There’s not much to say about the Twilight Half Marathon except that I totally smashed it! I ran a 1:46:33 chip time! (Gun time 1:47:10) And I ran a massive negative split to get there. My first 10km were at 5:17 min/km pace and my last 11.1km were at 4:47min/km pace. Not bad given I only run up to about 15km in training (and it’s rare for me to come close to 15km).
Let’s get some context first. The race started at 5:30pm. In the 12 hours from waking to race start I spent about 3 hours shifting rocks and mulch in my garden, and 2 hours playing sports with my son on his XBox Kinect. I also had Red Rooster for lunch. So I wasn’t expecting much from my half marathon.
I started with the 2:00 bus. Mick from our club was the pacer and he told us he was running the whole event at 5:48 pace to compensate for the gun. I tried to find someone from the club who was starting in the 2:10 bus but everyone was starting with Mick so I did too. I didn’t expect to keep up with the 2:00 pace; I thought I’d lose them within a few kilometres.
I only stayed with the 2:00 bus for about 400m before I started to work my way through the field. At first I intended to just get some kilometres behind me so that I could slow down and let the 2:00 bus catch up to me so that I could finish with them. They never did catch me.
I had the perfect run – a real break through. I pushed up the short hills onto the bridge and stretched my legs out downhill, picking up pace. I felt so strong that I just didn’t slow down through the race. In fact, I just kept getting faster.
When I reached the 1:55 bus I flew straight past it. Then I blasted past the 1:50 bus at about the 18.5km mark. I was shocked when I left them in my proverbial cloud of dust. But not as surprised as when I overtook the 1:45 bus at 20km (who then told me he was running 1-2 minutes behind).
When I hit the 100m track and saw 1:46:40 on the finish clock I kicked up my heals and sprinted. I ran that final 100m as though it were the only 100m I’d run. It only took me about 20 seconds. I was absolutely smashed when I crossed the line but even more excited by my run.
It’s a fantastic confidence builder heading into Julia Creek Triathlon on 21 April and Byron Bay Triathlon on 12 May. It was the first time I’ve powered up hills and run quickly down them. It was also my first real negative split. I feel like I made a mental breakthrough.
On a personal note, after my race as I bumped into an old friend I haven’t seen in about 8 years. We were friends in high school then lost touch for a few years before becoming really great friends. Then 8 years ago we totally lost touch. I don’t know why but have been around long enough to know these things happen. I’m now going to visit her at her home during the Easter long weekend (she lives many hours motorbike ride from my home). I can’t wait. It was the perfect end to an awesome run.