This weeks club run took us away from the Ironbarks of Stawell, and to the timekeeper’s Vineyard, for the Gary Rice Vineyard race. Located only a short distance outside of town.
This event was a Championship run, held under sealed handicap* conditions.
Each time I have done this race the course changes just a little. This year we did one giant lap, and then 2 smaller loops. For a (not quite) distance of 6.5km (more like 7km).
Having run this race before I decided to wear my trail shoes. With the recent rain, I knew the course was going to wet and muddy in some sections, and boy was I right.
Starting at the top of the hill was a plus, but I knew before I got to the first km that I was going way too fast.
This is a common occurrence with a downhill start.
While I was keeping pace with Meggy I knew I wouldn’t be able to sustain that pace, so pulled on the brakes.
Wearing trail shoes had its advance, with sections of rough uneven grass, and wet mud, I got the grip I needed. There is no doubt that wearing these shoes saved my ankles.
Meggy kept getting further and further away from me. That’s ok, I’m not as fast as her. My main concern was Dave behind me, he had to stay there.
By the 4km mark, I was getting tired, the downhill sections were a small blessing, all I could do was put one foot in front of the other.
Once I ran past the pond for the last time, I yelled out to Tom “Where’s Dave?”. When he told me he was only 20 or so meters behind me I was like “crap, he can still overtake me”.
I kept going. My breathing felt like it was all over the place, and I was roasting. I should have taken my long sleeve top off before the run, but I was cold and didn’t think of it.
Starting downhill is a plus, but that meant that it was an uphill finish. It’s not much of a hill, but when you can hear the runner behind you gaining, you just gotta power home.
So that’s what I did.
I know not the prettiest picture, but hey I was working hard and concentrating at getting myself to the finish line.
I finished the race at a time of 32:30, which is a pace of 4:40 per km. This placed me first based on Handicap. WIN!
So while I can in first thanks to the handicap, I also won the cake raffle, a box of chocolates & a bottle brush (native Australian plant).
Everything’s coming up Matilda!
* – Meaning that handicap times are not disclosed to the runners before the race