Saturday, March 18, 2017

Pushing the boundaries on the fire brigade track

Just back from today’s fire brigade competition.  With only 4 available in our team, I knew it was going to be a busy day, estimating I’d be needed for around 8 events.  However, in addition, the A team were short handed, most notably, their ladder man is down with a serious illness.  Special arrangements were made with the organisers to allow me to run ladder for the A side as well.  So my 8 events was now 10 or more, many physically demanding runs.

With 2 entries in the hydrant race, I could have run this event, but decided to save myself for when I was needed, and sat that one out.  So, my first event was the ladder race.  Won my heat and ran 8.29 in the final.  OK, though not as good as I have been.

Next up was the hose and ladder 5s.  With only 4 of us, we had to borrow a runner, and also some ran in unfamiliar positions.  There were a few hiccups in the run, and we finished second with a 28 second time.  Immediately after was the hose and ladder 8s.  This is identical to the 5s, except the ladder is raised by the extra 3 runners, instead of being fixed in position.  This was the first event I ran ladder for the As.  The run went well, being almost identical for me, just a minor modification of my technique on approach, and a bouncy climb.  Our time was around 24.6 seconds, enough to get second place.

Next up was the pumper and ladder.  In this event, I ran ladder for both of our teams.  With the A team, we ran around 15 seconds, enough to win the event.  The C team ran 21 seconds, though it felt a lot faster.  but that scored 5th place.  By now, the extremely rapid turnaround time between runs (around 10 minutes average) was starting to be felt, but my times were still surprisingly good.  All those 150m reps at the athletics track late last year were helping! :)

Ran the pumper 4s, but got a miss here.  Again, the forced change of positions didn’t help.

After the pumpers were the marshalls.  The 2 man marshall started well, but a few fumbles by both of us in the second half of the run cost time.  In the 4 man Y, I had a good run in coupling, and was able to coast across the finish line, as some of the others were behind me.  We still managed 4th place with a less than ideal run.

After a 30 minute lumch break, it was time for the remaining reel events, starting with the C section 4s.  I was back in pole here.  Had a fairly good run, maintaining a good line on the tricky track, where the width and multiple line markings can get one lost easily.  Unfortunately, we had a miss. :(

In the hose and reel 8s, I was needed to fill a position.  I ran second assist, running on the right side of the cart, then helping the second length back to the hydrant.  On the way down the track, I noticed I was headed directly for the hydrant, so to avoid a collision, I left early and ran alongside, until it was time to get on the hose.  Unfortunately, this run was another miss too.

The final event for the C side was the champion 4s.  Again, I ran pole.  I did have a choice, but despite my heavy workload, I knew my fitness was up to the task, and at this late stage, I was probably better suited to the task.  This run was clean, with a slow time around 22 seconds.

While the C team had finished the day, not having enough to field a team for the Y8, the A team again needed my help with the ladder in the Y8.  I ran first coupling and ladder, very similar to the hydrant and ladder I normally run.  This run went extremely well, ending with probably my best climb of the day.  The time was a bit over 32 seconds, a good time by any standards, resulting in a win, and proving that despite my age, I am still able to be competitive in an A class team, and take on a workload beyond a normal day’s competition.

All in all, it was an interesting day, with many challenges, with ups and downs.  The day proved that my training regime is on the right path.  I’m easily able to cope with 10 or more events in a day and still have more in reserve at the end of the day.  I’m looking forward to the state championships in 3 weeks time.

- Tony via Tumblr

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