Let’s just say it was big smiles all round at the end of this one.
A regular 10k road race, the Launceston ten does attract its fair share of elites being a fast, flat course and, this year, nicely timed to lead up to the Olympics. Its lack of elevation means it’s the ideal opportunity to “open it up and see how it goes” and, as you’re aware, that was the plan for us.
When we met up prior to the race, the sun was out, but the air was cold…ambient temp less than 2 degrees. Brrr! We had to get our guys to attach our race numbers as our shivering fingers were pretty much rendered useless! Once suited up – gloves, arm warmers, TRR singlets and favourite Lululemon shorts, we headed off to catch up with friends and running buddies and to warm up.
Due to some serious weather in Launceston the week leading up to the race (flood gates closed and suburbs evacuated), the number of entrants was down on recent years.
The flipside being that the line ups to porta-loos were minimal and finding a spot in the starting group towards the front was no problem. Kudos to race organisers – these two important things are often hard to get right!
For some reason, we had been assigned ‘top 100’ numbers (someone had NOT read our entry forms correctly) and our consecutive low numbers meant we had our own dedicated starting area in order to get away cleanly….in with the elites…you know, the ones who run this race 12 minutes faster than us? Obviously this was an error, but we were tempted to step over the rope and hop in with them….tempted for about 10 seconds! We looked at each other and burst out laughing…WHAT were we thinking? We could only imagine how funny it would look – the gun goes, the elite pack is off the line in 2:30 pace, we saunter out at 4…
Instead, we tucked ourselves neatly towards the front of the not-elite, but still bloody-quick group and prepared for race start. As with most races less than 10ks in distance, we had agreed not to stick together and to run our own race. And we did.
Our pace was solid, evidence of those months of speed-work since Hobart’s Run the Bridge in February. Headstrong and determined we wanted those PBs and got them. Gabby crossed the line first in 41:04 while Bec followed in 41:48 – taking chunks of time (multiple minutes) off our PBs.
The finish line was a celebration – as it always is with us! All hugs (some bent over, some upright), kisses and smiles. We compared times, races and paces in the post-race frenzy – before greeting other finishers we knew (and some we had simply run with out there). We found our guys and kids and rushed over for more hugs and kisses.
We often wonder what it’s like for our guys at races. Post-race, we are scarily high on life – whooping and what-not, way more than usual. They are usually cold, NOT up to their eyeballs in endorphins and simply trying to avoid their feet getting vomited on by random competitors. Maybe it’s like watching people at a party when you’re the designated driver – sober, mildly amused, and just waiting for it all to be over. Hmmm…they’re really good guys.
We ended the day as any race day should end – with wine, pasta, coconut water slushies and plenty of laughs. And talk of the next one. While our individual races were different experiences, there is always learning. We use races as opportunities to learn more about ourselves and our abilities – and to set more goals. We came away with confidence that more work – both mental and physical – will see our results improve further in future. The next major goal is to sub 40 minutes on this 10k beast and we believe we can. Learning to push through pain and go to that next level is what is needed here.
Watch this space….
Gabby & Bec