in a half, except normally I mix my own Gatorade and use my own handheld bottle. This way, I figured I could ditch the bottle once it was empty. The only thing I hadn’t factored in, was trying to drink out of the Gatorade bottle (a wide-mouthed bottle, rather than the pop-tops I’m used to) while running. A pop-top water bottle may have been better, although I did find the bottle shape fitted nicely into my hand.

The start was delayed a bit, possibly due to the toilet queue, and possibly waiting for a tramload of punters to arrive? I caught up with Amelia, told her I would see her at the finish, to which she responded she was just up for a ‘jog’ today, bearing in mind that her jog is faster than my sprint! I also saw the 2 pacers, Coralie was pacing 1:40 and thought I might be near her, I thought she was out of her mind as sub 1:40 is pretty far off for me at the moment, but I thought it might be nice to try to keep her in sight at least for the first km or two! I didn’t know the 1:45 pacer but I did know I wanted to stay in front of him!

And soon we were away – I started my watch and then covered it up, not to be looked at again until I crossed the finish line!

One of the first things I noticed was the ’20km to go’ sign – I’ve never seen that before! I know they have ‘x km to go’ signs throughout the 12k but I’m not sure if I like being told I still have 20km to go!

The first 9km was uphill-ish. I needed to avoid getting caught in the trap of going out too fast (like I did once in the Clare half marathon). Of course, it was hard to gauge that without looking at my watch!

In the first few kilometres a LOT of people overtook me. That was not right! I wasn’t going THAT slow, was I? Eventually I worked out that they had probably started late (maybe stuck in the toilet queue) and were naturally faster than me anyway, so ordinarily they would have started ahead of me and I would not have seen them. Once I figured that out I forgot about them and settled into my own rhythm.

Early days!

Despite the road being supposedly closed, there were a few cars trying to get out of driveways onto Anzac Highway. ‘Oh no you don’t!’ I thought to myself (OK maybe I said it out loud, and maybe those weren’t the EXACT words I used…)

We were also overtaken by a couple of cyclists at one point, out for their morning ride and not to be deterred by the road closure and thousands of runners! They DEFINITELY were not meant to be there! This was OUR day!

The turnaround point was just before North Terrace, a few hundred metres away from where the 12km runners were undoubtedly gathering. The clock on the Town Hall as I passed showed about 7:02 – I’d hoped to turn around by 7am but as we’d started late, I supposed 7:02 wasn’t too bad!

The run up King William Street was where we got to see most of the other runners for the one and only time in the race! (In the other distances you don’t get that at all, as they’re all ‘point to point’). On the way to the turnaround we saw the people ahead, and on the way back towards Glenelg we saw the runners behind us. Happily the 1:45 pacer was still a fair way back!

The last 12k was relatively easy – apparently there was a bit of a head wind on the way out, and a bit of a tail wind on the way back, but it wasn’t really noticeable. The weather was perfect – actually you could almost say it was warm when the sun came out! Once we were ‘homeward bound’ the ‘x km to go’ signs didn’t seem so daunting!

One thing I noticed about the half marathon that I hope can be changed somehow next year, was the lack of atmosphere. The volunteers were all there and I tried to thank as many of them as I could, but the crowds that generally gather to watch the 12km, well they were probably still in bed like most normal people! I don’t expect to see crowds that early on a Sunday morning, but it would be nice to have a bit of music to get us fired up! There were a number of bands along the route, and many of them were setting up as we ran past, but they wouldn’t actually start playing until later. And that’s fair enough, it’s a long day for them already. Perhaps there could be a PA system with a radio set up in a few spots along the way?

The kilometres ticked by pretty steadily. When we reached the ‘5km to go’ sign I was just behind Sonja and another girl who I didn’t know, and I said “Just a parkrun to go!” The other girl said “I prefer to break it down into laps of the Uni Loop!” To which I responded “Yeah I have a love/hate relationship with that place!” Plus, for me, a parkrun generally equals a relatively fast run, however most of my Uni Loop running is slow and steady and interspersed with walking. Probably not a helpful analogy for me, but as I said at the time, “Whatever works for you

I was mindful that I had neglected my high fiving duties (to be fair, there were limited spectators to high five!) so when we turned off Anzac Highway into Brighton Road in the last kilometre I made up for it by high fiving as many of the CFS volunteers who lined that part of the course, as I possibly could!

And then we turned into Jetty Road where I really picked up the pace as the finish line was really close now! And finally I managed to find a kid to high five (my ‘policy’ is to try to get at least one high five from a kid in every race!) just before turning the corner to the finish line where I saw the time clock.

Game face!
Not quite sure what face this is!

From memory I thought it said 8:02 – not too far off my planned finish time of 8:00. The 12k leaders were probably a kilometre in by now!

I crossed the finish line, stopped my watch and only then did I look at it – 1:41:33 (my official time was a whole second quicker!) – I was pleasantly surprised! My second fastest out of 19 half marathons! Admittedly it WAS a fast course. But I think if I’ve ever got a chance of breaking 1:40 again, this would be the event to do it!

Finish line feels!
VERY happy with that consistency!

After catching up with a few other half marathoners and collecting my gear bag, I headed back to Jetty Road to watch the elites finish – that was one of the highlights of the day!

A surprisingly NOT blurry pic of 12km winner Jack Rayner approaching the finish line. His time was the second fastest by an Australian in this race! A privilege to see!

After seeing the elites with their accompanying flag bearers, I got to see quite a lot of friends finish the 12k too, including Kristie who was 2nd female in the elite walker category (behind an Olympian, so that’s not too shabby!)

Then it was time for some R&R – first stop was the Westpac Red Zone – a VIP area for customers and staff, where everything was laid on including food, coffee and free massages! Thanks Westpac!

It had turned into a beautiful day, and what better place to hang out?

I caught up with running buddy Kate who had cracked the sub-60 in the 12k, and we grabbed a coffee and sat down at a table to get a massage!


Ahhhh!!! Magic!

I probably could have stayed there all day but I had places to go and people to see, so after the presentations I headed off with Maree (who had also done the half marathon) to find her car at Morphettville and then she gave me a lift home – thanks Maree!

The half marathon has definitely got me interested in this event again! While a great event, I felt I’d given the 12k all I could and the chances of getting another PB there were pretty slim. However, I definitely believe I can improve on my half marathon time so hopefully the 21.1km will become a regular part of the City-Bay!


Thanks to the organisers and fantastic volunteers for putting on yet another fantastic event! I look forward to running it again next year and hopefully getting another PB!

Archie the cat approves of the bling – and he’s a hard man to please! A great medal and a great event!

Race report – Glenelg Classic 2017

Ahh, the old ‘anniversary’ run! Everyone has one – the first ‘Fun Run’ they ever did. There’s always something special about running that event each year.

For those who find my race reports a bit long-winded, I’ll save you some time.

Glenelg Classic Race Report 2017.

Went out too fast.

OK for those who are still reading, I’ll elaborate a bit.

I won’t rehash all of the history of me and this event. I’ll just direct you to my report from the corresponding event last year. Read this and you’ll be up to speed!

This year I haven’t done a lot of 5k races. In fact, from memory, I think my last 5k race was way back in April, at the Clare Valley Half Marathon! That was even before Boston – seems a lifetime ago now! Other than this, I’ve had plenty of practice running 5k, doing parkrun most weeks.

A few weeks back, I ran my fastest parkrun in 18 months, at Mount Barker (I believe it to be SA’s fastest course – I’d love to hear from anyone who thinks otherwise, because if there’s a faster one, I’ll be there next weekend!) – just a touch over 22 minutes.

My major events this year have been longer distances – 100km in January, Boston Marathon in April, the 12 hour in July (another 100km) and the ‘mini Heysen’ 35k just a few weeks back. But I still think I should be able to run a fast 5!

