Sunday, 3 July 2011

Sunday: Gold Coast Half Marathon

Woke up at 3:15am and could not get back to sleep before my alarm went off at 4:15am. Drove the back way (Ferry Road) to park in Australia Fair underground car-park at Southport. It was a 5 minute walk to the start of the Gold Coast Half Marathon. At 5:25am there was still no light at all in the eastern sky. I decided to wear my multi-focal glasses, the first time I have done so in a race. Many runners were mingling about, most of them in lines outside the toilets. A few were near the start, but I could think of no better place to spend the time.
The race start banners covered both sides of the divided Gold Coast Highway, and an official confirmed that we could start on either side. I chose the left as it was further from the race precinct and I guessed that it might be the less crowded side. I kept within 3-4 metres of the start line and enjoyed an easy start in the dark.
As we headed north towards the turn-around point at Runaway Bay, I focussed on establishing a comfortable pace. I also was careful to maintain a straight line and minimise the chances of colliding with other runners. In the dawn light I could not read my watch. As soon as I was to do so, I checked my pace. By 6km I was on target for a finish of about 1hr 34min. I felt comfortable and started to pass others who had started too fast.

During our current stay on the Gold Coast I had cycled and driven along the course several times, so I felt I was running on familiar ground. The race leaders passed on their return leg, led by a motor-bike cop and a vehicle displaying large race clock. The leaders were spread out over many hundreds of metres.

I f
inished the last few hundred metres as hard as I could, and found later that my heart peaked at the finish at 160, not much short of my maximum. It satisfying to cross the line in my 80th half marathon in 1:33:45 this morning, my best time for 5 years. The course is fast and conditions were ideal. Was 5th M60-64. I'm well satisfied.


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