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SMH Half Marathon Part 1: Left my Bib and chip!!!


I registered in this race even before I registered my full Marathon.  The Full wasn’t really planned, this was.  However after registering in Canberra Marathon, I was worried about SMH Half Marathon, would have I been well recovered by then?

I wasn’t able to do any longer distance training aftar the marathon, I still feel tired and a persistent knee niggle i am ignoring.  The longest run I had after Canberra Marathon was last Sunday’s Sri Chinmoy at the bay, which I am surprised to have had a PB.  I haven’t done this race before, as I heard a lot are commenting about a dreaded Hunter’s Hill.

Brendan's map of the Event

Brendan's map of the Event

In Woodstock, aside from entering the teams officially in the race, we had an internal team competition.  Whoever has the least difference from the absolute total of the team wins.  I was teamed with Kim, Dierdre and Fumi.

I got up 20 past 5 in the morning, suppose to be at 5, but I was too sleepy from the cold weather and sent sms to John if he wanted to share a cab instead to the city since the bus schedules are not in synch to the time we wanted to be at the start.  Before he arrived the driveway we were already waiting, as I made sure not to make him wait as I always do.  Carrying my shoes and watch with me and put on my shoes at the cab.  We arrived just past 630 at the start and I realized I forgot my bib and my timing chip at home!!  I realized when I saw runners passing us and their chips on their laces!  I was so disappointed with myself for doing that!

Very bad way to start a race! I was quiet not until we reached the deserted starting line I admitted I left my bib and chip I needed to get back home! And I was suggested to find the event expo and look for a chip and bib replacement.  I had to pay 20 dollars more! Because of my forgetfullness, its a first time for this to to happen to me! It was more expensive as I calculated in the back of my head if I would have raced back home and took another taxi it is more expensive than paying the 20 dollars and plus would leave me no time to prepare, stretch and psyche myself.  I hated my self for a second for that but lessons are learned. (No I can donate two of my chips to sydney marathon clinic as the organizers were not collecting the chips and the SMC can use them for the series).  So don’t go looking for my old bib number online if you are trying to stalk me :p.

My Replacement Bib #

Anyway at the start, we saw Dot.  Then Brendan and Bronwyn, then Kim at the dunny queues.  Drank my can of V and walked Terry to the Woodstock cheering corner and had my stretches and from there I did my warm up jog back to the start line.  I positioned myself at around 5 meters away from the start line. At 730 am, the gun start was shot.  I was walking around 4 seconds before I am able to at least jog to cross the start mat.

It was a very crowded, start.  I tried to find my way through and weave amongst the crowd, and seed myself to the proper space and pace.  Past 5 minutes was the only time I am able to at least get the running space I was looking for.  I saw a fellow Woodstock, Stephen Brown’s back, then passed him and saw Dierdre next, it was hard as she was running ahead of me, I was wanting to run with her and say hi.  That was the hill at the Rocks.  Said my Hi’s and How are you and I left her.  Before the turn to the Harbor/Circulat Quay, I was elbowed by someone, and I am surprised that “Superman/Marathon Man” still remembers me from the Canberra Marathon.  We exchanged pleasantries and he shook my hand. Then I went ahead of him.

Marathon Man

Marathon Man

Just after the curve, i suddenly heard a senior male runner running behind me, asking if I was at the Canberra Marathon.  Surprised again for someone to have recognized me amidst crowds and I am a bit embarassed not to know them even by their face!  Again we exchanged pleasantries asking how he went in the marathon etc.  This time he left and sped off, soon after a Sydney Strider’s lady was cheering “Go Woodstock!”, whom I cheered back Go Striders! I was running just at her tail for the first 7 Kms and I realized she was running in speed I shouldn’t be running with as I can feel my legs overheating.  So I slowed down a bit.  I was also kind of disappointed that the Kilometer markers were not clear, some were at the event banners, but it is not runner friendly! When you are running you are not looking at up but on the road or eye level.  So my Pace tape was not put into use.

Then we were back to the CBD roads now I finally met Hunters Hill.  It was hard running in the speed I was going, I knew I was still running faster than I planned.  I was puffed at the top of this hill, I was so wanting to walk but I did not because I did not want to.  Just before going back to the start loop, I saw Brendan going back for his second lap and I was back to Prince Albert cor Macquarie Street, I heard Tezza and Anthony cheering, then we are headed to Domain, I was surprised and cheered by another expectating Woodie, Andrea.  Seeing other runners on the other side of the road I felt motivated, how could they be faster than me?! I asked myself! I was not looking forward to that incline on that street however.

Then back we go, I saw Tristan’s side but he was running puffed as well so I though I’d let him concentrate, It was a bit too far to cheer for him anyway.  I am almost half way there …

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