Yesterday I decided to give the fast Mt Barker parkrun a miss – would just be too much of a temptation to try to run fast and break 22 minutes! Instead I went to Aldinga Beach, which was very similar to the Glenelg Classic course in that it was a 5k out and back along the coast. I paced it VERY conservatively – running 5:30s into the wind on the way out, and then couldn’t help myself on the way back, running 4:30s (admittedly with the wind behind me, but I definitely pushed a bit harder in that back half). I remember thinking, “this is what I need to do tomorrow” (albeit a little bit faster!)

Me at the finish line at parkrun yesterday. For a nanosecond I contemplated trying to chase down that guy who had just passed me RIGHT before the finish line – but realised that would not have boded well for today’s race!

Today’s weather conditions could hardly have been a bigger contrast from last year’s wind-fest (and for the 10k runners, bonus sandblasting!). It was warm (warm enough for the start time to be brought forward from 9am to 8am) and there wasn’t much in the way of wind.

It seemed like there were more runners out there this year than last, which wouldn’t be surprising given the less than perfect conditions of the 2016 race! Today there were 105 runners, 67 of them female, in the 5k, all of whom finished. (I can’t confirm the number from 2016 because I can’t find the results!) Consequently I had to park further away than I remembered parking last year, but it didn’t really matter as I was there in plenty of time and a nice walk along the coast was a good way to loosen up the legs!

The start/finish arch before the event – I’d be pretty happy to see this, second time around!

Just before the start of the 10k the start/finish arch decided it didn’t want to play, but with minutes to spare it was up again and ready!

Bit hard to run through, that!

I had a chat with SARRC manager Cassandra who commented that since she’s been on board the weather has always been good for our events. I said that’s kind of funny because RD Ben has a reputation for bringing the WORST possible weather! So I guess they cancel each other out!

Normally the winner is interviewed AFTER the race! Cassandra interviewing eventual 10k winner John just before the start. Beside John is second placegetter Piete! Spooky!
Moments before the 10k runners set off!

After the 10k start I had 15 minutes to get ready for my start, so I went out and did the same warmup I did last year, past the marina up to the Buffalo restaurant and back. It felt pretty good!

On my warmup run I ran past the marina and couldn’t help having a chuckle over the name of this boat – ‘SHE GOT THE HOUSE’!

I didn’t recognise any fast females at the start, actually there weren’t many people I knew in the 5k at all! (Most of the people I knew were either running the 10k, or volunteering) One familiar face was Patricia, from West Beach parkrun, who I also remembered seeing at the McLaren Vale half, wearing a particularly funky looking crop top. It stood out to me because I have the same one! And today, she was wearing it again, and I just so happened to be wearing mine!

With Patricia, after the race!

We lined up at the start and it was a bit of a ‘surprise start’ as I was expecting “On your marks…” but one minute I was chatting with some of the other runners and all of a sudden the gun had gone off and we were away!

At the start, one girl was already ahead of me and another soon passed me, so for a fleeting moment I was in 3rd place.

The first kilometre felt OK, but when I got to the 1km mark, where one of my regular morning running buddies Trish was marshalling, my Garmin went off to tell me I’d just run 4:05 for the first kay. (This was just after Tracey had passed me to move into 3rd spot). I said hello to Trish and also that I’d done the first km WAY too fast! I’m not sure if Tracey heard me, and I don’t know if she plays mind games like I do, but if the roles were reversed and I’d heard the person I’d just passed say they were running way too fast, that would have filled me with confidence!

I’d have to say that I didn’t really enjoy my run much after that, although I did make sure I posed for official photographer (and old friend!) Tracie, both on the way out and on the way back, and Coralie snapped this pic of me as she filled the Sweeper role admirably!

That smile is most definitely fake!

I kept Tracey and the 2nd placed girl in my sights, and on a positive note I don’t think they got much further ahead, but I didn’t seem to be making any ground, so I set my sights on holding onto 4th spot. At the 2.5km turnaround I got to see how far behind me the other runners were, and I thought I had a reasonably comfortable buffer, but I didn’t take it easy (although my split times might suggest otherwise!)

I did have thoughts in the last kilometre of trying to make a move on Tracey with a view to a sprint finish, but even though I think I made a bit of ground in the last little bit, it wasn’t enough for me to give it a really good crack.

In the back half I was greeted by Race Director Ben on his bike, not just RDing but also Lead Bike for the 10k – is there anything this guy can’t do? I did ask him for a lift but he told me I’d have to run faster to catch him! Just behind him was 10k winner John. In the last kilometre (just as I was contemplating a late push for a podium spot!) I was overtaken by 10k second placegetter Piete. (Just to put that into perspective, they’d started 15 minutes before me but run 5k more!)

Once I’d established that there was no way I was going to get 3rd, I had a sneaky look over my shoulder to see if there was anyone breathing down my neck. I couldn’t see anyone, so I took my foot off the pedal a little bit. It was pretty hot out there, and whatever I did now wasn’t going to change my placing, so I figured there wasn’t any point in busting my arse!

In the end I finished in just under 22:33 which was 9 seconds SLOWER than last year! Yes, it was quite hot today but I would have expected to beat last year’s time given how challenging those conditions were.

In the end Tracey ran just under 21:50 to take third place. To beat her I would have had to run my fastest time in 18 months. Could I have done that if I’d paced better? Probably not! We’ll never know!

And 5th place was 25 seconds behind me, so really, 4th place was where I was meant to be this year! (Pity, because I really liked the look of those trophies!)

Annoyingly, the girl who finished in 2nd place was also in my age group!

So now in hindsight this is what I SHOULD have done. I should have run at 4:30s in the first half. Then I would have had something in the tank for the second half. And even if I’d stayed on the 4:30s and not picked up the pace, I STILL would have done a better time than I actually did. Essentially what I did (start fast and then get slower) was the OPPOSITE of what I should have done.

How NOT to pace a 5k, by Jane. (Maybe I need to start using the pace alerts on my Garmin again!)

My 5k goal for some years has been to crack 20 minutes. I got close, way back in August 2015. It’s still a goal but since then I’ve discovered an affinity for stupid long loopy runs and also more recently I’ve rediscovered my trail legs. I am sure I can do it IF I train for it. The problem is there are so many running events that I love doing and I can’t seem to focus on one thing! (And just quietly, it’s not just running events either, but that’s a topic for a future blog post!)

After the race I sat down on the grass and stretched for a bit, at which point the physio providing the free massages asked me if I’d like to be her first ‘customer’ – an offer which I quickly accepted! She massaged the backs of my legs, gave me a few tips on exercises and stretches (which of course I knew but don’t actually do – maybe I will this time!) and then had to wring out the massage table after I sweated approximately 1 litre all over it! I really need to start getting regular massages – I know after I had one a few weeks ago from friend Wendy who is training to become a massage therapist, I had 2 of the best runs I’ve had in a long time!

Thanks to Aspire Physiotherapy for the free massages! First time I’ve taken advantage of one, and it won’t be the last! (That’s not me by the way!)

Another great way to recover after a race is a dip in the ocean – I didn’t take advantage of that this time around but plenty of people did!


The benefits of running on the coast!

Well done to all the runners in the 5k and the 10k and thanks to all the fantastic volunteers as always for making it possible for us to run! Special mention to SARRC marketing guy Harry who was up at arse o’clock (along with other SARRC staff Lee-Ann, Paul, Cassandra and Ron, to name just a few) on what happens to be his 21st birthday! Hope you had a fantastic morning Harry and enjoyed the rest of your day!

After the race was over, Lee-Ann was telling me about how they made sure every single runner was informed of the time change (from 9am to 8am). Firstly an email was sent out to all participants (as well as the information being posted on social media, which was where I first saw it, as I can be a little slack at checking emails). Then, a list was generated through the wonders of modern technology of those who had NOT opened the email. And Lee-Ann then personally texted ALL of them (over 100 I seem to recall).

