Sunday, 11 March 2012

Pearson! Looking good!

Posted by speedygeoff on Sunday, March 11, 2012 with 1 comment

"Australia's Sally Pearson replicated the form that bagged her the world outdoor high hurdles title to scoop gold in the world indoor 60m hurdles in Istanbul." See the full article at

Who ran this morning: we went over to Stromlo Forest Park to run some kilometres: Andrew ran three averaging under 3:40, and Lucia ran three averaging under 4:10. Ewen, Ruth & I just ran.

2012 Sprint Marathon Relay - the write-up.
Jim White race organiser of the Annual Sprint Marathon asked me if I would run in this year's event. In fact, pen in hand, he asked everyone he saw. Jim organises a fascinating and friendly event every February, which I will attempt to describe further down. Although I am usually not much of a km-interval runner these days, and I hate risking injury and letting the team down by pushing too fast in a relay of any kind, particularly a continuous relay, I thought it would fun to be a part of this unique event for another year so I agreed I would run.
  •          Training partners told I won’t be at Stromlo today. Check!
  •          Brightly coloured green racing singlet. Check!.
  •          Brightly coloured green racing shoes. Check!.
  •          Full change of clothes and towel in case of rain. Check!
  •          Alarm set for 5:30am so I can get to Dunrossil Drive by 7:15am. Check!
At the race venue … who is in my team? Are they sprinters or distance runners? Sprinters would give us a potential challenge: keeping them going at the end; distance runners would mean a potential challenge for ME to keep going at the end. Where along the course do I start? Where am I when I have to chase down the baton? Who from the other teams are in my group, those I will be racing each time and hanging around the change over points with? 

There were eight teams: there were eight batons of various colours and the teams were named after the batons. There were six runners in each team and two or three others not participating. We could make up to fifty new friends all in one day!

Luckily rain never came and it stayed mild and pleasant. Perfect conditions for short sharp intervals with a long standing-around recovery. Drinks at each change-over point were provided. Had it turned out warm and sunny we would have been OK. I got picked number 2 in the team which meant I started at the furthest point of the course; runner 6 who is the team’s slowest goes first and runner 1 who is the fastest goes second. Plenty of time to get there. I looked around at the group of number 2 runners. It appeared that I may be the slowest in the group but that did not matter; it would be balanced out by the rest of the team, in theory anyway.

Here comes the baton! We are in the lead! John and Stuart have run blinders first up. I take over and set off like a scared rabbit. After 500m up a slight hill I am passed by one, two, three runners. After 1km I hand over in fourth place. Then I wait while my five team mates complete six kilometres before I have to run again. And again. And again. After an hour of the relay we are not leading; we are running last. But towards the end of the relay we are fighting two other teams for fourth place. We end up fourth. Great effort, guys! Finally as each of us finishes and hands the baton on, we must keep running to catch the baton again. We all make it and cross the line hand-in-hand. I seem to have forgotten that I didn’t want to run too hard, it was an all out effort at the end, for all of us.

Then the presentation. Jim has done a wonderful job organising it all; John Suiter and Stuart Reid have done a wonderful job recording results and timing the teams at the end of each lap. Trophies are given to the winning team and attractive “wooden spoon” trophies to the last team as well. Everyone goes away happy!

How it works: relay teams comprise six members. The course is six kilometre around. There are five 1k legs and a 2k leg, although runner 6 starts the relay with the second half of the 2k leg, this runner not doing the first half until the finishing sprint. The total distance is 36k; not a marathon then. Nor is it a sprint of course. At the end as each runner passes on the baton for the last time, they keep going as best they can along the rest of the course until they reach the finish line, when all team members must cross together holding hands.

See the club website for full results and photos!

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to run slower next year. I really want our team to win the wooden spoon - those trophies were brilliant!

    Yes, love watching our Sally race. She's a natural talent and a natural.