Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sydney Half Marathon

On Saturday evening, I was feeling pretty tired by 19:30, so I decided to go to bed and read, hoping to get some sleep. I got a text message from my cousin a few minutes later wishing me well in the race and only then did my nerves kick in! I tried to sleep but only got an hour or two here and there. I was awake when the alarm went off at 04:00 (aka dark o'clock!)...
I got myself ready and got the train direct to the start line (about 300m away anyway). There was free public transport for runners all day :-)
I was an hour early for the start, but I don't like rushing these things! I was hoping to run with one of the 110min pacers, but all the pacers bunched up at the start of our group, so I didn't get to them. A high point, was overtaking the 110min pacers at 4.5k though. I kept going.
At the 10k mark (sub-60min-ish) I did some maths and figured I needed to push the pace, so I did and kept it up.
At the 16k mark I thought I "only" had to do a sub-30min 5k to get in under 120mins, so I pushed the pace again.
With 2k to go I really wanted to walk, just for a minute, but I knew I was really close to the time I wanted, so I kept running. I was really feeling it for every step and knew that if I stopped running I wouldn't start again. For the last 1k I was willing the line closer and was watching the seconds slipping away and then I made it! Just after I finished I got a text message to say that my official time was 1:57:48

Not only had I achieved my sub-2hr goal, I also beat my cousin Salena :-)
My legs were complaining a lot and I daren't sit down, so I headed home after seeing the first person for the marathon finish in 2:24 (pic of the marathon winner below).

While walking to the train, I spotted Jaydub (a DailyMile buddy) on Phillip Street running his marathon and he was a min or so ahead of the 4 hour pacer! I shouted encouragement, but he didn't hear. That was at 10:30, so he still had an hour to go. I hobbled home and collapsed on the bed for a 90min "nana nap". After that, I took a dunk in a bath of cold water, then had a hot shower. Then walked down to the local town and back, just to keep moving.

Unofficial time 1:56, but we went through a tunnel, so my Garmin auto-paused, must turn that off.
I really enjoyed the race and would definitely recommend it, loved every minute. There weren't that many hills and what hills there were, were pretty short.
Here is the pace I was getting, each "lap" is 1km:
1    5:37   
2    5:43   
3    5:07   
4    5:34   
5    4:37    Tunnel
6    5:43   
7    5:21   
8    5:41   
9    5:42   
10    5:46   
11    5:57   
12    5:33   
13    5:29   
14    5:44   
15    5:30   
16    5:54    Hills
17    5:42    Hills
18    5:20   
19    5:32   
20    5:44   
21    5:19   
22    5:11   

 You can see from those figures that I was slowing down around 10k 14k and 16k, but that I put on the pace some more towards the end.
I took an Endurolyte before the race, one at 8k with a gel, one at 16k with a gel and one more after the race. I used my Hydrapouch for the first time on this race and would highly recommend it, I reckon I wouldn't have had a sub-2hr time without it.
Anyway, I am now going to bed, as I am wrecked!

Thanks for all your good wishes and messages.



  1. I knew you would do well Eoin. Congrats.

  2. Well done Eoin. A great result and a great report. Congratulations!

  3. well done, my time was 157.24, we run a very simialr pace, although at km20 i felt something slip that now feels very crunchy in my tomorrow....probably spells some time off....whats your next goal ? Im aiming for April Canberra Maratrhon although on sunday i was telling myself this was ridiculous near the end..

  4. Thanks Paul!
    I'm booked in for the Auckland Marathon at the end of October. During the half on Sunday I kept thinking "how can I possibly do twice this distance?"...
    I have another half coming up in December too, so I'll try for 1:55 or better on that :-)