This weekend was the 2019 Victorian Country Athletics Championships. This year I extended myself and entered 7 individual events. With the 2 relays on offer, that made the total number of events 9 for the 3 days.
On Saturday, my first event was the long jump. I had been doing a bit of work on this event and have improved in recent weeks. Anyway, my third attempt was my best jump at 4.47 metres. My best for 2 years, and 2cm short of my PB. This scored me a silver medal.
A couple of hours later were the 400m hurdles. For my second attempt at this event, I ran 1:15.16 and won another silver medal.
Sunday looked like my toughest day for winning medals, with big fields and a lot of talented opposition. First up was the 100 metres. Here, I got off to a good start and managed to stay close to the front of the pack. Finished third with a bronze medal in a season best time of 13.39.
Next was my only other field event, the triple jump. Because of my niggling foot injury, this is an event that I’ve rarely done this year (not since the Australasian Police and Emergency Services Games in October). I quickly found myself in a battle for bronze and coming from behind. However, on my third attempt, I managed to sneak into third place by 1cm with an 8.15m jump. On my 4th and final attempt, I was able to extend that to 8.32 metres, giving me a decisive bronze medal and a triple jump PB.
My last event for Sunday was the 400 metres. I’ve been in my best ever 400m form this past month with both fitness and tactics on my side, or so and knew I had a lot of competition. The race went pretty much to plan. I started fast, then settled to target pace for the back straight. Despite the headwind here, I didn’t compensate and took the risk of maintaining pace into the wind. At the 200m mark, it was time to increase speed slightly and work the second bend into the strongest headwinds. This put me in perfect position for a race for third place. At the top of the straight, I was level with another runner for third place. At this point, I went all out and gave it everything, hoping I could maintain pace for the last 85 metres of the race. This tactic paid off, and I was able to pull ahead slowly, gaining over a second on my opponent in the straight, winning bronze with a time of 1:03.02.
Today was the last day of the meet, and I had 4 events. First up was the 100m hurdles. Ran second in a time of 21.62 for another silver medal.
My last individual event was the 200 metres. As is typical of multi day meets, some of the competitors dropped out of the competition, so the field was smaller than expected. I got away to a great start and by the time I had reached top speed, it was obvious that I would finish second, barring the unexpected. I settled back to cruise the rest of the way to the finish line. I did consider seeing how close I could get to the front runner, but decided it wasn’t worth the risk and kept cruising. Finished with silver in a time of 27.67.
Now it was time for the relays. The first was the 4x100m relay. There were only 2 entries in our age group, but unfortunately, the other entry was forced to scratch from the event, meaning we only had to complete the event as a formality for the gold medal. Pity, as I was hoping for a good race.
The 4x400m was a different story. This event was different, because there’s no 50+ age group, we had to run in the 40+ age group. This ensured a lot of competition. By now, conditions were hot, with a strong headwind in the back straight. I ran the first leg. Here, I used similar tactics to the individual 400m the previous day, though the heat, headwind and fatigue did make this run harder than the previous one. However, I was still able to finish strongly and leave us in a good position for the rest of the relay as I handed the baton only slightly behind the leader. The other 3 guys in our team performed very well, and we took the gold medal by about 5 seconds.
This was one of my most successful meets with 9 medals from 9 events, a result I’m very happy with. From here, it’s a mix of fire brigade and athletics for the next month or so, before focusing on the fire brigade state championships in March.
- Tony via Tumblr http://bit.ly/2CRyf6b