Saturday, March 18, 2017

2017 AV Shield Final

Been a bit preoccupied with other stuff this week, like some new work, so I’ve been a bit slow with blogging.  However, last Sunday was the AV Shield Final, the culmination of much of this summer’s athletics competition.  For this meet, the 4 clubs here in Bendigo combined forces to send the best from our region.  This meant 4 athletes for the flat track events (100m, 400m, 1500m), and 2 for the other events offered.  As I knew I was free last month, I nominated to compete and got chosen for the 100 metres, as well as the 4x100m relay.

Just being selected was a win in itself, as that put me in the top 4 over 40s male athletes for these events, who were available to run.  Anyway, the final was held at Lakeside Stadium in Melbourne, the same track I ran the state relays at the end of November.  With my first event starting relatively late (12PM) and the late relay finish (sometime after 7PM), I elected to drive down, so I didn’t have to be up early for little reason in the morning and to get home as early as I could after the relay.

I arrived at Lakeside at 11AM, and after locating the other Bendigo region athletes in the stand, I warmed up for the 100 metres.  Timing was tricky, because there were 38 heats, and I was in heat 28.  With 2-3 minutes between heats, I figured I’s be running around 1PM, if the event was on time.  As it turned out, the 100m heats did start on time, and my heat was run close to 1PM.  Anyway, I ran 13.27 in highly variable wind conditions in my heat.  Not the sub 13 seconds I was hoping for, but not too bad.

After the 100m was the long 6 hour wait until the relays.  Much of this time was spent cheering others on from the stand.  The atmosphere was quite exciting all day.  I also took time out to catch up with a friend from the other side of Melbourne, who had informed me he was running in the 1500m.  

As the day progressed, the relay teams were finalised.  I was to run the 4th leg down the home straight.  I used to run this leg back in high school, but hadn’t run it since taking up athletics 18 months ago.  However, I was pretty confident and have been in good form.  During my warmup, I incorporated some dummy baton changes, just to be sure.

In our heat, there were 3 teams in my age group, plus 3 under 20 teams (who we weren’t competing directly against).  Our 3rd runner came around in second place out of our 3 teams.  I took off at the arranged time, but had underestimated my acceleration, and had to slow down slightly, so we could complete the change.  Once I had the baton, it was all out for the sprint to the finish line.  This sprint felt smoother than the 100m heat earlier in the day, and I kept pace with the other team ahead of me.  One of our club members who was watching from the stand commented that I did look better in the relay.

This past week, I started a 4 week period where I focus exclusively on fire brigade competitions.  My next one is tomorrow in Echuca.

- Tony via Tumblr

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