Saturday, March 18, 2017

2016 Victorian State Relay Championships

Yesterday, the 2016 Victorian State Relay Championships were held in Melbourne.  This was the first time I’ve competed in these championships, as I didn’t put myself on the list to go last year.

With the championships being in Melbourne, it meant an early start and a 2 hour drive to the stadium.  I was in two events, the 4x400m and 4x100m relays, running in first position.  Checking the provisional timetable before leaving, I was to run a heat of the 4x400 around midday, before the final 3 hours later.  With fewer entries, the 4x100m was to be a final only, around 5PM.  With that in mind, I planned to arrive around 10AM, to allow plenty of time to sort out any administrative issues.  As it turns out, I arrived just after 10, and met up with the rest of the team.  Just before 11, an announcement came over the PA that there would be no 4x400m heat, so now it was to be just the 2 finals.

The cancellation of our heat left plenty of time for lunch and to watch the action from the other events.  It soon became pretty obvious that this was a big step up from local competitions, and the times would be very fast.

After a full warmup and checking into the start area with officials, we were lined up for the 4x400m relay.  As first runner, I setup my blocks and waited for the starter’s call.  Shortly after the gun went off, it was obvious the competition was very fast, well beyond my capabilities (for now ;) ), but I stuck to my race plan, which went well, other than a minor bit of hamstring tightness at the 250m mark.  The run was very similar to last week’s 400m race.  I handed the baton over at just over a minute into the race, and my 400m time (the changeover happened several metres before the 400m mark) would have been very close to last week’s time as well.  We finished 7th, with a time around 4:15, with everyone running pretty well.  The winning team finished in 3:36.

About 90 minutes later, after a short warmup and some practice baton changes, we were back again for the 4x100m relay.  Again, I was in first position, starting the race.  With the shorter distance, this was the biggest test of my hamstring,  The start went well, and after a cautious transition into full flight, I got up to full speed without any issues, and maintained speed until the changeover.  Hard to say what position we changed over in, but we were definitely close to at least some of the other teams.  We finished 5th in a little over 51 seconds (winner was around 45).  We were pleased with that result.

After the 4x100, I said my goodbyes to everyone and started the long drive home.  As for the day, it was a real experience competing against the best in the state.  I’m not at that level yet, but it is early days, and I am still developing my potential.  It was also good to have great teammates to run with. I will definitely be back next year.

- Tony via Tumblr

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