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2017 SMH Half Marathon Race Report

The Sydney Morning Herald Half Marathon is the one and only 21.1Km race in which I participate. It’s not an easy course nor flat or fast but I enjoy it as it’s close to home and many of the runners that I run with all join for a good hit out.

Fellow HuRTS runners

This year I had plans to try score a new PB and get close to 80 minutes but that was ruled out since late April when I injured my knee from one short mountain bike ride with a low seat height. Five days out from the race I visited the physio just to be sure, all cleared to run with only a small injury.

On race morning I was not feeling ready and felt like I hadn’t done enough training but it never stopped me from giving it my best. I started it off with Mark Ashworth who aims to go sub 80, after 2Km it was clear that I can not maintain a 3:35 pace. I backed the pace off a bit, said goodbye to Mark and continued on with what I felt comfortable at the time of about 3:45 min/km.

I rolled through the halfway mark at low 40s per minute and was still feeling good, with to a few fast female runners taking turns leading a small group of 4 runners. I thought if I keep this up I can be finishing in 81-82 minutes. Only a few moments later, at about 13Km my legs started to fade and my knee pain returned, they suddenly felt like they weighed a ton each or if the ground I was on was made of quicksand. After the squashed car on Hickson Road I was presented with a small sharp climb, my legs felt like giving up but that was not going to happen as my mind was not going to allow it.

Jeet breaking it down in style

Around 15Km mark on Kent st, Tom and J Fen cruised pass me and asked me to join them. I was almost blacking out at this point, tunnel vision was upon me, unable to reply to the invite to join them I blinked and they were gone. I didn’t feel like taking any fluids or gel at this point but I downed one gel and hoped for the best. It is now me and my world of pain, the thought of pulling the pin kept coming up but I pressed on. A glance at the watch, 4:40 min/Km was on display, none of that I said and pushed on.

Hoey running his face off

then runs away from a few girls

My legs felt a bit better as I rolled onto Art Gallery Road, only 3 Km to go from here and I managed to hold 4:15 down to Mrs Macquarie's Chair, the return leg is slightly uphill. 1Km to go and I can hear the 85 minutes pace group yelling, they were hard on my heels. I told myself to at least try to stay ahead of the 85 minutes group and give it my last kick to the finish line with a time of 84:24, about a minute and a half off my PB but super happy with myself to survive the run and not be collected by the 85 minutes group.

My offical time of 1 hour, 24 minutes and 28 seconds. I'm happy to still able to pull off 4 minutes/km average for 21.1Km