On the 8th of August, 8am (yes, quite auspicious right?) I ran my 4th Perth Half Marathon. It's a club event, organized by WA Marathon Club with a smallish cozy crowd, of 600+ participants.
Despite wanting to do a PB (sub 89 minutes to be exact), I'm treating this race primarily as my build up to Ironman WA. Hence, the 82km ride the day before. Also, this year is a bit special as it would also be darling Li-Ann's first half marathon. My good friend, Eric and his friend, Kenny were doing it for the first time too.
The night before, Li-Ann and I had our carbo loading dinner at Little Caesars, Leederville. Which proved to be a slight disappointment. Maybe because we have eaten there a few times already, and the novelty is lost. Plus, the long wait didn't help.
Race morning, we picked up our friends and arrived at Burswood club rooms about 35 minutes to the race start. I did my usual warm up runs and stretches. It was a perfect morning, very calm with little to no winds. A bit cold though, about 3 degrees when we were about to start, but it warmed up after that.
Due to some construction on the riverside, the course layout had to be changed. No longer the out and back route to UWA. Instead, we had one big loop to the Narrows Bridge and back (approximately 13.8km) and a smaller loop around East Perth, which is traditionally the starting of the full marathon route. I actually like this new course, a bit more scenic though a bit hilly near the East Perth side.
I started off somewhere near the front and got a bit caught up with the chase. I did my first km under 4:05 but I steadied myself after that. I maintained an average of 4:09 for most of the way, except for the 5th km, where I had to stop to tie up my shoe laces. This is the first time it has happened to me in a race! And it was double knotted too! Lost about 15 seconds there.
Somewhere from the 15th km onwards, I started experiencing slight stomach discomfort. I had to slow down the pace, and I was releasing flatulence (sorry guys who where running with me!). There was a point where I was running at about 4:16 for a couple of kms.
Nearing the last 1km to go, a bike nearly hit me as we were running down the corner of the Causeway bridge. I paused for a moment, and the guy behind ran into me. But no major dramas. I looked at my watch, and it looks like I could make it a low 88 minute (to make it closer to 88 minutes, than to 89 minutes). But the stomach cramps did not go away, plus I was getting side stitches now!
Finally crossed the finish line in 1:28:33, just under an average 4:12 per km. Despite it being not a perfect race, I'm happy with the 3.5 minute improvement on my personal best. Here are my 5km split and lap times.
5km - 0:20:59 - 20:59
10km - 0:41:45 - 20:46
15km - 1:02:37 - 20:52
20km - 1:23:58 - 21:21
I wanted to jog out to find Li-Ann but I could only muster a walk. I walked about 1.5km before I saw her, smiling and running really strong! We paced until the finish and my darling crossed the line of her first ever half marathon in 2:05:08!
She totally exceeded my expectations, I'm so proud of her! (She too complained about stomach upsets, it might have been the pizza the night before) Our friends did really well for their first half marathon too.
The full results are out here. The overall winner ran it in 1:09:37, and three ladies beat me to the finish line. I finished 71 overall and came in 11 in my age group.
Overall, a really good outing and a perfect boost for me to start my Ironman preparations.