Australian Running Festival - debut marathon 2:40:17 smashing his 2.50 target
by Dominic Bullock (24 years old, he also ran the Sydney 10k 4/5/19 just 3 weeks post marathon, in a NEW PB 33.44, 50 secs quicker than his 34.34 PB from the same event a year ago. Next up is the Sydney Harbour 10k late July, City to Surf, Blackmores half marathon, then possibly Melbourne Marathon)
After taking a 6 month break from running, having previously trained for the 800m for the past three years. I was keen for a new challenge but wanted a break from the lactic headaches and hobbling that middle-distance training entailed. The marathon became quite appealing, an event where just getting out the door as often as possible with a few tempos thrown in should be enough, quite a contrast from the brutal speed and endurance work I had previously trained for.
Three months out from Canberra I set the goal of running under 2hours and 50minutes thinking that 4minutes per km seemed like a very respectable but, challenging time for me. I was very nervous stepping up for to the marathon hearing horror stories of people crawling in the last few kms. This kept me quite motivated however, and I ran 30km every Sunday a good 20+km tempo each fortnight.
With 1 month to go I joined Rejoov looking to start working a little harder through training with a squad and getting the guidance of a coach. Running with Rejoov kept me motivated and I actual began to enjoy getting up early to grind out a tough tempo session. These tempo sessions gave me confidence in my running that would be crucial come race day.
Before I knew it race day was here. It was perfect running conditions in the nation’s Capital, cool temperate around 10-15 degrees with not a buff of wind. I felt strangely relaxed on the start line thinking about the long tempos and early mornings I had sacrificed to be here. When the gun went I settled into 4min/km pace however, after 1km felt like I had more to give. I stepped up the pace until I reach a speed similar to how I felt in my tempos. I ran past a few other runner until reaching a pack of 2 other runner.
We worked together rotating the lead for the first half of the race. We crossed the half way mark and I looked at my watch – 1:18:00 – I had just run a half marathon PB. A little panic came over me thinking this could become the nightmare race I had feared. One of the runners in the pack dropped off the pace. It was now just me and one other runner tapping away for the next 20kms. I lead until 34km, I was entering new territory now I had never ran this far before. I could feel the stress of the race catching up to me now and I was began to strain to keep pace. I can remember shouting encouragement to the runner accompanying me and we made a pact we would do our best to shoot for 2hour 40minutes.
At 36km I began to enter a bad batch. I slowed about 20 seconds off the pace I had set out at and every negative thought seemed to be heightened in this venerable emotional state. I saw my family standing on the corner of a hair pin turn cheering me as I came down to the turn. I was so glad to see them, and my spirits began to lift again. I held this slower pace and tried my best to keep up with the other runner for the final 6km in the end he slowly starting drifting away from me but, the hard work had already been done.
Sprinting into the finishing straight I saw the clock it over to 2:40:17. I had smashed my goal! And achieve something I thought was way beyond me. It got me thinking what next and has excited me to see what else I’ll be capable of achieving with the as a member of the Rejoov community!