The 2015 edition of the Woodford to Glenbrook is my third time racing the course. Its hard to believe that its, in fact, the only race (except Parkrun) that I have tackled more than once! Once you have done it though its easy to see why. Its on at a time of the year that there isn’t much else happening, at 25k its a fun distance, and, its a downhill blast. The 10am start is also very Sydney friendly. No 4:30am departure time today!
Last year Kira joined me for the race but this year she was nursing an injured ankle, but that was OK, because it meant I had a convenient taxi 🙂 Being a point to point race it certainly speeds up the day not having to shuttle at either end of the race.
Last year I had also smashed out a 12min PB. This left me feeling pretty anxious. I still feel very much like my running is constantly improving, my running ability still only 2 years old, and so I felt like not improving on last years time would be a disappointment. My body was well and truly back from the effort TNF100 and I had been posting some good times both on and off road working hard at my pace and climbing.
The weather was perfect and the track was smooth. The course follows the Oaks firetrail and descends several hundred meters over the 25k’s between Woodford and Glenbrook. Actually, the course really has two different modes, the first half of constant rolling hills and the send half which features the majority of the descent, its not a steep descent but rather just a constant gentle grade. It can smash your quads up pretty bad and I was in all sorts of pain following my first attempt at the race 2 years ago!
I was wearing my Nike Terra Kiger 2’s for the first time racing and have adopted a heel lock lacing style which works great with these shoes. I was wearing my Compressport Trail shorts, Salomon top, AK pack with a single bottle of Hammer Endurolytes and a single flask of Hammer expresso gel.
Heading off I was keen to log a few solid k’s. I knew I had started fast last year and wanted to try and stay ahead of my pb pace from the start. It was a good plan until I hit the hills and suddenly I felt very soft. I was generally holding my position but not through consistent pacing but rather relying on my pace descending.
I knew passing halfway I was a little down on my goal. On the other hand I felt really fresh, so I just opened up and descended as fast as I could. I averaged pretty much spot on 4min/km for km’s 14 – 21 and suddenly I was feeling comfortable I would bag a new PB. I possibly made the mistake of thinking about going sub 1:50. As soon as I had I thought about it I went into conservation mode and backed off. The last 4 km’s being more like 4:30/km.
My final time… 1:52:31, just slightly less than a 3min PB. All up about 14min’s faster than my original time.
The Terra Kigers were a great pair of shoes, wonderfully comfortable over the 25k, fast and grippy. My Compressport Trail Shorts were once again a disappointment slipping down constantly and upon finishing gave up completely. When I sat down they split and spilled the beans so to speak! Luckily Kira aborted the photo she was about to take and I rushed to find some coverage! All up I am annoyed, on one hand my quads have finished every race in them feeling pretty good but in every race, except TNF100, they have slipped down over and over again. I guess they just are suited to my shape but I wish I could find another pair of tights to replicate their compression effect on my quads. Really a $150 pair of pants should last more than 200km of racing too!
To wrap up… another great race and I will almost certainly be lining up again next year.