The move from 9am to 8am was great for the runners but I did spare a thought for the volunteers who, as a result, had to get up an hour earlier. And they were ALREADY going to have to get up at arse o’clock! (A few people had suggested a 7am start would have been even better – sure, it would have been good for us but the volunteers – not so much!)

And congrats again to RD Ben for another great event, and I think he has well and truly made his peace with the weather gods, although he really COULD have slowed down a bit on the bike and given me that lift…

A slightly blurry selfie with some of the regular Sunday runners – I was the only ‘sensible’ one who decided to do the 5k! 




Race report – Goolwa Huff N’ Puff

Yesterday I drove 180km roundtrip to run 3.5km.
Sounds crazy, right?
Remember this is the same person who drove 500km for a parkrun!
Yesterday’s event was the Goolwa Huff N’ Puff, a race against the Oscar W paddle steamer, to celebrate Oscar’s 109th birthday. There were a whole lot of festivities happening in the wharf precinct as part of the celebrations.
I had heard about the race through Facebook, it was organised by Simon, a fellow vegan/health professional/runner who is slowly morphing into a triathlete. There was a 3.5km one way race against the paddle steamer, as well as a 7km out and back. I decided to do the 3.5km as I have been regularly running a fast 4k and 5k but 7k is that little bit too far for me to be ‘racing’ at the moment!
Quite a few people I knew were running/walking – Denis and Sara (who had started my running journey nearly 5 years earlier!), a few people backing up after Yurrebilla last week (Tim, Steve, Sam and Claire) as well as Ros and Roger, Michelle and Daniel, and Dani who was walking with her daughter. Many of them, like me, had just driven down in the morning!
It didn’t help that daylight saving started yesterday, which meant we lost an hour’s sleep. Luckily the 7k started at 9am and the 3.5k an even more civilised 9:15am!
I did toy with the idea of running it in my tiger onesie if Richmond won the Grand Final but I decided against it. It was still in my car just in case I changed my mind at the last minute, but in hindsight it would have been a bad idea!
I got to the finish area around 8:30 to get my bib, and decided that the best way to get to the 3.5km start (and 7km turnaround) was to run there. I needed to do a warmup anyway!
Our main ‘competition’ in the race!
The Oscar W wasn’t quite at the start line by the time we started at 9:15, but our other water-based rivals, the Coorong Dragons in their dragonboat, seemed very eager to get going!
I suspect the dragonboaters may have exceeded the 4 knot limit! This was just before the start of the 3.5k race.
Before we started, some of the faster 7km runners reached the turnaround, led by Denis and a very fast woman, who I later found out was Olympic race walker Claire Tallent!
There were a few fast kids ahead of me when we started, one of whom I quickly passed, but I was never able to catch the other one!
Before we started, Roger said there was a head wind on the way back – and he was right! It wasn’t super strong but it did have an impact. Probably more of an impact on the boats, though!
Being only 3 and a bit kilometres, the run was over pretty quickly! I passed Michelle who ended up 2nd female in the 7km event. She later said she kept me in sight and it was good to have someone to follow!
I could hear breathing down my neck, I could tell it was a guy but I still didn’t want him to pass me! He did eventually get past me with about 1km to go but he did give me someone to follow, as the lead runner had disappeared out of sight!
This was the first time ever that I had run the entire course in reverse before the actual race, so I knew when I was approaching the finish! I had a sneaky peek over my shoulder and couldn’t see anyone, so I waited until I got onto the grass before I picked up the pace.
Thanks to Krystal Hunt for this pic – can’t even see the paddle steamer or the dragonboat in this shot!
Those finish line feels! Thanks to Ian Porteous for this photo!
It was cool to be able to see the paddle steamer and the dragon boat finish – the latter winning that particular race (only just!)
Photo finish!
It was a really cool concept for a fun run – something I’d never done before and would definitely do again! Thanks to organisers Simon and Andrew as well as all the volunteers for making this thoroughly enjoyable event happen!
Afterwards I joined in a ‘Come and Try’ dragonboating session which was challenging and fun! And I got to work my upper body and rest my legs a bit!
And now for something completely different!
The markets were pretty cool too! All in all, a lovely day!
Bling for all finishers – a nice touch!

Race report – City2Surf 2017

For some reason I decided 2017 was the year to give the iconic City2Surf another crack, along with 80000 of my closest friends, after having had a fantastic run 2 years ago, ‘rewarded’ with probably the most disappointing medal I’ve ever received!
It was my first ‘proper’ road race since Boston (I’m not including the Barossa half as I was a pacer there), and there were many parallels.
Firstly, it involved travel. I flew to Sydney on the Thursday, having got myself a bargain fare, for the race on Sunday. Secondly, it involved a huge crowd (30000-odd at Boston, and 80000 in Sydney). Weirdly though, I don’t really like big crowds!
Like at Boston, I didn’t have any huge expectations. I had run the 14km in under 64 minutes last time, and knew I wasn’t going to get close to that. Still, I was hoping to get under 70 minutes (and thereby justify my red bib and my starting position just behind the elites) but wasn’t super fussed if I did or I didn’t. Also like Boston, with the huge crowd and the way the city really gets behind the event, I thought, why not give my ‘JANE’ top another run? Because it was easy, I decided to go with my whole Boston outfit! (A happy coincidence was the rainbow arm warmers, very timely given that the marriage equality question is so prominent at the moment! I had a few people ask me about them, and I had to be honest and say it was just a coincidence but it was a pretty cool one!)
I had only managed one ‘proper’ run since the 12 hour event 5 weeks ago. That was last weekend’s Victor Harbor parkrun, and on a flat and largely devoid-of-wind track, I managed to get a sub-24 minute 5k. It didn’t exactly make me think sub-70 for 14k C2S was a certainty, but at least it was a chance! (The lure of vegan cupcakes may have made me run faster on that particular occasion!)
I flew to Sydney on Thursday – I thought I might have given myself a bit TOO much time in Sydney but I managed to fill my time without too much trouble! I got to the airport WAY too early (after the foiled terrorist plot a few weeks ago resulted in heightened security measures).
After dropping my stuff off at my cousin’s place, where I would be staying for most of the weekend, I made the long trek to DFO for a bit of retail therapy. For some unknown reason shopping does not really interest me when I’m at home, but when travelling it’s often the first thing I want to do!
On the way back I made a stop at the Cruelty-Free Store at Glebe and found vegan foodie heaven!
On Friday there was more shopping, eating and coffee drinking, this time in Newtown, my old stomping ground from when I lived in Sydney 10 years ago, and neighbouring Erskineville. Erskineville is just as I remember it but Newtown has changed a lot! The op shops are still there though, I spent most of the day browsing through those, as well as second hand record/CD/book shops.
Lunch was a ‘fish’ burger from Bliss & Chips, an all-vegan ‘fish’ and chip shop. I don’t know what they make their ‘fish’ from but it was sooo good!
And for dessert I stumbled upon an all-vegan gelato shop, Gelato Blue. I was spoiled for choice! Rather than my usual 2-3 flavour options, I had the pick of the whole store! I opted for coconut and pistachio – an excellent choice!
On Saturday I did a little parkrun tourism with Sydney running friends Rob and Richard. We went to Willoughby parkrun, a very interesting course including a lap around the oval to start with! We took it really easy, given we were all running C2S the next day, but Richard couldn’t resist a little push at the finish, beating Rob and me by 1 second!
With fellow Boston finisher Richard! Love the blue and yellow!
After parkrun and post-parkrun coffee in Crows Nest, I went to check out Paddington Market. It wasn’t really my scene, so I decided to make the journey to the Glebe Market instead – lots more stalls, second hand clothing and vegan food options (both within the market itself and on Glebe Point Road).
Lunch was a delicious ‘pulled pork’ burger from yet another all-vegan joint, Soul Burger. It’s perhaps a good thing none of these shops are in Adelaide!
I decided to stay at a hostel on Saturday night, the same one where Maree and I had stayed 2 years ago. An easy 5 minute walk to the start location. No messing around with buses and trains. Sounds perfect, right? I even booked a private room (shared bathroom though, but the room did have a TV – pretty swanky for a backpackers!)

