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Monday 23 June 2003
Caboolture Road Runners Results

Caboolture Road Runners have performed exceptionally well in recent weeks at events in Gympie, Hervey Bay and ...Edinburgh!

Rattler sees light at the end of the tunnel Look out, he's back!! At the Race the Rattler event it was great to see Phil McClure return to running again after a long recovery from serious injury. Phil had previously won this event and, in fact, held the course record. This year there were a few changes to the course and an awesome first time participant in expat Kiwi Mark Hutchinson. A quick search of the internet shows a wealth of information about this bloke who recently moved to Caboolture and has been training with Chris Surmon. Mark has won the Auckland Marathon a couple of times and many other top line events. The best time we could find for him was a 2:16 marathon, but that may not be his PB. With this pedigree he was always going to be tough to beat even in company with champions like Phil and Pat Carroll. Mark finished in 1:01.55, incredibly just seconds behind the first team of four male runners. Pat followed in 1:02.57 with Phil close behind at 1:07.15. Chris Surmon also finished strongly in 5th place.

The club enjoyed mixed results in the various teams with a few non starters but everyone agreed yet again that this event is a unique experience on a difficult course. Our teams were sponsored by Gympie autObarn, CooloolaBusiness.com and Cooloola Regional Development Bureau

Best PB on the day? Steve H reckons he excelled this year in the free (definitely not three) champagne race after the run, with a few too many beers to follow. "I was definitely drunker this time than last year" he told us. Whisper is he had a little competition from someone else on the day who shall remain nameless but really enjoyed herself - until the car trip home.

Russell and Bob looking pleased after top performances at the Fraser Coast The Fraser Coast Road Runners half and 10 kilometre events at Hervey Bay on 15 June saw some more great performances from Caboolture Road Runner members. Russell James has been working very hard to crack the 90 minute barrier for half, and did so in fine style with a 1:27.10, made all the sweeter by finishing second as well. Can he go better at the Gold Coast? No pressure or anything Russell. Incidentally Russell will be spending some time on a house boat at the Gold Coast and has generously invited everyone to join him aboard after the race. Ever see a film called Captain Ron starring Kurt Russell? All our Russell needs is an eye patch while he strolls about the deck, and he'd make a fine pirate!

Another star on the day was Bob Hill. The new house and sea air must agree with him because he had an excellent run of 43:41 to win the open category in the 10k. Wonder what he does for hill training now Campbells Pocket is behind him? Who cares, whatever he's doing it must be working.

Finally, Dave Spence was in Edinburgh for the marathon there and has written the following excellent story. It's a great read, exciting and truly inspiring. Enjoy!

Dave's Race Report on the Edinburgh Marathon, 15 June 2003

Looking focussed When I entered the Edinburgh marathon back in December, my intention was to just enjoy running in a biggish capital city marathon in a different country, enjoying the sights and meeting some locals. I found out later that the course was not a fast one, due mainly to the race organisers opting for glimpses of elevated local landmarks over a fast flat route. Geoff Simms, the race director, proudly boasts that the course is "one of the most challenging big city marathons in the world", which I have to admit was not exciting news.

I started my training for the big day after we arrived in England in late March, and endured some pretty harsh weather conditions during training runs over the next two months that I kept telling myself would prepare me for raceday in Scotland. Because I wasn't aiming for a big performance on the day, I had at least two days off each week (sometimes three) and didn't keep a log, I just ensured that I did two quality sessions each week, a long slow run and a mid-week semi-long tempo run. These were the two sessions that I felt had given me the biggest benefit during previous marathon preparations, and at the time, all I really wanted was to finish at Edinburgh, after all, this was a tough course and to chase a good time here was probably being a bit optimistic.

Apart from a couple of little muscle tears in my calf (with more days off), I had a good preparation and felt confident that I would get across the line in a respectable time, perhaps 3:20, a bit more if the hills in the course took their toll.

