The last race of the Launceston Running Club’s March to September season was yesterday. It’s been another lovely season of interesting runs in the town and out in the country, short distances and long. These are handicapped races where everyone is encouraged to do their very best and everyone has the opportunity to win a race.
So much can happen in the last km of these events. Even in the last metres! Of course I don’t get to see the pointy end very much. After a win last year my handicap has been readjusted as is every winner’s. There is a system where after a win an extra amount of time is put on the runner, then through the course of the season some people get small lifts in time depending on how they are running. I love the system. It gives everyone the opportunity to get up to that pointy end! I’ve had a wonderful season at the back of the pack, my happy place.
Of course first for a back of packer is over rated. Yes, I mean it! When I finish an event my friends are always there waiting for me. They cheer and encourage. They come over with drinks and tissues and even remove my timing chip because I’m too exhausted to bend down. Coming first isn’t that much fun really because my friends are still out on the course and they’re not there to see my finish. Of course the one time I did win I loved it! What a totally awesome delight! And it came with a trophy. Something I thought I never would achieve, but it is possible at the Club where you can run for fun. Launceston Running Club.
Yesterday I was the 24th winner at the Country Club 10km Feature Race at Hillwood. My handicap was 18:30 and my time was 57:20. There are some massive hills in this event; Hillwood by name and terrain. I was so pleased with my run. I loved it. I struggled a little bit and my quads were on fire going up some of those inclines. I zoomed down the declines and encouraged every antelope, gazelle and greyhound as they sped by me. The fast runners have massive handicaps but they still pass me. Some went around that course in just over 30 minutes!
As I came into the sports ground where the race starts and finishes I was feeling pumped and elated to be feeling so good. I had truly loved my run. This race is a tough one because of the hills but also because there is this massive lap of the football oval at the end. The finish line is in sight but we run right passed it and lap the oval before coming back to it.
And who was standing there with the finishing ribbon around his neck cheering me on? After running those 10kms in 45:33 with a handicap of 2610???
My husband Pauly!
Some people didn’t have such good runs yesterday. One lady who was a favourite just didn’t feel the love.
While the handipcaps are adjusted all year to reflect where runners have won and what their times have been, the Feature Race is handicapped on a different system so that anyone has the opportunity to win. There is a Calcutta the day before and runners are bid on and bought for the highest price. This lady in question went for over $100. Pauly was bought for $40 as a bit of an outsider (although some of the Club stalwarts got together and analysed the handicaps and race times throughout the season; they thought Paul was a definite contender to win. All of this is taken quite seriously in the best humoured sort of way. The Unsporty Woman was bought for a massive $10! Would’ve been better to just buy me and the purchaser a coffee me thinks, instead of throwing the money away.)
At first this lady zoomed out, she flew up the hills. The next thing I could see her walking way in the distance. As I came to do the lap of the oval she was walking again. It’s just not your day today, I said. No, she said, no energy. Come on I said, let’s make this last lap count, I encouraged. Off she went and I had no hope of catching her.
This lady is about 10 years older than me and keeps on getting faster and faster. She really is an inspiration to us runners in our 50s. She’s out there looking great and running fast!
I guess some days we just don’t feel the love. Like my run last Sunday. But then sometimes it all comes together. It’s those runs that really encourage and make us feel like our dreams will come true. But those bad runs? They are all part of the picture. We need them too. We need bad runs to teach us that even when things aren’t going well we can push on and keep on going.
I’m so proud of my Pauly. A winner of the Feature Race with his name on the perpetual trophy of the most wonderful Running Club. Despite a late night the night before, going out for dinner with friends, then having to monitor machines in the dairy until after 11pm. Then getting up at 5am, zooming in from farm work with 10 minutes to spare before we had to leave. No breakfast even! He ran the best race and came home with a trophy. Even without a trophy he is a winner to me.
My theme at the moment for my posts is don’t give up. It’s just happening that way because that’s how I feel. I’m grasping onto the positives and reminding myself that I can’t give up. If you can dream it and put in the training then you can achieve it. Just keep on going. Don’t give up.
Today is Unsporty Women Can Run’s Third Anniversary. Who knew that running and blogging would take me on such an amazing adventure and introduce me to some of life’s true treasures and angels. I didn’t. An enormous thank you to those who have followed along. I wanted to write about my running story and hopefully encourage others, but as it turns out those who read, like and comment give me so much more than I could ever give. Thank you.
Happy running 🙂
PS I’m pleased to report that Martin and Lance who I mentioned in my last post both finished their events (marathon and 100km ultra). AND Janette did her longest training run today and smashed it! 32kms and she sped up at the end. Pauly and I did the last 14kms with her at just under 6:00 minute pace. These are three wonderful runners who are smashing their running goals and making their dreams come true by sheer hard work, determination, hours in their running shoes and a whole lot of smiles, laughs and positive attitudes.