I had a bunk bed, and even though I normally would prefer a bottom bunk, I went for the top, purely so I could see the TV! And I laid all my gear out on the bottom bunk – my own little private dressing room!

After I got settled in there, Sam came to meet me for dinner. We wandered down to Barangaroo, where I’d never been, and had a really nice Indian meal at Spiced by Billu’s (on the water) and shared a bottle of pinot noir. I wouldn’t normally opt for curry and half a bottle of wine on the eve of a race, but as I’d set reasonably low expectations, I figured it didn’t really matter! Dinner was followed by sorbet at the nearby gelato place (decision-making was not so difficult here!)

You know hostels are pretty basic. I was given a pillow case, a sheet and a blanket when I checked in. The sheet was so small it didn’t even cover the mattress. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to sleep on top of the sheet or under it. In the end I opted for the former. I know what hostels are like. I didn’t want any part of me touching that mattress which had undoubtedly seen some stuff over the years!

The pillow could be best described as feeling like a couple of bricks inside a pillow case. Not super comfy!

So I wrapped myself in the blanket like a burrito, but even so, I still got cold in the night. I couldn’t be arsed getting out of bed to get my hoodie off the bottom bunk, so I executed a daring manoeuvre – I leaned over the edge kind of like the way bats sleep hanging upside down, and somehow managed to grab the hoodie without falling head-first on the floor. Winning!

It wasn’t all bad though – I didn’t have any roommates so I was spared the usual hostel joys like snorers and amorous couples. I have had the ‘pleasure’ of both of these in the past and it was well worth the extra money to get a private room on this occasion!

I set my alarm for 5:45am but I was well and truly awake by 5:30 so I figured I might as well get going! I started the day the same way I started the day of the 12 hour event 5 weeks ago – with a little motivational music (‘Let’s Go’ by Def Leppard) only this time I went with headphones rather than the portable speaker. I presumed most of the clientele of the hostel would have only just made it to bed and probably would not have appreciated the unwelcome awakening! I needn’t have worried though – it seemed that everyone on my floor was also running C2S!
It was a warmish day so I decided sunscreen was needed – I had had to go and buy some, as I hadn’t factored it in to my packing plans (what with Adelaide’s Arctic conditions before I left!) I had a disposable hoodie which I did end up wearing but probably could have done without, and a disposable poncho that I had found during a decluttering spree a few weeks earlier, which most definitely would NOT be required.
Rob arrived at the hostel just before 6:30 so we could make the long 5 minute trek to the bag drop and then the start line. Our start time was 7:50am but the bag drop closed at 7am so we needed to be there before then. On the way we passed a Marriage Equality booth and were asked if we’d like to come and chat with Ian Thorpe – we said “no thanks, we have a race to get to!” In hindsight I probably should have stopped – I’m sure they would all have appreciated my rainbow arm warmers!
In the queue for the bag drop I saw 2 familiar faces from Adelaide, Rob and Des, within a minute! How Adelaide is that, you go to the biggest fun run in Australia (and I think maybe even the world) and don’t even get to the bag drop before you see 2 people you know!
We then made our way to the Red Bib start area via the portaloos, where I wondered if I’d made the right choice trying to run ‘properly’ rather than dressing up and just having a bit of fun! There was a woman dressed in a superhero costume right up front, who got interviewed! There was also a guy in a white suit, Afro wig and sunglasses – I called him Disco Stu, I presume that was the look he was going for! Most of the Red Bib runners that I saw were ‘serious’ runners though. I got to meet a whole lot of the guys and girls from Rob’s running club in Sydney, the Turramurra Trotters.
Psyched at the start line!
Just a small section of the Red Bib crew!

After the traditional national anthem we were away! Unlike last time, I managed to keep my feet at the starting mat – so far so good!

C2S is known for the notorious Heartbreak Hill, all 1.6km of it, but the rest of it is not exactly flat, nor is it all downhill. In fact the start seemed to be a little uphill! I had decided not to look at my watch where possible, and I had set a slow alert of 6 minutes per km, only so I would be alerted if my GPS stopped for some reason. (I was pretty sure I would also be going slower than 6 minutes per km up HBH but that didn’t really matter. What mattered was that the run was recorded in its entirety so I could put it on Strava – because we all know, if it’s not on Strava…)
Other than a guy pushing past me on my left (when I was running as close to the left of the road as I thought was possible), the crowd was not a negative factor for me at all – a few people accidentally bumped me but apologised which was nice!
The 14km route was lined with crowds of people and live entertainment. I didn’t find out until a few days later that among the army and police bands entertaining the runners and spectators, was legendary Aussie rock band You Am I!
So I wasn’t looking at my watch during the run, but on looking at the Strava data later, I was sitting on 29:17 at the 6km mark, just before the start of HBH. I’m not sure what I would have made of that had I known it at the time – I knew HBH would slow me right down, but who knew if the downhill bits that followed, would make up for any time lost on HBH?
The Strava segment for HBH is 1.3km with 85m elevation. In the official results it’s 1.6km. I did that 1.6km in 9:13. Out of the 3 segments (start to HBH, HBH itself and HBH to finish), I was ranked lowest in the HBH section. Not really surprising since I’ve sworn off hills for most of the year!
Just a little speed bump!

According to Strava, the rest of the run from HBH to the finish was downhill or flat. There were definitely some little uphills in there though – I kept wondering when this big downhill was going to come!

The 12th and 13th kilometres were definitely downhill and were a lot of fun to fly down! I still had no idea what time I was sitting on, but I thought I might as well give it a crack! (There was a time clock at the 10km mark but I managed to avoid looking at it!) If Strava is accurate my time there would have been 50:38. That was just off 5 minute/km pace but if I’d known there was some nice downhills coming, I probably would have thought I was a chance of getting that sub-70!)
I did make up a bit of ground in the overall rankings in that last section. I’d dropped significantly in the rankings on HBH but I finished in a higher position than I had been in BEFORE HBH. My strength traditionally has been in my finishing – I tend to start conservatively and reel people in towards the end. It’s a great feeling!
When we had about 1.3km to go I accidentally saw a clock and somehow managed to do some quick mental maths to work out that sub-70 was definitely on the cards!
The last kilometre or so was a bit different to the last time I ran C2S. We ran seemingly MILES up Campbell Parade, past the beach, before making a tight U-turn and heading back to the finish. I had really picked up the pace by now – when we first approached the beach and I could see (on one of the rare looks at my watch) that we still had nearly 1k to go, I had managed to resist putting on a final burst, but with only a few hundred metres to go, I decided to leave nothing out there!
As I approached the finish line I saw the clock and it was just on 69 minutes, and I KNEW I had it! I was so pumped, there was much screaming and cheering and fist pumping! It was probably the most excited I’d been to see a finish line time clock, since I realised I had broken the 60 minute mark in my first City-Bay Fun Run back in 2013 (and on that occasion, I did not even have a watch, so I was pacing entirely by feel!)
I was pleased when I was handed my medal and it was VASTLY superior to the Westpac ad that I was given 2 years ago!
The gear collection was a bit of a shambles – it was kind of like bingo where you held up your bib and waited for your number to be called! Still, the weather was lovely so it wasn’t all bad, to be able to stand out and enjoy the sunshine!
Can’t wipe the smile off my face!
From there, Rob and I went to meet the rest of his running buddies, I took a few pics with a few of the costumed runners (including the previously mentioned Disco Stu!) before we all went for a well earned beverage at Icebergs!
Disco Stu!
Last time I got a pic with Superman, this time it was Batman!
Of course the guy in the onesie beat me!
Perfect way to rehydrate after an awesome run!
Rob and I timed our exit perfectly, managing to get onto the bus that was already waiting near Icebergs, and then taking a train from Bondi Junction back to the city.
It was another brilliant day – I think my lack of expectation made for a much more enjoyable experience than it otherwise might have been! The weather was perfect, the crowd was awesome, and I managed to achieve my goal which I was not at all expecting!
The main reason why I came back to run it again was to get a decent medal. I did not think I would do another one after this, hence the reason why I wasn’t too fussed whether or not I managed to retain my sub-70 Red Bib status. Now, I am sure I will be back again before too long! If for no other reason, than to spend another weekend in the beautiful Harbour City!
This view NEVER gets old!
Thanks SO much to my awesome cousin Hope for the amazing Sydney hospitality, and to Rob (and Richard and the rest of the Trotters) and Sam for the catch ups over the weekend!
We MUST do this again soon!

