Kingston Run Challenge - 8.2 Miles

Kingston Run Challenge - 8.2 Miles

Evening all, Aussie here with a post race report.

More importantly, my first post race report since being sidelined on the injury couch for a few weeks. Work has also been crazy busy but I've been managing to keep up the running and completed the Kingston Run Challenge 8.2 miler today... and I ran the whole way without too much bother from the ankle and with enough in the tank for a sprint finish... :)

The race today was from central Kingston to Hampton Court Palace via the towpath and then the roads via Thames Ditton on the way back... There were 3 distances on offer - 8.2, 16 and 24... I'll have the 8.2 please!

Bright and early start after a decent night's sleep and the Aussies and the little Vegemites are in Kingston by 7:30 for an 8:00 start... It's a bit cold out there this morning and the warmth of the porridge I'd had 90 minutes before is wearing off... last bit of water and then the obligatory 1 mile queue for the loo...

Right - now to find my start position... today is part of the Garmin Pace Series so there are pacers from 6-12 minutes/mile... I think about joining the 6 minute pacer, realise I left my wings at home and settle in with the 11 minute/mile pacer... I figure he'll be coming in about 90 minutes and I want to do a sub 90 and push for a sub 85 time... just about here will be perfect then.... There's a LOT of runners here today... the most I've ever been a part of (I think there's over 1000 of us in total - 600 or more doing just the 8 miles)... The atmosphere is amazing... we're all in our phases for the start and then before we know it... we're moving... walking at first, then a slow jog and round the first corner and we're into it... I'm running right alongside the pacer and everyone is keeping themselves well spaced out and there's no mad overtaking or silly stuff here... this is why phasing the start works campers... :)

Through Kingston town, the roads have been closed for us and then it's over the bridge and a left turn onto the towpath... I'm already 1km in (sorry, I'll talk in km here - 13.2 today) and it feels great... I've stayed alongside the pacer until now and decide that I'm actually going slower than I feel comfortable with so I slip away ever so slightly now and just start to develop a rhythm to my run... trying to find someone in front of me to pace with (I did this a lot today - it was great) and remembering not to go out too fast too quick...

The first 5km are along the riverside and I know we're approaching Hampton Court Palace at about the 5K mark... I've run this towpath a few times before so once we hit the asphalt I know we've got less than a kilometre to the palace... And I'm starting to settle in now... this is feeling good... I'm speeding up every now and then settling in behind someone to slow down the heart rate a bit and recover... all while trying to stay reasonably stable in terms of pace... I manage a wave to the official photographers who said "best photo all day" (will need to check it out when it's uploaded)... smile and carry on... :)

5K clicks around in 31 minutes... time to start hydrating... sip of water every km or so from here so no need to mess about with plastic cups they are handing out... although please don't STOP to collect your water guys - there might be someone behind you running... doh!

Anyway, 6.6K in and it's halfway... now I start to purposefully dial-in a slighter higher heart rate and extend my stride... ever so slightly.... and just push on... it's just a push now... nice and steady... slotting in behind others running at the same pace...

At 9K we get another drink stop... I don't take the drink, but do take a "gel shot"... my advice - don't chew and run... I decide after about 60 seconds that chewing AND running is a stupid idea so unceremoniously dispose of the gel shot (out of the way of everyone else of course)... hehehe...

At 10km, it's all coming together... my breathing is settling in, I know I've got reserve in the tank and I know these roads... I'm not that far from where I started... time to put the pedal down...

About now is when I start to overtake... This is where the "go out slow and bring it home fast" mantra pays off... I'm now passing people (apparently about 15 of them according to the stats) who are struggling a bit and I'm feeling quite pleased with myself that I've saved the best until last... I can hear footfall behind me and there is no way I'm letting this guy past... we may be back of the pack but we had an amazing race over kilometres 11-12... I'd put the foot down when I heard him get close and he was pushing me to go faster....

