Sunday, November 25, 2018

Our 4x100m final at the State Relay Championships. Video...

Our 4x100m final at the State Relay Championships. Video courtesy AthsVic TV.

- Tony via Tumblr

2018 Vic Relays: Men 50+ 4x400m Final

2018 Vic Relays: Men 50+ 4x400m Final:

Video of our 4x400m relay.  Courtesy AthsVic TV.

- Tony via Tumblr

Saturday, November 24, 2018

State Relays 2018 - Taking One for the Team

Yesterday was the annual State Track Relay Championships in Melbourne, which I have attended for the past couple of years.  In the lead up, I put my name down to run in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400m teams.  Being 50, I was now eligible to be in the M50+ teams.

However, in the middle of last week, I was contacted by the centre manager, asking if I could run in the 4 x 1500m relay as well, due to someone else not being available. 

Arrived at the track in Box Hill (a suburb of Melbourne, for those unfamiliar), in plenty of time for the 4 x 1500m, which was the first event.  Since returning from Western Australia a few weeks ago, I’ve been a bit run down, and also had a heavy cold, from which I had almost recovered.  Running the longer events has been difficult, and my performances at the local meet last week were lacklustre.

So in cool and showery conditions, I lined up at the start line as the first runner for the 4 x 1500m.  Got away well and settled into a steady pace.  Despite recent difficulties, I cruised through the first 1000 metres in just under 4 minutes, right on target.  Not long after that point, I hit the wall and had to push really hard to complete the last lap.  Finished my leg and handed over the baton 6:08 after I began, which was a good result, given recent performances.  I was completely spent and had to spend the next several minutes sitting under a shelter near where I finished.  Meanwhile, my teammates completed the relay, and we ended up 5th.  While 1500 metres is really not my distance, I am glad to have had the experience of running this relay.

My next event was around 5 hours later - the 4 x 400m relay.  Now we were getting into territory where a medal win was possible.  This time, I ran the second leg.  I took the baton in third place, but quickly gained second place while accelerating to cruising speed.  Knowing I had someone fairly close behind me, I kept the pressure on the whole way around, with a strong run around the track to the next baton change, where I handed the baton over in second place.  Our final two runners were able to keep us in second place between them, resulting in a silver medal for the team.  Later, we looked up the record books and discovered that we missed the Bendigo residential record (meaning the fastest time by a Bendigo based team running anywhere) by about 1 second.

Finally it was time for the 4 x 100m relay, where I could really open up and have fun.  We had a good team, and on paper, we were capable of breaking the residential record for this event.  Most importantly, 2 of us were among the top sprinters over 50 in our region, with the others being capable all rounders.

Again, I ran the second leg.  This time, we were already in the lead when I took the baton, early in the changeover zone.  Quickly accelerated to top speed, significantly extending our lead.  After around 125 metres, I handed the baton to our third runner in a smooth change.  The remainder of the team extended our lead further, with the 4th runner being the fastest of all 4 of us.  We easily won by around 6 seconds, and in addition, we broke the Bendigo residential record by around 1.5 seconds.

So, a very successful day at the state relays, and it looks like my performances are finally returning to normal.

- Tony via Tumblr