Race report – Clare Valley Half Marathon

This was my fourth time running at Clare.

2014 was my first EVER half marathon, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

All smiles after my first half!

2015 could have been subtitled ‘When Good Runs Go Bad’ and you can read more about that here. It was my first experience of a race not going to plan!

More relieved it was over, than happy! DEFINITELY not happy here!

2016 for me was all about redemption and I’m pleased to say I achieved it – full report here.

Happy days!

In each of those 3 years I had stayed up in the Clare Valley the night before. In 2o14 I bunked with Rula at the caravan park. In 2015 I left my run a bit late and had to stay 20k away in a motel Auburn. In 2016 I got really lucky and stayed in an AirBNB within walking distance of the Clare Oval!

This year there were a few firsts. It was the first time I had driven up on the day. The drive up is about 2 hours, and I figured that a) I don’t want to spend more time driving there than it takes me to actually run the thing and b) 2 hours in the car makes me really stiff and not in ideal shape to run a half!

Why did I decide to drive up on the day? Well, other than not being able to find accommodation when I looked all the way back in November, I had decided to run the 5k and not the half. Boston being only 2 weeks away, I thought that the risk of damaging myself was too great. I did, however, want to be involved, so running the 5k and volunteering either side of that, seemed to be the logical solution! (It is a long way to go for a 5k but not the longest trip I’ve done – last year I did a 500k round trip to attend the launch of Renmark parkrun!)

It does seem like an odd choice, 2 weeks out from a marathon, to be looking for a ‘fast 5’ rather than the half which could double as my long run for the week.

Especially when the medal for the half looks like this:

No bling for the 5k… but I need to focus on another sweet piece of bling coming my way in a few weeks!

I tried to figure out a way to fit a long run in around the race. I was scheduled to do 24k. Friday evening was out, as I wasn’t going to be able to start until around 7 and didn’t want to run in the dark by myself. Saturday was a possibility but did I really want to run 24k the day before a race? Probably not. And Sunday after the race I wanted to be able to enjoy brunch and possibly some wine tasting – the thought of an afternoon long run after that was not exactly appealing!

So I decided that, after doing 3 runs of over 35k in 4 weeks, I would skip the long run this weekend!

On Sunday my alarm woke me at 5am (the end of daylight saving meaning it was effectively 6am – MUCH more civilised!) with the plan being to hit the road at 5:30 . My race wasn’t until 8:45 but I wanted to get there around 7:30 to help out with bib collection if needed. Consequently, I took breakfast  (a smoothie) on the road and pulled over on the side of the road in Tarlee to drink it – 5:30 was WAY too early for me to be breakfasting!

I wasn’t too fussed about my kit, being ‘only’ a 5k – I even revisited the compression socks that had got me my Boston qualifier at Gold Coast but which had cost me a couple of toenails. I figured they would be fine for a 5k plus I didn’t have any other clean socks!

I had a long sleeved top and a jacket, as well as long pants, over my race kit, but even so, as I approached Clare I could feel it getting colder (but I didn’t want to put the heater on). It wasn’t as cold as I have experienced at Clare in the past, and at least I was better prepared than I was last year!

After helping out at bib collection for a while I warmed up by running a few laps of the oval (taking care not to cross the finish line with my bib on – that would be a great way to piss off the timing team!) before wandering over to the start line just off the Riesling Trail.

According to Wikipedia the Riesling Trail is 35km long. It runs from Auburn, to a place north of Clare called Barinia. It passes a lot of wineries, and is named after the wine that the Clare Valley is best known for (they also have some nice reds – I am NOT a riesling person!) The trail is gravel with a bit of a camber which can make running a bit difficult if you happen to be stuck running on the edge! And with 442 finishers in the half marathon the track can get a bit congested at times!

I was there in time to see the 10k runners set off and then we had 15 minutes to wait until we started. It was a bit chilly – I kept moving and trying to find a patch of sun in the hope that this would be warmer – it wasn’t really, but I tried to convince myself that it was!

It was actually perfect running conditions. Not much in the way of wind, a little bit sunny, but not at all hot.

While the half marathon and the 10k runs headed south towards Auburn (the half marathon turnaround being at Penwortham, roughly halfway between Clare and Auburn), the 5k went the other way, meaning we would be unlikely to encounter any of the 10k or 21.1k runners, except maybe in the finishing chute. (I did a few calculations – realistically I was going to finish well under 25 minutes which would be 1 hour 10 into the half marathon, and 40 minutes into the 10k. So while there was a chance I might cross paths with some of the faster 10k runners, it was unlikely that any of the half marathoners would finish before me.)

There were only 68 runners in the 5k (well that’s how many finished so I assume that was the number of starters) so congestion was not an issue!

I was at the front of the pack but not right on the start line – I was waiting for someone to get in front of me but nobody did! I’m certainly not used to being in that position!

There was quite a range of ages in the race – lots of kids, with their parents (some kids as young as 5!) and also plenty of more ‘mature’ runners (as the race starter John described them!). I assume many of them were locals – I mean, who drives nearly 2 hours from Adelaide to run a 5k? (Don’t answer that.)

There’s not much to say about the race itself – it was all over pretty quickly (quicker than I’d anticipated, even!) 

I had hoped for about 22:30 – 4:30 per kilometre. That was faster than I’d run in a while and especially coming off a 36k run a week ago, that seemed like a fairly challenging goal! (If I added together the 5 x 1000m reps I did at speed training on Friday, that would make 22:20)

I started running a bit too fast – at one stage inside the first kilometre I was on 4:15 pace so I dropped it back a bit and by the time the first kilometre ticked over I was on 4:30. Perfect! The second kilometre was a bit slower, and then we hit the turnaround. Not long before the turnaround the leaders started coming back and I discovered I was in second place -albeit MILES behind the leader! (Well maybe not miles. But almost MINUTES!) And after the turnaround, seeing the runners behind me, I estimated that the 3rd place female was about the same distance behind me. So, pretty much, barring disaster (or the first girl falling over!) I was going to be second!

According to Strava the first 2k was slightly uphill so therefore the next 2k had to be downhill. And my faster splits (4:16 and 4:19) would back this up!

The final kilometre was the same as the half and the 10k, and brought back memories from previous halves! Unsurprisingly I was somewhat fresher this time! It was slightly uphill but only slightly. 

Despite no chance of the placings changing, I still did a sprint finish. After stopping my watch I was surprised and pleased to see 22:06 (and my official time was 3 seconds better!) The winner did it in 20:14 which is 10 seconds faster than I’ve EVER run. And she was only 13! She also won the 5k last year – quite remarkable!


I did ask the guys handing out the half marathon medals if I could have one, but they (quite rightly) politely declined my request!

It was my best 5k time since the Christmas Fun Run in December 2016 and oh so close to getting back under the 22 minute barrier. Which WILL happen!