With 1km to go, I get a shout from behind me "go for it mate - I'm done" and my sparring partner backs off a bit... Right - now it's time for me to push... I can breathe, I can feel my form is good and I want to finish this in style... I'm really pushing it out now (for me)... increasing my speed and just going for it... I can do this...

Into Kingston town and as I turn into the high street I know I've got about 300m to go... there's a bloke on a megaphone who says "I was going to push you for a sprint finish but looks like there's no need!"... I can't talk... manage almost a smile and push ... HARD ... I think I managed to overtake about 3-5 people in that last little section...

20m from the line and I hear "GO DADDY!"... look over to see the little Vegemites cheering me on just before the line! Here we go.. hands up! Big smile... GO! This one's for you kiddos...

Official time is 1:22:00 so considering I thought I might do a 1:30 and aimed to push for a sub 1:25, I'm a very happy boy... Sure, only 30 other blokes finished behind me and sure I was one of the slower runners but I didn't stop to walk, I didn't give up and I gave it everything I had while still remembering to enjoy it... and I think that was the best bit... some people looked "completely spent" ... I can understand pushing yourself ... but I went and had fun without killing myself... sure, it was darn hard work, but you know what I mean...

Oh - I also did a PB 10K - 1:01 today (amazing day folks all round)... so next Saturday when I do the Riverside Run 10K (yep - more bling) I'm going to have to aim for a sub 60 minute... Big breakfast post race with the family and a lovely day spent in Kingston...

My ankle is a little bit achey but I think it's going to be just fine (couple of twinges about 7km in and then nothing for the rest of the way)... new insoles appear to work, now a few days rest and this Aussie is back in the game... :) I feel so pleased with myself I can't tell you... to think back in March I couldn't run a bath and here I am running 13.2km on a Sunday morning for fun...

PS. Note to runners - when you cross the finish line, KEEP MOVING... I was coming in quite quick and nearly collected 3-4 of them... tsk tsk... :)

PPS. I also raised almost £200 for Sparks... so my healthy obsession will help out with kid's health...

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10 Replies

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  • Just fantastic ! That sounds like a great run, run well within your capabilities and a very creditable time. I am sure the vegemites are very proud of you. You are setting them a great example.

  • That is fantastic! And isn't it amazing how far you've come since March, what you can do now that you couldn't back then.

    Be proper pleased with yourself.

    :) xx

  • Yay youre the Daddy :-) Oh how lovely the little Aussiettes were there to cheer you to the line. You look so happy on that photo Aus, definitely one to keep .

    You have had such a tough time lately but you came through with flying colours ,Well done to you and Im glad you had a great race. Fab write up , as always .

    Congratulations , youre back in the game and long may it continue :-) xxx

  • So pleased for you Aussie. What a comeback! Sounds like a really fab day out altogether with the family. Well done!

  • Well done! What an amazing achievement :D I know what you mean about people stopping as they cross the finishing line. We had our race today, my OH finished quicker than me and finished with a number of other runners, one stopped just in front of him as they crossed the line and he bumped straight into her! I was much slower and finished almost on mine own so no danger there lol

    It is such a great way your come from March and the injury couch :)

    Happy running :)

  • Hey hey - so chuffed for you , good to see you're in high spirits and kicking butt out there. Lovely blog about your Vegemites :)

  • Love your post Aussie. Absolute star. Great run and what a finish. How great to hear Go Daddy - very emotional. Lots of rest now and mind that ankle.

  • Fabulous! What a brilliant comeback from your frustrating and miserable injury setbacks, and a tactically well run race. Onwards and upwards (moderated with a small amout of judicious caution of course)!

  • Wow, what a result, and what a wonderful race report. Love your writing - I could almost feel it in my calves when reading the words!

    Congratulations with a great result both in terms of time, and in terms of having a truly enjoyable run. Well done!!

  • Great stuff Aussie! Glad you had a great race, collected yet more bling and got a good time as well

    Glad the body held up!!!!!

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