Sandgate “Speedy Week” parkrun 8th June 2019

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21 Jun

Sandgate “Speedy Week” parkrun 8th June 2019

 

Sandgate “Speedy Week” parkrun 8th June 2019

Member Shout Out: Phil Teakle

On Thursday morning I heard that many of the fastest runners in Brisbane would be doing the Sandgate “Speedy Week” parkrun on Saturday. I recalled last year’s event had 100 finishers complete the 5km course in under 20 minutes, which was a feat I could only dream of back then. Since then, I had done several sessions with the Advanced Intraining Squad and eventually reached my 20-minute milestone. I was excited at the thought that this year I could be one of the hundred-or-so sub-20 runners.

I arrived at Sandgate in plenty of time and was glad that it was cool and overcast with light winds. The course, which I had never done before, looked dead flat. On it were plenty of fast-looking runners warming up in their team singlets. I just did the usual speed session warm-up: 1500m jog, stretches, strides and jog to the start line where I chatted nervously with some of the other intraining runners.

The start was very well organised, with careful seeding starting at sub-15:40, which caused first a titter, then applause, as some runners stepped up. I took my place at the back of the sub-20 group. There were over 100 runners in front of me and I was aware I’d lose many precious seconds before I crossed the start line.

Finally, we were underway, and it was a gradual acceleration up to what felt like a good pace. After a time I looked at my watch and saw I was already at my target of an average 4:00/km and climbing, which meant I was going way too fast and had to slow down. We had just done this sort of drill on Tuesday night, so I settled at my target pace of 4:00/km and tried not to think of the precious energy I’d squandered and lactic acid I’d generated. I felt pretty good for the first 2km. I thought I could trust the GPS accuracy more than usual because the course was straight lines, not like my home Southbank parkrun, which looks like a sailor’s knot and which my watch tells me is randomly between 4.8 and 5.0km every weekend. The course turned left onto a long wooden pier at the end of which was the halfway turnaround, but before I got there I saw two intraining singlets leading a small group already coming home: I think it was Aiden Hobbs in front followed by Brendan Press. I also recognised Isaias Beyn close to them. Turning onto to the pier I concentrated on conserving energy and, unusually for me, didn’t acknowledge any runners or volunteers. I can only apologise and plead it shows how seriously I was taking this run – maybe too seriously? At the end of the pier I was still averaging 4:00/km but dismayed to find I was now turning back into a decent headwind.

Turning right off the pier my legs started feeling tired and uncooperative. It was now a race between the finish line and exhaustion. I prayed inwardly that the course was short, but my heart sank as my watch beeped right beside the 4km marker and it looked like I’d have to run every step of 5000m. I was by now extremely uncomfortable, almost distressed, but I knew I tended to get pulled towards the finish and was worried about going too fast and burning out or stumbling. I didn’t look at my watch any more but I consciously held myself back, telling myself to stay in control just a little longer, then I would be able to collapse and die. I heard people shouting encouragement to someone behind me and it spurred me on too. Rounding the last corner, I could see the clock was still under 20:00. I stopped my watch on the finish line at 19:53 and stumbled off the path to regain myself. I was amazed to see I was the 145th finisher, the last runner to finish in under 20 minutes. Immediately we were told to form up for a photo, and I was very pleased to be in that group with my intraining singlet.

It was exciting to be on the course with so many great athletes in full flight. Intraining’s Brendan Press, Isaias Beyn and Aidan Hobbs taking first, second and fifth places in an amazing 14:29, 14:32 and 14:50 respectively. There were many PBs and other great performances, and there was a happy atmosphere at the finish. It was a terrific event and very well organised.

Philip Teakle

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