The finishing chute! Great atmosphere!
Just after crossing the finish line. On the ground is Brianna who had just done a 10k PB a week before she does the Paris Marathon!

The great thing about doing the 5k and finishing so early was that I got to see all of the 10k and 21.1k finishers. Well I didn’t see them all but I was there for them all. I saw the first 2 half marathon finishers  (Adelaide Harriers teammates Bryn and Paul in pretty much a dead heat) right through to the last 2 ladies finishing together, right on the 3 hour cutoff time. 

One of the younger 5k finishers crosses the line!

Then it was time for the trophy presentation. Clare being in a wine region, the trophies were actually engraved wine glasses! Despite wandering around for a good half hour holding my glass, no-one put any wine into it! (A group of us did go to a winery for brunch and I may or may not have tasted and purchased some wine to go in said glass. Because, Clare Valley! (When in Rome etc!)

A useful trophy! And something to put in it!

For the 4th year in a row I have had a brilliant time at Clare (despite the race itself not always going to plan). The locals are always very encouraging and enthusiastic! And I couldn’t finish a race report without once again thanking all the amazing volunteers and supporters – you guys rock!

Some of the more colourful local characters at the start of the finishing chute!

So, I’ve got just over 2 weeks until Boston and this race has given me great confidence that not only can I make the distance, but I still have some speed left in these legs!

This time next week I’ll be on a plane to Hong Kong en route to the States!

Shit is well and truly getting real!

Race report – Bravehearts Semaphore Coastal Marathon

Solo long 30k run or half marathon? #willrunforbling

So, 7 weeks to Boston! 

Only 7 weeks? Are you sure? Oh well, I guess it’s time to start training!

In previous years I have used SARRC half marathons as part of my training programme. In 2014, 2015 and 2016 I did Clare and Greenbelt, and also did Barossa half in 2016.

In 2017 the timing of my marathon means that none of the SARRC halves will fit with my programme. Clare would be possible, but is a bit close in time to the marathon  (2 weeks) not to mention a bit far in distance. I would want to stay overnight the night before, which would make it a pretty expensive exercise. Which is a pity as it’s a great event. I will definitely have the FOMO happening that day. Oh, bugger it, I might just go up on the day and run the 5k!

The Coastal Fun Runs series is the brainchild of one Chris Glacken (better known as Chris Glacks – actually for ages I thought that was his real name!). The events are low cost and all money goes to the Bravehearts charity. This year alone he is putting on 32 MARATHONS! (Most of his events have shorter options as well – except the ‘5 marathons in 5 days’ and ‘7 in 7’ – but only crazy people do those!)

My bib from the half. To see what other events are on offer throughout the year, check out http://coastalfunruns.com

This was my first time doing one of Chris’ events. They are mostly run in the same area, coincidentally the same area where I do a lot of my long runs. And last week’s Dolphin Run! So this weekend, if I hadn’t done the half I probably would have run into some of the runners in the event while running 30+ km, and undoubtedly would have wished I’d done the half!

With so many events scheduled, it was almost inevitable that there would be one that fit into my programme. There was also a 3k, 5k, 10k and a marathon. The course was a ‘loop’, although probably would be more accurately described as an ‘out and back’ course. For the half marathon, we would run south then back to the start, then continue north and back to the start. We would do that twice, the marathoners did it 4 times and the 10k just the once.

Couldn’t really get a more straightforward course than this!

With the 21.1k starting at 7am it was a 5am start for me on Sunday to get an early breakfast (a shake consisting of Weetbix, oats, cacao, chia and almond milk) before getting myself organised. I opted for my Mekong top with aqua lululemon skirt, Skins shorts underneath, calf sleeves, Steigen socks and 2XU hat. I also threw on my rainbow arm warmers as it can be quite cool in the early mornings down the coast!
I got there early enough do a quick warmup before we had our race briefing and group photo. The marathon had already started, an hour earlier. The bib collection process was very smooth – the volunteers were very friendly and seemed to be well on top of things!

21.1k starters photo courtesy of Ian Fagan. I’m on the left of the pic – aqua calf sleeves!

The half kicked off around 7 (Race Director John making sure that we weren’t going to run into any marathoners before getting us started)
I hadn’t worked out a pacing strategy nor did I really have a goal time. I guess sub 1:50 was a minimum, with all but one of my previous halves being in the 1:40s (there was one inexplicable sub 1:40 in there, and I’m not counting the 3 times I’ve run as a pacer!). 1:45 was roughly 5 minutes per km, so I supposed I should be able to manage that. Anything under that would be a bonus!

I ran the first kilometre at 4:48 pace, running just behind 2 other girls, Coralie who I knew, and another girl I hadn’t met before called Carrie. I thought that was way too fast for me to be starting, and I was expecting that they would stay ahead of me but before too long we were all running together which was really nice! It was a smaller field than most of the events I’ve done, and with less random strangers spectating, so it could have been a very quiet few hours for me if I’d ended up running on my own!

An awesome thing about the layout of the course was that we got to see all the other marathoners, half marathoners and 10k runners during the race (the full and half marathoners on multiple occasions!). There were a LOT of familiar faces out there. I’ll probably forget some! In the marathon we had the organiser Chris running with Tim for quite a bit of the race – Tim hoping to do 70 marathons before the age of 70! There was Dave, who was going at a cracking pace! We also had Dione, who kept insisting to me that she WAS running as well as walking (she just happened to be walking most of the times I saw her!), Rebecca who looked very strong in the first half but apparently faded in the last 10k, Louise who had planned to continue on to run stairs at Largs AFTER COMPLETING THE MARATHON (she later decided that was a bad idea!) and Jac, one of a large contingent of Mount Barker parkrunners participating across the different events (my running buddies Coralie and Carrie both being Mt Barker parkrunners as well!). There was also Leon who is aiming for 42 marathons this year (plus ultras and halves!) – he is one of those 5 in 5 and 7 in 7 crazies! He did give me a good recovery tip – ice bath! (I had tried that after a previous long run but the water clearly wasn’t cold enough as I had managed to sit in there for an hour!)

In the half we had Mark and Mel who were both pleased with how they went, and we spent a while afterwards reminiscing about last week’s Guns N’Roses concert! There was also regular trail runner Neil who was doing his first road event (in trail shoes!) regular parkrunner Reece, and Chris, who was coming back from injury and showed excellent taste in running kit by running in a Norwood footy guernsey in arch-rival Port Adelaide’s heartland! 

So, the 3 of us girls ran together and it seemed like we all had pretty similar time goals. I knew Coralie would be faster than me in the end (unless she was holding back!). Carrie was, by her own admission, a ‘fader’ (in other words, NOT a negative splitter!) so when she took off from Coralie and me, we thought we probably would be a chance to catch her.

My Strava pace graph. See the spike at the beginning? That’s called ‘getting carried away (no pun intended) and going out too fast’. You’d think I would have learned by now…

The weather conditions were PERFECT, similar to last weekend’s event. Mild conditions to start with (I had my arm warmers pulled up at the start but by the 2k mark I’d rolled them right down) and once again NO WIND! 

According to the source of all useful information, Strava, at the end of the first lap, 11.2km, I was on 4:54 pace. The first lap was slightly longer and the second lap was exactly the same as the 10k course. That was great – we knew that once we reached ‘halfway’ we were actually well past halfway and ‘only’ had 10k to go!

On the second lap, it was a bit mental, running south and then back north to the finish line again, but having to run PAST the finish line to complete the last lap! Past the finish line, with about 5k to go, was where Coralie took off. I could see quickly that she wasn’t going to be catchable so I set my sights on Carrie, who Coralie very quickly passed! I could see I was making ground but it wasn’t until after the final turnaround (just over 2k to go) that I eventually caught up to and passed her.

I could still see Coralie in the distance but I set my sights on catching Chris, who had faded somewhat since earlier in the race, when he had been well ahead of me.

