Perth Marathon, organized by the WA Marathon Club, in it's 33rd year of running this year. I did the full distance for 2007 (my first marathon) up to 2009 (marathon PB), skipping it in 2010. Now I'm back at this familiar event, doing the relay instead. Our team was Break Your Limits Foursome with myself, Nat, Dave and Paul. And our race number was 69! I wanted to crack a joke about it this morning, but it was probably a bit too early for that hehe.
The weather was pretty clear and still, which was great, as it was nothing like that for most of the week. It was also nice to meet Dennis Tan of North Coast Tri Club in person, after corresponding for a while via Facebook. Dennis wasn't running that morning, but he came with a portable radio to cheer the runners, what a nice guy! Thanks Dennis for the picture tag!
I was to run the third leg, a distance of 14.4km. I was targeting anything under an hour, a pace of 4:10 per km. I had quite a hard week of training, including 1.5 hour run during the week and a 3 hour bike ride yesterday in some pretty wet and windy conditions. Plus, we had quite a late night, with our friend, Shirley's birthday dinner, treating us to a delicious feast of Korean BBQ. Lots of meat for protein, but hopefully won't give me any problems with digestion for the run.
I brought Li-Ann along as I needed her for my transport, being my start and finish points were at different locations. I anticipated that my relay changeover will occur about 1 hour 45 minutes after the race start, which started at 8am. Hence, we had plenty of time. We had our second breakfast at Prinz of Vienna, an almond croissant and a cinnamon scroll of massive portions! Add these to a thick and super sweet, tall glass of hot chocolate... I hope my stomach holds up!
Fortunately, I managed to visit the toilet again before I start, so it was all good. A handful of relay teams went passed as I was waiting for Nat for the changeover. Nat too did a PB for her 12.5km run, awesome! The first few km markers were probably under distance, as I was clocking under 4 minutes for them.
But I soon get settled in, overtaking some more of the relay runners. One runner overtook me just before we got into halfway of the distance, but I kept him in sight, about less than 100m away. I was averaging between 4-4:10 most of the way, reminiscing this familiar course but with a lot more in the tank and with much less pain! Also, there was slight tailwind, which was very handy!
I didn't catch up to that runner in front, but I finished in 58:44 as I passed the wristband to Paul. A pace of 4:05 per km, very happy with that!
Paul beat our car back to the finish. There was a lot of congestion at the Burswood complex as the Dalai Lama was having an event there. We met up with the other Break Your Limits people before dropping Paul back at his car and then, heading home.
I have an easy week of training on the program next week, which is most welcomed!