Having finally ticked off a 5K road race the weekend before last, I can now say I have a 5K PB. The Mooloolaba Twilight 5K Sprint Race kicked off a great weekend of multisport racing in Mooloolaba. The short 5K distance was something new for me, and being in the middle of marathon training, my race plan was simple – just go out hard and hang on!
The start was hectic to say the least, getting elbowed on both sides as runners went out at full speed. I could barely keep up in the first few hundred meters but as my legs got going I soon caught the girls ahead of me on the first incline and dropped them on the descent. With each of the four laps of the Mooloolaba esplanade, I slowly put more and more distance between me and the other girls, and came away with the win in 16:01. With the huge volume of training I have been doing and no taper for the race, it was a great boost of confidence in the lead up to the marathon. The atmosphere was amazing, with so many friends there cheering me on. I absolutely loved it!
The Twilight Half Marathon last night was my last race before the Rotterdam marathon. I was under instructions to “have a solid run but not bury myself”, as we are too close to marathon day now so no risks. As Tom and I drove down to Brisbane the sky was dark and the rain was becoming heavier, not looking good for the run but it cleared as we arrived.
As if perfectly timed, the rain started again as the half marathoners and 10K runners lined up at the start line. And it became heavier and heavier, completely saturating us as we stood there. But off we went running through calf-deep flooded roads, trying to stay upright around the tight U-turns and ramps and powering through the torrential rain! It was so heavy I could barely see ahead and just followed the lead bike.
Needless to say, I was running well and leading the women in both events. But as we approached the turnaround for our second lap, which was the finish line for the 10K race, we were told the half marathon was canceled and we were all finishing at 10K. So I picked up my pace for that final 200m to come in as first female in 35:41. I was so disappointed to finish, as I was ready for that second lap and feeling really great despite the extreme weather conditions. And had I known it was only going to be a 10K race, I am sure I could have run it quicker.
I ran that second lap anyway as a warm-down and caught up with the runners on their first lap, encouraging a few to keep going. I soon understood race organisers’ decision to call it off when I saw lightning and the mad rush to evacuate the stadium.
It was an unforgettable experience and although not what I planned, it was still a good 10K hit-out for my training. Now it is officially time to taper and only 11 days until I fly over to Rotterdam for what I hope will be my fastest marathon yet.