As I approached the Semaphore Palais, around 500m from the end, I had a sneaky look behind and thought I saw Carrie, but she looked to be too far behind. Nevertheless I decided to pick up the pace just to be sure! I thought I might catch Chris but he must have found an extra yard in pace too. According to Strava I finished in 1:42:58, exactly 1 minute behind Coralie and only 11 seconds behind Chris! The next finisher WAS Carrie, 26 seconds behind me, she was very pleased to have taken a whopping 10 minutes off her previous half marathon time!

My kilometre splits. Very happy with my consistency and ability to kick it home!

Recovery started with a quick walk in the sea with Chris. Happily, despite having dispensed with my pre-race ritual of taping my feet, there were NO blisters – thanks to my awesome Steigen socks! T
hen it was time to go back for the presentations. The female winner of the half, a girl I didn’t know, was about 10 minutes ahead of me! The male winner, Kent, did it in 1:27. That wasn’t really surprising – this is the guy who did 2 parkruns on New Year’s Day, one at 7 and one at 9, and RAN the 23km between the 2 parkruns!

Always nice to finish a hard run with a trip to the beach! Especially when said beach is RIGHT THERE!

So on my return home I did run an ice bath (with a 5kg bag of ice) and had 2 x 10 minute stints in there, with a quick hot shower in between. Maybe 2 bags next time! And then with some difficulty I managed to get my compression tights on!

Ice Ice Baby!
My slightly unconventional post-long-run ‘fashion’ (and don’t even ask me how I managed to get my leg up that high for the picture!)

I really enjoyed this event. I have to say, I can’t see myself ever doing the marathon here – nothing against this event but I really don’t enjoy marathons in general, so I try to stick to ‘big event’ marathons when I do run them! It would be a perfect event for someone who wants to run without pressure. The atmosphere is very friendly, everyone is very supportive of everyone else. The team of dedicated volunteers is fantastic and the RD John did a stellar job.

Congratulations to Chris and team for putting on a brilliant event! I’m sure I will be back for another half before too long!

Race report – SARRC Dolphin Run 2017

Obligatory post-race selfie for Strava. That is NOT my shadow, by the way!

The Dolphin Run is the first SARRC race of the year, which is an out and back run along the coast at Semaphore. It was also the very first 10k race I ever ran, back in 2013, after only having started running 3 months earlier, in a very respectable time of 48:10. It is a tradition for me, one of only 2 events I have run every year since I started running (the other being City-Bay). In the past there has always been a 5k and a 10k and I have always done the 10, even though it is probably my least favourite distance! It is my one token 10k each year!

This year for the first time there was also a 15k on offer which proved popular. I did consider it – it probably would have been a better option given that I have a marathon in 8 weeks (let’s just gloss over that for now shall we – I’m not quite ready for it to be so soon!) but tradition won out and I entered the 10k.

So 2013 was a triumph of sorts, being my first 10k race (and from memory I hadn’t run 10k too many times in training). 2014 was the year I did my first marathon. Traditionally the Barossa Marathon 16 week training programme begins the day after the Dolphin Run. However, in 2014, the Dolphin Run was postponed by a week due to extreme heat forecast on the scheduled race day (certainly not unheard of in February!) meaning that it then clashed with my first scheduled long run (21km). As I’d already entered, I was committed to run the race, but inexperienced me decided I needed to get my long run in as well. So I did an early coastal 21.1k (had to get that half marathon distance in – the first of many!) by myself on the Saturday, and then ran the Dolphin on Sunday. Unsurprisingly it was a PW (Personal Worst) partly due to what I’d done the day before, and partly due to the brutal headwind for the last 3km.

In 2015 conditions were much more favourable and I broke my PB from 2013.

In 2016 I broke 45 minutes for the first time and you can read my report here.

My first sub-45 minute 10k and therefore (at the time) a PB! (I have since run a faster 10k in a different event but this remains my Dolphin Run PB)

So 2017 was my 5th straight 10k Dolphin Run. I didn’t really have particularly high expectations although I had told the volunteer coordinator that I expected to do sub-50 (so they would know what time I’d be available to volunteer afterwards). The weather conditions are so variable and can really affect times! Obviously everyone has to contend with the same conditions so if you’re going for a placing, the conditions shouldn’t matter, but if you’re going for a time, they can really make a difference!

I wasn’t too fussed about times for a few reasons. One, I’m not setting my expectations too high for Boston. Two, I’d had a pretty high mileage week (I’d done 65km before Sunday’s race). Three, I had been at the Guns N’ Roses concert at the Adelaide Oval (dancing for most of it) and it was so good, it was hard to wind down and go to sleep when I eventually got to bed!

With the lovely Mel just minutes before the start! Not my real hair! It got cool during the night so despite it being quite scratchy, I was glad for the warmth the mullet wig offered!
One of only 2 photos I took during the concert. Because I was too busy enjoying it rather than, you know, filming it like EVERYONE in front of me!

Pre-race nutrition was interesting to say the least. Dinner was a vegetarian pasty from the Bakery On O’Connell before heading to the Oval, and I had to make tracks back there after the concert to have one of their legendary head-sized vegan chocolate donuts at 11pm. Perfect!

It was an early start on Sunday as I was to be there at 7 to help out with bib collection. As a member of the SARRC Board, I had offered to help out with any volunteer gig, on the condition that I still be able to run.

As someone who is into colour coordinating my running outfits, I was excited to discover that I had a top that matched my green running skirt perfectly – conveniently also a SARRC top, last year’s Adelaide Marathon singlet. As it was chilly (and raining) I decided on rainbow arm warmers. I wore my new favourite Steigen socks and finally my usual running hat, more so to keep any potential rain out of my eyes and to reduce the chill on my head, than to protect me from the sun. Sunglasses were not required!

I helped out with the bibs for an hour or so (I quite enjoyed that, there were a lot of familiar faces and a lot of people I hadn’t met before) before Voula told me I could head off for my warmup. I just ran about 1.7km to get the legs loosened and to allow myself to peel off a layer, and on the way back to the start line I saw the 15k runners head out for the first part of their race. The run out (south) was into a stiff headwind so I decided that it definitely was NOT a PB day!

Pretty soon it was our turn – I was probably mid-pack at the start. As I said, I wasnt too fussed about times. The 10k was the most popular of the 3 events with 164 finishers. And the weather turned nice – the wind dropped to nothing, just before we started!

There’s probably not a lot to say about the race itself. The 10k was a straight out and back, heading north first and then turning at 5k. The 15k had headed south first, then back past the start and did their last 10k with us. MANY of them passed me. Some had already passed even before we started (they started 20 minutes before us, so therefore they were running well under 4 minute kilometres!)

The drink stations were only a few kilometres apart but I don’t tend to drink in the shorter races so I didn’t need to stop, although I tried to thank as many of the volunteers as I could!

Pic thanks to Rachael, one of the awesome volunteers!

I knew my friend Tracie, one of the official photographers, would be around the 3k mark so I was looking out for her. I was conveniently all out on my own at that stage so I hammed it up a bit, taking my hat off to show my still relatively shorn scalp! (I thought maybe I might be a bit buggered to do anything fun when I passed her on the way back!)

Official photo from Tracie of Geosnapshot! See, I even coordinated my bib with my outfit!

I was sitting on 4:33 min/km at the turnaround so sub 50 was a no-brainer unless a gale force headwind suddenly popped up (it didn’t).

I was conscious of not trying to work out where I was placed in the field. As the faster runners started heading back towards the finish line at Semaphore (as I approached the turnaround) I didn’t let myself look at their bibs. I knew there were a few ladies ahead of me and a couple had flown past me after a few kilometres, but what I didn’t realise at the time and probably should have, was that they were actually 15k runners! The 15k had orange bibs and ours were red – it was kind of hard to tell them apart!

