Saturday, 23 November 2013

La Trobe University Sprint

This weekend's sprint race is our nearest, just half an hour north at Melbourne's LaTrobe University, named after Victoria's first Governor, Charles La Trobe. The university motto, “Whoever Seeks Shall Find”, does seem particularly appropriate for the occasion. The plan for me is to survive my seemingly chronic hamstring complaint, and maybe to make a bit of an effort on the hill-climb leg, with one eye on a possible (but unlikely) polka dot jersey.

Before we can harbour any competitive thoughts though, we need to pay our debt to society by helping out on download (me) and registration (Pat). The shelter is a good place to be, with some protection from the intermittent warm showers and annoying flies.

Eventually, I am released from my task and trot to the start for my run. Jim is on the same minute as me, so I follow him. This is a very bad idea since my first control is in completely the opposite direction! I lose a minute sorting that fiasco out and settle eventually. All goes well until I then head north out of 10 when I should be going south. Another minute ensues. It is a tricky area and planner Ted has a trap in store for us between 11 and 12. The obvious bridge is not viable and I lose more time doubling back. It is little consolation to learn later that I'm not the only one. Next is the hill climb. I make an effort here, which is later rewarded by a good placing on this leg. Would polka dots suit me, I wonder? My bandana is a success – I use it to keep the stinging sweat out of my eyes. Also my compression tights, although warm, keep bits of my lower body from breaking or falling off.

Pat is reasonably happy with her time, me less so with mine. I calculate my errors at about 4 minutes - too much! We do a map walk round the area when courses are closed, which is A Good Idea. I am annoyed with myself for a poor performance, but I shouldn't be. The hamstring gave no trouble and the hill-climb leg went well. So I achieved my initial targets, although running faster made me slower. Maybe bigger targets next time?

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