With no training to report on today, I thought I would include a copy of an article I wrote for my Kew Camberwell District AAC's July 1981 newsletter about an incident in a race earlier that year.
The gun fired (Fred's whistle blew) for the start of the annual Victorian Marathon Club Tullamarine Half Marathon on 2 May 1981 and the field settled into the traditional bunch to fight the gale-force headwind. The pace was extremely slow, but like half a dozen others, I was more than happy to let a "bigger bloke" bear the brunt of the conditions. The course consists of two equal laps with three-quarters of each lap passing through windswept rural land and the remainder through suburban Tullamarine. Initially you head north into the country and I waited until we turned south out of the wind before making my move to the front. By the time I had covered five miles, I was into the suburbs again with a lead of some two minutes.
|On my way to 2nd Place (2:31) in the 1976 Victorian |
Marathon Club Marathon Championship.
I unleashed my finishing burst eleven kilometres early and rapidly closed on the rear of the van as the driver struggled for traction on the road attempting to round the front of his vehicle. He was wearing football boots and they were slipping on the bitumen! The passenger was also getting out and I really put my head down. The driver reached the grass verge and accelerated rapidly but not quite quickly enough and I just managed to evade his outstretched hands. My nascent sense of victory was aborted by the sight of another van stopping further up the road. Two large fellows got out, and with arms spread-eagled, blocked the path in front of me. The footballer was still hot on my heels and I had visions of the rest of the field seizing their opportunity to overtake while I was pummelled to a pulp on the footpath. On my left was a metre high school fence. Just as I was about to vault it and head for Mildura, the fellows in front yelled to my pursuers to leave me alone and moved apart to let me through. They then jumped on the footballer and I never looked back. However, I did run on the right-hand side of the road for the remainder of the race (despite Fred's remonstrations) figuring that if the lads wanted to run over me from behind they would at least have to drive on the wrong side of the road to do it.