March in Australia is always a good time of year. The wretched heat and humidity of summer fades well into the memory bank, the rugby league season begins and all the European football leagues move into the business end where titles are won and lost whilst supporters from the not so lucky football clubs wait with baited breath in hope their side is not relegated to a lower division.
By the end of the month I get excited for something special. The final Sunday in March is the first major step in the long and winding pathway that is my running season.
The setting this year, as always are the picturesque surrounds that make up the University of Queensland in St. Lucia. Picturesque may I say for a short while as once you hit the halfway mark of your race your thought patterns drift from the leafy surrounds to the immediate footpath or roadway in front of you as your body begins to ask the important questions such as “why are you doing this to me?!?!?!?!”.
The Twilight Running Festival encapsulates short kids races, a 5 km run and walk whilst closing off with a 10 km fun run and a full blown half marathon. This year was my third crack at the St Lucia Twilight 21.1 km half marathon and it provided me a course PB of 1:48:18.
I started out well enough setting a good pace for the first 4 km’s at around the 4 minute 30 seconds mark before easing up towards the halfway point. In the second half, digging deep I managed to keep a consistent average pace on or just above the 5 minute mark until I pulled up a strong finale with two sub 5 minute clicks to get over the finish line with that new course PB under the belt.
Still, the time I clocked up was a fair bit over my overall half marathon PB which will only mean harder yards in training over the coming months as more half and full marathons begin to pop up between now and October. If I can manage to pull out a sub 1 hour 30 minute half marathon later this year my finishing place will end up towards the top 30 runners.
For now I am happy to settle for my finishing position of 295 which was a half decent finish considering there were 1,397 competitors.