At last the day arrived, with warmish overcast conditions and I felt ready. Got to Meadowbank stadium where the 1980 something Commonwealth games were held and counted down the minutes, as you do. The race finally got underway and 4,200 brave souls headed out on what was essentially an untried marathon course. The first three k were all uphill, winding around "Arthur's Seat", a bloody big hill in the middle of the city. It reminded me of climbing the Gateway Bridge, except a couple of k longer! I have to admit, this part of the course had been bothering me, so it was good to get it out of the way. I took it easy going up, making sure that I didn't spend too much too early. I cruised down the other side, getting into a pace that I'd never enjoyed during a marathon, I just wasn't sure how this would affect me later in the race, but you never ever know if you never ever go.

Hill out of the way and into the city. More ups and downs and cobblestones, don't like cobblestones, hard to run on cobblestones. After 7 miles (11.6k), at last a bit of flat road, time to have a think about where I'm at. My pacing was all over the place because of the hills, and with the mile markers instead of kilometres, it was hard to keep track of what I should have been doing. By the time I got to about 10 miles, I'd worked out that I had been going a tad quick, I went through the half marathon in a sniff over 1:26, a bit faster than I had expected, and faster than any other marathon split I had ever done.

After the 8 mile mark we hit the coast and started ploughing westwards into a stiff headwind, strong enough at times to blow the spots off a dog. We all slowed up at this point and ground through the incessant gale for the next 9 miles. I was feeling the strain by Mile 17 when we turned to get the wind on our backs at last, it was fantastic. By mile 18 though I was going through a real rough patch and I had slowed to about 5 minute k's, if only I could hang on a bit longer, I might bag a sub-3, something I thought was well beyond me before the gun went. I toughed it out for about another mile before taking my last gel which got me going again and I started to pass people that had gone by me while I was struggling. I was feeling very shabby, but the sub three was beckoning, I only had to churn out another lousy 10 and a bit k in 45 minutes. It was do-able, but it was going to be hard.

The next few k went by and I was feeling a lot more positive, tracked down a young guy that I had followed for some time and offered some encouragement. He was shooting for his first sub-3 and had worked it all out , but was starting to fade. We stayed together for about 3k, which was about the time that he told me of the final hill, a long steady climb about a mile long starting at about the 39k mark. That blew me out of the water. I had nothing left in the tank, and thought I could struggle in for my sub 3 now that the big obstacles had been tackled and he tells me that the goal posts have shifted. I needed to dig really, really deep.

The next k was a struggle and I was starting to think some of those negative things that would give me the most comfortable way out of this situation. I could just stop and walk, finish the race, grab the T-Shirt and tell everyone how pretty the course was....but, I would never have known if I could have done it or not.

I hit the final hill and starting grinding my way up. I couldn't even acknowledge the well-wishers along the course by now, I was that stuffed. All I could think about was Steve Hayes saying "toof, toof"...what's wrong with me? Made it to the top, where's that finish line? Started to hear bagpipes and knew that I was close, so pushed a bit more, the sub-3 was mine, nothing was going to stop me now....nothing except a cramp. With about a k to go my left leg started grabbing and I knew I was only a few steps away from the full monty of hamstring cramps. Sure enough, it got me and I had to stop, swing my leg onto a handily placed bolster and stretch. That did the trick and I started again with renewed vigour....until, with about 300m to go the right leg did the same thing. There was an invisible shark latched onto the back of my leg and he wouldn't let go. No bolster this time, so I just did the old touch the toes trick which wasn't as effective and the muscle kept spasming as I ran on, threatening to go again at any time. I'd wasted a fair bit of time entertaining the crowd with the one-leg polka, so I was starting to accept that I would miss out narrowly this time.

The leg held out and I could sniff the finish, a quick look at the watch....two-fifty something....just run, don't think, just run, I thought. Turned the corner, entered the stadium, the crowd let out a huge roar. I looked at the clock, 2:59:56, but I had 60 metres to run. I knew that I wouldn't make sub-3 on that clock, but my chip time was different. I upped it, hit my watch and looked down....yahoooooo! 2:59:46, 28th overall and 3rd in my age group. Cant believe it!


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