Dr Skins Gold Coast Report

Some brlliant running at the Gold Coast weekend with big PB’s from Tom and Barts breaking 72 mins, Laura running sub 79 and Anna F and Sam Towill sub 80. Outstanding running!

Dr Skins had a crack at a sub 3 marathon. Enjoy the hyperbole:

Could not have asked for better starting conditions for the 2013 Gold Coast Marathon! (If only it lasted!)


So the race plan was simple: 4:15 min/km and go for even 1:30 hr splints. No going out too hard and paying for it later – just get to the 40km mark in 2:50 hr and then have some fun. The objective was to play this one safe and sneak under on 2:59:30 ish.


The Pat Carroll pacer team had organised two pacers for 3:00 hr. The “A” pacer was going off gun time and the “B” pacer off chip time. Here our strategy was to start with “B” then float up to and hold with “A”.  This would allow a fall back to B or to hang in-between and just make sure B didn’t pass us.


The carb load went well hitting over my 24 hr target of 680g with a final count of 711g with pizza for dinner and lots of maltodextrin. Caught the bus to the starting line, pre race warm up, two trips to the the loo, deep heat rub into ITB and quads, down a Gu 5 minutes before start, sing the National Anthem, then the gun goes off and we are away!


First 5 km felt very relaxed in terms of pace, Keith and I are sitting just off the back of the 3 hr pace group which had turned into a mob of about 50 runners all looking pretty steady. Had some tightness in the front of the shins but once fully warmed I started feeling good.


We hit 10km bang on 42:15 which was 0:15 in front of the target 42:30. The A pace runner is starting to pull away but Keith’s words of wisdom, “it’s early days! We’ll get them” and we are travelling bang on 4:15 so good times.


Hit my second Gu, goes down like a dream no stomach issues and grab water at the aid station to wash it down. And out comes THE STRAW, no slowing down, straight in, grab cup, squish top then insert the straw! I ended up selecting a bendy straw with about a quarter chopped off the bottom. With the straw inserted at an angle I was able to drink almost the entire cup without spillage! Happy days!


Pushing on, checking Garmin for pace and keeping the A pacer balloons in sight we are getting to the 15 km turn around point. See the lead pack, about 10 Kenyans and a single Japanese guy in the middle, all looking strong, none over 5ft 3inch and simply flying!


Ok time to focus on 21km which came around all to quick 1:29:39! Shazam, under the 1:30 target and still feeling good! Look behind us see we have at least 30 sec on the B pacer. Time for another Gu, goes down ok, a little slower then last time as mouth is getting dry, aid station water helps, breathing a little out but averaging at 4:16 min/km so all still good. Keith and I were still shoulder to shoulder and had our own group of about 5 runners. Then we turn the corner and the A pacer has disappeared! Shit! The pacer’s blue bobbing balloons had been like a steady sun on the horizon to gage our pace off, then they were gone! “What does it mean?” was fully having a double rainbow moment mid race 🙂 see: http://youtu.be/OQSNhk5ICTI


Keith is like “no way, he cant be that far in front, we hit 21km at 1:29:30… some kid mush have popped his balloons”. I’m looking at the Garmin, ok might need to pay a little more attention to our pace now… then the A pacer comes flying up behind us! Turns out he had stopped for a piss and was now surging back up to where he had been. I’m thinking perfect, no need to surge up and catch him, just jump on the bus and stay with him. Keith says “how’s the pace going” to which A pacer responds “we are aiming 2:58 at the moment, how you guys feeling?” We reply with “good” and that “we did 1:29 at the 21km”. A pacer gives words of encouragement then he’s gone! And the blue balloon sun is back on the horizon.


Hit 25km 1:46:19 target pace is 1:46:15 smoking! Keith says “we just got to hold this and we’re home!” Looking behind us we can see the B pacer and looks like we have 45 sec on him! Good times! We get to 26km still feeling good and Jenny and Dee are there to hand us the bottles of concentrate we prepared earlier, perfect transition and get to skip the next aid station.


Coming out of surfers paradise now and over the bridge we hit 30km on 2:07:41 (hmmm…that should have been 2:07:30 but nothing a finishing line kick couldn’t solve). I tell Keith, “ok I’m going to stretch it out a bit…think it’s time to start hunting down the A pacer”. The B guy is now nowhere to be seen behind us. I surge and Keith hangs right in there. We hit the main crowd and another aid station. I go for another Gu and slow a little trying to get it down.  Keith starts to pull away at this point, only 50 m. It’s fun watching him winding up the crowd – he yells a combination of abuse for poor clapping and compliments to the girls wearing hot little fairy outfits.


Hit 35km at 2:29:37 off target of 2:28:45. Keith is about 100m now and things are starting to hurt! Get to 37km and the calves are starting to feel like bricks, thighs join in with the calf, ok double the pain now, then the guy next to me blows up, big leg cramp and stumbles, keeps his feet, but almost takes me with him, and he starts walking. Then the guys in front of me do the same thing! Man people are dropping like flies! Starting to get a little worried at this point. Look at Garmin sitting on 4:23 min/km… Hmmm cant afford this. Hit the final turn around point at 37km and see the A pacer and our original pack of 50 is down to about 10 runners. No idea where Keith has gone? Fingers crossed he hasn’t blow up and I’ve missed him.


Then I turn a corner at 38km and straight into a massive freakin’ head wind blowing in from the south, Sensational! This is the main leg along the water to the finishing line, so I’m running into this for the last 4km! Freakin’ Sensational! Ok time to find someone tall and drift it home! Of course the pack is pretty spread out and I’m running in no man’s land.


The thigh and calf pain have decided to stick around just for fun it seems. I try to push through, just can’t seem to get my legs to move any quicker. I check my watch constantly but every time I look its over 4:35 min/km … This is bad. Finally hit 40km 2:52:50 off target of 2:50:00… For some reason after averaging 4:35 min/km since the 37 km I think to myself Hammer Time!! Manage to surge up to 4:19 min/km. Must have passed like 10 people in the final stretch, get the the last 300m , huge crowd, time for a Double Kick! Drop it to 3:43 min/km and hold, thank god the last 50m was on rubber mats! Got it in on 3:02:17. New PB on new course and a good practice run! got to be happy with that.


Age category position at 21km was 325th and finished on 97th


Hang at the finish line to see King come across on 3:13:05! Bummer to hear Shirley had a knee blow out at 21km otherwise would have finished right next to King. We find Keith who smashed in a 3:01:16!  Turns out only 3 guys finished with the A pacer and the B pacer had a stomach blowup somewhere after 25km and had to pull out.




Age category position at 21km was 325th and finished on 97th


More long runs need, but happy with the Carbs, trial Gu and The STRAW method (patent pending)


One team one dream


Dr Skins, Shirley, Keith, King



Distance. Time.       Pos. Total.       Pace

5KM               00:20:59       302         00:20:59               04:11    

10KM    00:21:15               297         00:42:15               04:15

15KM    00:21:23               383         01:03:39               04:16

20KM    00:21:17               322         01:24:56               04:15

25KM    00:21:22               266         01:46:19               04:16

30KM    00:21:22               252         02:07:41               04:16

35KM    00:21:55               190         02:29:37               04:23

40KM    00:23:12               199         02:52:50               04:38

Finish    00:09:27               97           03:02:17               04:17

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