|Two Peoples Bay, near where I stayed when I ran the|
Albany Marathon in 1981
I still intend to run the regular Six at Six tomorrow night and the 25km Woodford to Glenbrook trail race on Sunday, but it's hard to believe I'm going to run well in either. I'm in the "stick to the plan and it will all work out" mode, which has generally served me well in the past, but not always.
|Near the half-way point of the Albany Marathon course|
They organized the tickets and I travelled to Albany two days before the race, staying in a lovely guest house on a bay to the east of town. My Achilles was very sore and I hadn't run further than 16km in three weeks. Then, to my consternation, I developed a blister on a short training run, and through changing my gait, ended up with a painful locked muscle on the outside of my left shin. I was having trouble walking, let alone running, but didn't feel I could, or should, say anything about my problems to the organisers. I just hoped that I could win the event with a minimum of fuss, even if my time was slower than predicted.
|My Race Certificate for the Albany Marathon|
I reached the half-way point in exactly 1:12:30, and glanced over my shoulder, hoping nobody would be in sight. Dave was a good runner, but with a best of just under 2:30, I hoped he would not be in contention at that pace in a minor marathon. Alarmingly, he was less than 100 metres behind, obviously having a great run, and with me squarely in his sights. I was not going to be able to coast the last half and tried to lift my tempo a little. It was very hard work, made harder by some violent cold rain squalls and fierce winds in the last 10km. The finish finally came into sight and I collapsed across the line in exactly 2:25:05, drenched, absolutely exhausted and in a lot of pain from my injuries. Dave followed a minute or so later in a new Personal Best time.
The organizer commented that my time matched my pre-trip prediction almost exactly and that my two halves were perfectly even. I could tell he thought it was just a "milk run" for me, where I had taken it as easily as I could whilst meeting my commitment. In reality, it was one of the hardest races I ever ran, and one of those of which I am most proud.