May 12, 2014
The Hud’s birthday celebrations were worthy of the man himself. Two big nights in Melbourne capped off a stellar 60th year for The Hud – one in which he ran 60 km and 51 km in consecutive days with me during the latter part of the world run.
Now that I’ve successfully completed the Oxfam 100 km Trailwalker event, and it appears I’ve overcome the Achilles tear, it’s time to set a new goal. I figure a reasonable intermediate challenge is to aim for the City to Surf race in early August. For those who are not familiar with this iconic Australian fun run, it is a 14 km torture course with large hills continuously throughout. The longest of these hills extends for one kilometre and reaches a gradient of 10%. With over 80,000 competitors, it used to be (and may still be) the largest foot race in the world in terms of participation.
But for me the City to Surf holds a unique challenge. It’s one of the only popular races in the world in which it’s possible, though very difficult, to run the course in less minutes than one’s age in years. I’ve had the discussion with many people, and most of agree the optimal age to achieve this feat is probably between 55 and 60. The race record is 40:03, so it’s impossible for a young person to “beat their age”. At the other end of the spectrum, it would be improbable for a 100 year old to run the course in less than 100 minutes. However, I feel it’s quite do-able for a 60 year old to complete the City to Surf in under an hour. I’m sure there are some who have, but it’s not an easy thing to do. There have been some very good runners for whom it’s been relatively easy – for example, Steve Moneghetti does not find it too hard, but he’s a former world class elite champion. Most of us are likely to find the task much more difficult or impossible.
I have never beaten my age for the City to Surf. In fact, I haven’t run the event since 2009 when, at age 48, I ran 54:12. This year on race day I’ll be nearly fifty three and a half, so I’d have to complete the very tough course in under 53:30. I admit, that is highly unlikely this year. My best time is just over 50 minutes, but that was nearly a quarter of a century ago. However, I’ve always run under an hour, so this year my aim is to keep that record intact. That will provide a nice launching pad for, perhaps, running under 54:30 next year. If I don’t “beat my age” then, I reckon I’ll have another five or so years to manage it.
The big question is, will the Achilles hold up once I embark upon speed work and sprints? If so, I think I’ll make a good fist of a respectable time in August. I intend to begin my speed program next week. That’s two weeks after the 100 km, which is a bit too soon, so I’ll ease into it. It will be interesting. If I can get through the next four to six weeks unscathed, I’ll be a chance.
On This Day
May 12, 2012
A quick update – I’ve headed back to Australia for three days to attend to a few things, and see some people. Tomorrow we fly back to the US, and I’ll be recommencing my run around the world in Wyoming on Monday, from the same spot I finished at earlier this week.
The next blog entry should be Monday evening US time. Stay tuned
May 12, 2013
Distance today = 51.93 km; Total distance = 20,822.22 km; Location = Kuleli – 41 30.119′ N, 26 57.260′ E; Start time = 0852, Finish time = 1740
Another day closer to Istanbul, and the end of my European leg – only four days to go now.
The roads here in Turkey have so far been excellent for running – the best I have encountered anywhere in the world. The one I’m running on at the moment has a fantastically smooth surface, with a wide shoulder. It is also relatively quiet for such a good road. I couldn’t ask for more.
Early on I passed through the city of Edirne, which has one of Turkey’s largest mosques. It is very impressive, with several minarets and lots of adornments. There seemed to be lots of Turkish tourists in the town, but not many westerners.
A little later, I was passed by four cyclists, who I caught up with soon after at a petrol station. They were from France, and were heading to various parts of the world. It was good to stop and have a chat for a while.
It got quite hot during the afternoon, until a breeze hit – which was greatly appreciated. Barry again ran the final 12 km of the day with me. His total is now up to 64 km.