After the turnaround I started paying attention to who was behind me and encouraging as many of them as I could. If I knew them, or if they had their names printed on their bibs, I would call out their name. I can still remember being pretty excited when I did my first half marathon and random strangers were calling my name! I was slightly freaked out that they knew my name, until I realised it was right there on my bib! Duh!

I even got in a few high fives to runners coming the other way – Min-Qi and Allen both got a high five (actually Allen’s stung a little bit!) and a few others including Ellen got ‘virtual high fives’ because I wasn’t quite quick enough to get the hand out!

I saw most of the 15k runners as well as all the 10k runners – the 5k went the opposite way so we didn’t see them at all.

On the way back past Tracie I saw her but called out to her that I was in serious mode. So I just left the hat on and ran normally – so there might be a bit of a contrast between my photos! (Race photos 101 – try to be out on your own, or with a friend, when you see the photographer, so you’re not just a face in the crowd. Nailed it both times!)

With around 2km to go I ran past a small personal training group at one of the playgrounds. They were doing leg kicks on all fours but what really got my attention was their choice of soundtrack – ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ by GN’R! I complimented them on their choice of music and carried on, that definitely gave me a boost!

Then towards the end I was just saying hello to everyone on the path – runners, walkers, dogs… amazingly a lot of the walkers didn’t bother to respond! (The dogs were very polite though!) And I was high fiving marshals at every opportunity!

With a few hundred metres to go there was a bit of a headwind but with the finish line in sight it wasn’t a big issue. I did a sneaky look behind (the only time I allowed myself to look back) and couldn’t see any other females, so I knew that whatever place I was in, was where I would finish!

I was pretty excited when I saw Voula at the finish line and she told me I was 3rd! (First thought – how do I break the news to my cleaner – my mum – that I’ve just created more dusting work for her?)

My official time was 45:16 – less than 30 seconds off last year’s PB. Very happy. My average pace for the second half was 4:30 – a negative split!

I was happy with my pacing overall – relatively consistent (as it should be, on a flat, calm course!)

The trophy was pretty cool too!

My first ever 10k trophy! And see, it’s got a girl on it! Looks just like me too, with the flowing ponytail… oh, wait…

Of course I have to thank the 15k event for taking some of the super fast ladies away from the 10k and allowing me to finish 3rd in a slower time than last year  (when I finished 13th). Also the always popular Yumigo! Summer Trail Series clashed with the Dolphin Run this year which would definitely have affected the numbers! Still – a trophy’s a trophy, right?

I finished off the morning by helping out with the merch sales. I used an EFTPOS machine for the first time – conveniently the first customer was a retail worker, so she was able to show me how to use it! I may have a future career in retail! 
Well done to all who ran/walked, and a massive thanks as always to all the fantastic volunteers for making this a brilliant event once again (and making it possible for me to run it)! A perfect way to kick off the running year!

Race report – 2 Jetties Fun Run

This morning was the annual 2 Jetties Fun Run, which happens every year on Boxing Day, a run on the beach from Glenelg Jetty to Brighton Jetty and back, approximately 8.4km. SA Masters Athletics puts on the event, which is organised by a regular running/walking buddy, Doug Smart.

My first 2 Jetties was in 2012, it was my second ever running event and only about 6 weeks after I started running. I managed a very respectable sub-45 minute time.

The before shot! Dressed to blend in! Photo courtesy of John Martin (SA Masters Athletics)
Pretty happy with that. The certificate still lives on my fridge!

After missing 2013 due to being interstate  (it wasn’t all bad though – I got to go to Day 1 of the Boxing Day Ashes Test in Melbourne along with 90000 of my closest friends) I was back to do it all again in 2014, hoping for a PB. It wasn’t to be though – due to the tides, we had to run up the ramp onto the path for a bit which ruined my chances of a PB!

Action shot – towards the end! Photo courtesy of John Martin (SA Masters Athletics)
Nice day to hang out by the beach!

I again missed out in 2015 as Boxing Day fell on a Saturday and I dragged the whole family out to parkrun (first time we’d all done it together!)

I had initially planned to run this year, but the forecast of 40 degrees put me off. It’s an event that you enter on the day which is good in a way as you can decide in the morning whether or not to go. If I had had to enter in advance I probably wouldn’t have done it. 

On Christmas Day I opted for the 5k Mount Barker parkrun at 7am instead of the traditional 6am half marathon at West Lakes. Because, HOT. And SLEEP. It was a great choice as the conditions were nice and mild up at Mount Barker and only after the run was over did I start to notice it warming up a bit.

Action shot – courtesy of Gary Denham (Mount Barker parkrun)
Fancy dress was the order of the day! With Kim who had just completed her first ever parkrun!
And I even got a pic with Santa! Photo courtesy of Mount Barker parkrun.

After a record 42 degrees on Christmas Day, the cool change arrived earlier than expected and consequently the Boxing Day forecast was revised to the high 20s. I decided that I would definitely run!
It was actually RAINING in the morning when I woke up but I don’t mind running in the rain when it’s not cold. I planned my whole outfit around my brand new PINK running hat (a Christmas present!) I went with pink calf sleeves as the run was on sand so can be a bit heavy on the legs. I opted for compression sleeves rather than socks as my foot was still not quite 100% and the compression socks squash my feet a bit! I also wore a slightly larger pair of shoes which I had bought second hand  (barely used) primarily to run the 100k track race in January, but which I had also been wearing since I’d had the issue with my foot.

I like pink – and to be coordinated – don’t judge me 🙂 Thanks to Karen for the pic.

It was still raining when I arrived at Glenelg Jetty to sign up. There didn’t seem to be many people there. Then I noticed a bunch of people standing undercover on the edge of the square ans I thought, “SOFT! It’s only water!” Still, I’m sure the weather would have put a lot of people off.

We started at 9:30, half an hour after the walkers. We gathered under the jetty with about 10 minutes to go. After finding out that the run would be entirely on the beach this year, I wished I’d gone barefoot!

Under the jetty just before go time!

After the run started though, I was glad I’d worn shoes – the first few hundred metres was very rocky!

I didn’t look at my watch during the race – just focused on the Brighton Jetty  (when I could see it) on the way out and Glenelg Jetty on the way back. Fortunately the rain had stopped just before we started  (as so often happens with runs and races) so the conditions were actually pretty perfect. Add to that the fact that we were staying on the beach, it was a recipe for a PB! There were a few tiny water crossings but really nothing to slow me down. 

I wasn’t really racing anyone as such – just going for that 4-year-old PB! Although, there was a girl tantalisingly close in front of me that I was hoping to catch at the end – but it wasn’t to be! (While a podium finish was highly improbable, there were age group prizes, and I hadn’t seen a lot of girls in my age group)

Action shot – in deep focus, didn’t see the camera! Photo from SAMA Facebook page.

With a few hundred metres to go, I could see she wasn’t slowing down, so I just kept up the pace I’d been running, and finished just behind her. (I never did check if she was in my age group – it didn’t matter though, as the overall female winner was also in my age group)

Happy with consistent pace. And no elevation!

My time was 39:36, very pleasing and a PB by almost 5 minutes! 

A rare sight – Glenelg Beach deserted on Boxing Day!

Afterwards it was time to get my inner kid on, as Karen, Ruth, Ros and I decided to hit the trampolines (the inclement weather worked in our favour as there would otherwise have been a flood of ACTUAL kids wanting to use them!)

FINALLY managed to nail a jumping pic – never mind that there was a trampoline involved! Thanks to Karen for the pic!

And then of course we had to refuel…

With Karen and Ruth. SOOOO classy! Thanks to Karen for this photo!

Thanks to everyone at SA Masters Athletics who made this great event happen – as so often happens, the weather conditions made volunteering WAY harder than running! Although I can’t say I was really enjoying it at the time, I was really glad I did run today and it’s always a great way to get over the excesses of Christmas Day!