Arrived early as usual for the biggest run of the year and the first person I met was a disappointed looking Andy Cross who was battling a foot injury and was doing well not to just stay on the train and return back to the Shire.
A decent warm up and then over to the start area that's always a buzz, greeted many before hitting the start line alongside 'Special Q' (Quentin) steadying myself for the 14k slog to Bondi.
Its a fast start and got a nice shout out from Renaud on the sidelines spectating before entering the Kings X tunnel, but as early as the 2.5k mark of the run I knew I was struggling. Pace dropped entering Double Bay and only hit the 5k marker at O'Sullivan St where Tommy H was supporting around the 19 minute mark. With breathing very heavy even before Heartbreak I purposely slowed it down in an attempt to bring the heart rate back and when Erika joined me on the hill I tried (in vein) to work with her. Lasted all of about 45 seconds before I was reduced to the dreaded 'Walk of Shame'. The next 2 minutes were torture not just as I saw time drifting but the fact many were coming past me and I couldn't do nothing about it.
Latched onto Pete Truscott for a couple of Ks and then Pete Walker flew past at 9.5ks, Another tough section comes at Dover Heights at 10k where I've not even hit 40 minutes and from that point I was more than happy to just cruise it home even on the downhills and enjoy the occasion for what it is. That said, I thought if I pushed the final couple of Ks I was on for a 56 (meaning sub 4 min/ks) , but again I was forgetting the final 1k is a punish even when running well and I was only able to see it out for a finish time of 56.20
Very disappointed with the run time and how it went that resulted in my slowest time for years. Knew I wasn't in great shape but I've been doing the hill work so to have it get the better of me was very soft on my part. Still, even with the run part it certainly wasn't about to spoil the day and once showered and all cleaned up I enjoyed a fine brekkie around the Stankard's thanks to Ange and Enda before heading back down to the beach for the customary marquee care of 'Allens' that our Tommy Highnam always gives me the nod for. Quality afternoon with the gang in good form as the results are quickly filtered through. As usual there is the Good, Bad and simply superb runs and a few that took my eye were, Angus 50 (never seems to run badly these days) Taffy Craig PB in 55 (smashing me for the 2nd race on the trot), and Darren Jordan with another 50 minute effort, The poor was Jeet, 55 for him that he will be very disappointed with ( although in fairness he had been sick the week before). The best was to come in the form of 'Me, Myself and I Man ... John Bartlett who blew it away storming to an 8th placing overall with a time of 44.32 and has certainly taken it to a HuRTS high level with all his new training regime.
Once the tent was drunk dry it was over to the Bondi Hotel where things got a little blurry, although I do remember seeing the last of the boys off in Craig ( and his mates) , Neil and Birchy, but not much after that point.
Cracking day and once again many thanks to all that made it especially Enda and Tom for the brekkie and post race drinks it really does make it such a great day out for everyone.
My splits ( for what its worth) were.
7.20 (1 &2), 3.52, 4.01, 3.43, 3.57, 5.22, 4.14, 3.55, 4.31, 4.03, 3.49, 3.33, 3.49
A few pics from the day.