Not just any run. Today was the Launceston Running Club’s Lilydale Lope. This is how it’s described in the Race Program:
Race starts and finishes outside the Lilydale Larder in the main street of Lilydale. Undulating (tough) scenic course via Lalla, Karoola and Second River Road. Come and enjoy the food and beverages at the Bakery, Café and Wine Bar.
Did you see that little word in brackets? ‘tough’.
I love the word undulating. It can mean so much depending on what sort of hills is normal to where we live. This one is hilly by Tasmanian standards. Yes, there are undulating bits but with a couple of great big hills thrown in too.
I had no expectations today other than to participate and finish. I did that AND took 50 seconds off my previous time. I didn’t manage to run the Lilydale Lope in 2015; this was my third time and just a little faster.
- 2013: 1:49:23
- 2014: 1:40:22
- 2016: 1:39:32
Have to be happy with that. One lovely chap who has only been running for a few years took 18 minutes off his time from last year!
What I love about LRC is that anyone can join. There are elites who regularly take out places and hold records in various distance events around the country. There are people who have only just started running and there are all sorts of runners (pace, age, style) in between. And we are a pretty friendly bunch too.
Pauly didn’t have the best of runs today. This was his second time running this event and he was a few seconds slower. He started off ok but the wheels fell off a bit and he slowed down. At first he was pretty hard on himself. He finished and from what I can see the time was A OK. Especially seeing as though he’s pretty strung out with farm stuff right now. One thing I’ve learnt through all my reading is that the body doesn’t differentiate between physical and mental stress. It’s all just stress. If I could run round that hilly 16.6km course in 1:27:22 I’d be stoked!
Here’s a funny story.
Pauly is a wonderful runner. It’s true. He runs a bit faster than average. He’s happy and encouraging and loves to help others get PBs. A pretty all-round nice-runner-guy. But did you know that for most runs I have to lay out his running gear? True. I have to organise everything. Just of late I’ve been trying to get him to be a little independent. One LRC run not so long ago, he got ready all by himself! But this is what happened….
LRC events are handicapped so I’m usually out running way before Pauly starts. We have a personal timing chip issued that we are responsible to bring along and wear for each event. This was an out and back run. I could hear his characteristic breathing coming up behind me…then he past me… I was admiring his fine ankles (he has very skinny ankles that are hairless thanks to years of wearing gum boots) when I noticed no timing chip on his ankle.
Where’s your chip Pauly?
He checks his back pockets, then looks down at his ankle. Forgot my chUp Bro, he said, in his broadest Kiwi accent.
He was soon a little dot in the distance and I kept running. Next thing I know I’m almost over the finish line… Pauly has zoomed past the finish line, back to the car (a block and a half away), grabbed his chip and come back around the finish line to record a time.
I don’t think he’ll forget his chip for a long time! Of course I have many many funny Pauly running stories that I can’t write about here. But if ever we get to have a glass of wine together, I’ll tell you! Remember to ask me about the time he forgot to put on his shorts and the time he… oh there are many!
What I love about this little series of photos is that is shows that running can be fun. We take running seriously but we don’t take ourselves seriously. Running is for anyone who wants to have a go. Don’t think that running clubs aren’t for us middle to back of packers, because they are. We are welcome! And it might make all the difference to helping us reach our running goals. I know LRC has done exactly that for me. There are very few flat LRC runs. All this hill running has made me mentally and physically tough. It’s helped with my confidence and race-day nerves. And today showed this. Thanks LRC. Thanks for allowing a back of pack runner to be part of a wonderful club.
…Come and enjoy the food and beverages at the Bakery, Café and Wine Bar. Thanks, I did! Lilydale Larder are a gracious sponsor of the race, it was only right that I bought some wine to take home.
Happy running 🙂
PS photos were taken by Glenn who regularly volunteers his time as LRC photographer. His creative work features frequently on the LRC Facebook page.