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Hunter Valley Running Festival: 10KM Course PB!


Another backlog of my race report happened on July 17, 2011.

This run has been long time advertised and was being organized in Woodstock since April after the Canberra Marathon trip with Joe and Therese’s Woodland Tours.  And Woodstock has been participating to this run in three years now in teams.  Also we have been getting awards on this event.

The Trip: Aside from the run, the trip to the wineries is always fun, specially if it involves wine tasting, cheese sampling and pub hopping!

And so our President in Woodstock, Martin, deviced a time scoring method called the Wine-adjusted time! Who ever nominates and runs in closes in his estimated slowest time which is affected from being too drunk or dehydration – due to alcohol wins!  I nominated 51 minutes.  And realized that was tad quicker than my time last year of 55 minutes, so I must been overly optimistic.

This has attracted number of Woodies, as it has been organized for two days that involves the winery tour and the run.

Unfortunately, not in a bad way, Tez and I have to skip from joining thr group although we already have registered and have been counted with the teams, we were not able to join the group for the weekend due to Tez’ mom’s 50th.  Where we had our fair share of wine and food so that was okey.  The logistics however will involve us waking up earlier to drive an hour and a half up the wineries from Central coast before the race starts at 9:00.  Got to love winter running starts later than the usual!

Just before we reached the start, Hot-air balloon hovering us! pretty!

Woodstock runners were registered in the 10KM run.  This will make up the team of four for the Marathon team event.  And because we are not there during the expo the day before, we asked Martin to pick our race packs on our behalf.  We were told that he will meet us at 8am at the start chute. We arrived a little bit later than 8 and we’ve searched the grounds not to find a single soul of Woodie which is very rare, as it is very easy to spot a white with blue printed singlet most of the time.  After looking for 10 minutes, we gave up and thought the group probably have drank too much the night before and are now suffering the consequences.  Well guess what? 5 minutes later we see a group of white and blue emerging on top of the hill waving although they do not look so flash, specially Barney who says he is feeling hangoverish!  No doubt!

Start:So  we got our packs, pinned our bibs and tied our chips.  And then I had to decide last minute to go to queue up to the portaloos.  Hoping I don’t miss the start, although it will be timed by chip time, I told Tez to wait for me.  Lucky around 6 minutes before the start I am finished.  This is the best portaloos ever.  Well not quite, I mean they are still yucky etc, but outside the portaloos, they have the portable sinks with soap and paper towels and bins! A star for that.

And so i did search for Tez amongst the crowd which suddenly packed but can’t find him so I decided to go to the Start chute anyway and there he was.  Chatting with the team, and knowing what happened last year of the walk because we positioned ourslef at the back of the walkers, we smartly positioned ourselves this time in the mid pack of the group of runners.

So the gun was fired.  We jogged towards the garden which is same as last year, but better as how we were now.  And already mind set that this will be a slow race and will instead enjoy it rather than race and run for competition.  Have ran this 3 times now twice for 10K and once for the half so I do know what the course is like and what to expect.

Some imprevements from last year: Through the wineries of undulating hills of bitumen and loose soil, until you rich the Killer Hunter Valley hill around the 4Km mark.  I did walk this on the past runs, I will try my best to run as far as I could.  Which I did, and walk around 10 meters or less at the end.  Legs was lazy and I was being soft!  I can see Steve ahead of me for few meters.  I was trying to get and run with him but he was quick and good I can’t find him after I did the walk.  We reached the first water station, guess what? they do have electrolyte drinks this time.  I am glad they do listen to feedbacks, as I mentioned about this last year.  Although someone did kick up a stink of my sook that 10KM does not need electrolyte drinks. Anyway, I am glad they have it. So after that, i told myself to push harder this time knowing I know the killer hill is gone, but then I know near the end, there is this little longish incline i did not like either.  So i was just savoring the run through the winery roads.

There were few whom I passed, and a few passed me too.  At that last hill I was talking about I was being soft again and did a walk, and so there is this lady who is above my age category overtook me.  And I let her be.  She looks strong and she is running well.  I did not want to puch myself that day.  After that brisk seconds of walking, I decided to harden up and run.  So I did.  I know its just less than 2 kilometers away to the finish.  And i have to suck it up thinking its just less than 10 minutes and I should be crossing the finish line.  I can hear the PA already so thats a good sign we are getting close and Can see the Finish.  However, I forgot the finish route, where you can have a glimpse of the finis line yet you have to go around the car park before getting there! At that point since I thought we were already near, I did run too quick too soon I thought, and caught up with older lady and surprisingly she gave up and told me as i was running beside her to go for it and go ahead.  So I did, and ran as quick as I could and all i wanted is to beat my nominated time of 51.  And so I crossed the finish line, liking the cheers from the woodie supporters who did not run due to sickness and injury.  Well guess what? I did beat my nominated time seconds quicker, and another course pB for me for the 10KM distance.  Not the quickest but I am happy with the course PB.

To the finish

Go the Woodies! After all the woodies have crossed the finish line, we went for breakfast and the rest of the group on the bus decided they should move and go back to Sydney.  As Tez and I decided to hang around a lil bit longer for the awards learning Mick was 2nd in the 10KM run.  That was the longest wait however for the 2 hours wait :(.  Although they did post the provisional results out, and so we knew our position on the teams.  Woodstock men got 2nd and Woodstock Women got 1st.  We got wine each for the placing and unfortunately, and sadly how they managed and decided the placing, the runners in a team of four are excluded in the ranking from the 10KM results.

Some stuff ups: So we learned at the end that Mick did not even get his award and was not recognized even though he crossed the finish 37 seconds quicker than the 3rd runner! Yes because he was in a relay.  I think they should have at least recognized that! at the end of the ceremony we complained and they gave us wine and certificate for Mick.  And promised to send the trophy.  I emailed them Monday evening as to learn there were no corrections made on the results and as the organizers did promise they will be sending trophy.  Sadlly until now, not even an appology or an explanation was made to the team.  Fair enough for the rest of teh woodies who were not the quickes this Sunday.  I think they should re-think of how they do the overall rangkings next time.  You do understand this if you are kind-of a seriuos runner not to mess up with the time.  This is the 2nd time to get Mick’s results stuffed up, 1st in cook’s river where they gave his award away to someone else who is slower than him and then this!  This timing companies should get their act together hey!

Anyway, we were happy with the wine and left the wineries before it gets too late as it takes 3 hours to Sydney.  Sad part, few hours arriving home, after greeting my mom’s happy birthday, 2 hours later I learned my grandma Catherine passed away … 😥 was a very sad day… sad week for me.

Distance: 10KM
Time: 51:25, 1st FTeam Category
Location: Hunter Valley, NSW
Woodstock Female Team, 1st Marathon 4×10 runners: 3:47:58


One Comment leave one →
  1. 15/08/2011 3:09 am

    Nice to see you posting again. At least things seem to have been straightened out.

    Yes me too :). I’m still missing my grandma everynow and then, but i’m happy she’s rested now.

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