From Chris Truscott
Oct 12th 2014
2014 has been a busy year for the HuRT squad and for a few of us, culminated in the trip south to run the Melbourne Marathon festival. After many months of early morning long runs, marathon pace tempo runs, midweek speed sessions, niggles, parties, kids & colds – we all toed the line in ideal conditions. Approx 13-15deg at the start with no wind, no clouds and an almost dead flat track. But it is of course the marathon and anything can and usually does happen.
Tim kicked things off with a pasta bash on Sat night and the crew managed to stave off any alcohol in anticipation for what was to come – a Sunday afternoon booze up! Oh yeah and a 42.2km effort prior to that. Tim also had his usual accompanying bets laid down in the hopes of having the entire weekend funded by all of us. My bet with him was for a 20min handicap but neither of us could guess what might eventuate.
Off and racing, Quentin and I quickly pounced on a forming pack of mostly Victorians who were aiming for sub 2:30. Our original plan was to target halfway in 75mins and hang on from there and as of the 15km mark we were right on schedule. Unfortunately one of the Victorians started surging soon after and by halfway the group had broken apart and Quentin and I were alone through in 74:26.
Meanwhile the course offers runners some great opportunities to spy on how everyone else was tracking and with each early u-turn around the Albert Park Lake section, Macca, Heydo, even Timmy & Jeet were not far behind it seemed. Tim was definitely on track early on to grab the beers from me once again. With the huge 3hr group came Erika, Birchy and Anthony Donnelly hoping to crack that sometimes elusive barrier and they were all seemingly comfortable early on. Soon after that Sonya cruised by followed by John Bowe who after battling injuries and 21st party organisational duties, impressed just to front up and run.
But we all know that the business end of the marathon really kicks in at around that 25km mark. Over 17km to go and your body is starting to whisper to you that you really are doing damage by continuing and that it would be best to slow down or stop and have a sleep. But no god dammit, not when 3 beers are on offer from Timmy and with Heydo, Macca and Quentin all breathing down my back. So onwards we all went as did Nikki Chapel. Well I think it was her. Kind of a blur the speed she went by. I thought “fine, you just go along and take that $15,000. I’m on my own mission here”. That and the fact that I only could keep up with her for 100m whilst they were filming us.
The 30km mark signalled the end of the St Kilda beach stretches and a turn for home. By now everyone was feeling it and doing their best to hang on and not fade by much. Andy was the horse coming home having gone past Quentin and Macca and searching the road ahead for myself. Another 3-4km at the end and he probably would have had me. Good grounding for the forthcoming 100km in November.
Jeet was hanging in there, Tim was starting to feel it and Erika was still on track for sub 3hrs with Birchy thereabouts but touch and go. Sonya and co. were soon behind. It came down to how we would all handle the closing stages and the slight rise in gradient up through the Melbourne Domain. The organisers have done their best to alleviate the long standing complaint of merging the half marathon and marathon towards the end. I certainly didn’t want to get in the way of stopping Barts grabbing that whole 1sec improvement from the Blackmores half. Luckily I didn’t and he went on to lodge 71:20 which is about 2mins slower than he should have run and wouldn’t mind me saying so (hopefully).
Then it was a right turn at Flinders St station which saw us all finally turn for home. I was in 20th position and with the 2nd female closing me down, didn’t want to give it up so I battled down the hill, around the last 2 turns and powered up the hill. Actually I don’t think my pace changed one single bit but it felt powerful at the time. I finished with 2:34:07 which is my 4th fastest of the 22 done but the quickest since 2012.
I hadn’t crossed for long before Andy raced across in a solid 2:38:06 which was the fastest he had run for 8yrs. Must have been the 12hr drive down there two days earlier that did it. Next up Macca who ran a very impressive 2:38:37 despite being on track for a few mins quicker early on. Although pleased with his time, he was absolutely devastated to learn it was 4secs slower than Enda’s Gold Coast fluke, umm no I mean well earned marathon result. Oh well 2nd fastest Irishman is no mean feat mate. With there being what 10 or so who do it from Ireland. Quentin was next with 2:41:50 after putting it on the line early and having it catch up with him later on to slow him down a bit. A sub 2:30 is in there waiting to pounce mate.
Jeet stormed home in 2:53:07 fists pumping. Rightly so with him grabbing a great PB. Next Timmy who fought on all the way to register 2:58:07 but alas outside the 20mins to myself and already 3 beers in deficit. Boy did they taste nice incidentally. One of my highlights of the day was then seeing Erika cross in 2:58:36 for her first sub 3hr run and big PB after also battling illness & injury in the lead up but never swaying from the determination to train as well as she could and keep that goal front and centre. Well done Erika. Then Birchy who’s A target was also sub 3hrs but would have had to run a PB of over 17mins to do so. He came in with a 12min PB of 3:05:17 which you don’t often get in the marathon so congrats. Awesome effort to Sonya who next came in with a PB of 3:09:27 having targeted 3:15 publicly and sub 3:10 privately. Clinical execution Sonya.
The results from there were as follows:
Anthony Donnelly 3:15
Benny 3:15 “Well we both gave it a crack and ended up a little short. Some good lessons learned. I’ll be leaner, stronger and better prepared next time”.
Justin alas a DNF “Was feeling absolutely shocking from 26k,and wusses out at 35 when the PB splits started going very south. Very dumb in hindsight not to finish…. I’ll never step off again, as I feel shit about not gritting it out. Too focused on that sub 2:40 …..lesson learnt!”
Greta 86:22 – 10th female
Please advise if I have inadvertently left anyone out.
The afternoon was fun- drinking beers in a beer garden as the day warmed up to 29deg followed by burgers and more beers at an Irish bar. None of the Irish ironically were with us but Tim made up for that.
All in all another successful and fun HuRTs tour with plenty of others no doubt to come in the months ahead.