August 21, 2010
This was the last of the track series races for the season. My training has been pretty steady over the last few months and after a respectable 3000m in July, I had hoped to perform well. The goal was to run a sub 15:30 on a perfect day and I would have been satisfied with anything under 15:47 (my current PB).
After cheering on two open races in the 5000m (congrats to Richard Bellizz and Lucy Smith for taking the wins) it was our turn. There was a lot of talent on the line and I knew it would be a fast one. There would undoubtedly guys running under 15min so I had to make sure that I ran my own race against the clock rather that getting caught up in a pace that was too fast. To reach my 15:30 goal, I would have to run 74.5s laps (3:06 kms). I knew this would be tough, especially since the wind was pretty gusty.
Once the race started, the field quickly sorted itself out. Trevor O'Brian was doing the pacing up front, with Jim Finlayson, James Lader, and Ryan McKenzie behind. Next came Shawn Nelson, Sean Chester, Nick Walker, Craig Odermatt, myself, Walter Cantwell, Simon Dejong, and Kevin Searle. The first lap wasn't too fast (75 sec), but then the group in front of me started to pull away and I was left out in the wind. I decided it might be prudent to pull myself back to Craig so I could take advantage of his draft and pacing so I pull myself back up. Unfortunately, when I looked at my watch for the next lap and saw 70 sec I knew that pace was just too fast for me and if I tried to maintain it I would pay for it in a big way later in the race. I eased off and slipped back in into the 75 sec range for the next 5 laps or so. Because of the fast second lap, the first km went by in 3:03, a little ahead of my target.
I tried to settle in to a nice rhythm in the for the middle of the race, but it was more of a strain than it should have been. I was now quite a ways back from Craig and far enough ahead of those behind that I couldn't hear them. With about 4 or 5 laps to go I saw that Nick must have been having a bad day as well since he started to falter and fell behind Craig. If I would have been on form on the day, I should have been able to gain ground on him, but around the same time I really started to suffer. Someone shouted that there was a train wreak happening up front and that I should gun it. Too bad that I was in the same wreak, only I was the caboose! My splits dropped to 77 sec, then to 79 and finally to 80 sec. I lost pretty much all of my time in the last 5 laps, the opposite of the way I wanted to finish. I did manage an OK last 200m closing it in 37 sec, but it was of little help to my overall time which came in at 15:54.
My time was just 7 sec slower than my Bazan Bay 5k time and my second best 5k time ever so and all told not that bad considering how I felt. It was disappointing though as I know I should have been able to perform at a higher level. James ended up out kicking Jim for the win in 14:45 nearly lapping me in the process. Shawn also ran well finishing in 15:07 for 3rd place.
While it was not my day, best just to move on and get ready for the next race. Right now, I have to decide what to concentrate on in the upcoming months. Should I stay focused on the shorter distances on the road, go longer, or go back to the trails.
A big thanks to Chris Kelsell on a successful track series - I hope he brings in back next year.