Tuesday, January 1, 2013

VRR New Year's Eve Run

It's December 31st, the last day of the year.

Prior to my trip down to Melbourne, I studied the running calendars, searching for an event I could participate during my holidays. The only event coinciding with it was the Victoria Road Runners' New Year's Eve Run with drinks and croissants served after the run.

So we woke up (very reluctantly) this morning and drove ourselves to the starting point at the Pillars of Wisdom at the Tan Track, Royal Botanical Gardens, Melbourne.

As non-members of VRR, we paid the registration fee of AUS$16 per person for the 8km run. Looking around, I wasn't sure whether what my strategy was but I was definitely concerned how my Skechers GOrun 2 were going to deal with the sandy tracks. Hmmm.

The VRR members collecting registration fees from members and non-members .

The 4km run (equivalent to 1 loop of the Tan Track) was AUS$12 for non-members and the 8km run (2 loops of the Tan Track) was AUS$16 for non-members.

Although it was an unofficial event, I was secretly nervous about participating in a foreign event. I mean, erm, I know I'd probably end up last or something. Everyone looked very, very fit!

All decked in pink!
Rocking and rocked the Tan Track. :)

It was quite unnerving to be the only person in a dress!

But I disregarded the stares and funny looks (I bet they were admiring my GR2! *love*) and stick to the plan, whatever it was; a slow 1st half and a fast 2nd half. Sounds doable, eh?

Our bib numbers weren't very 'ong' numbers, but we hoped we'd get lucky during the lucky draw session!

The event saw a lot of foreign runners from Argentina, Canada, United States of America, Germany, etc. (We didn't tell them we were from Malaysia.)

The 4km runners were granted the first 'coral' at the start line while the 8km runners were told to stand behind them. The minute they yelled, "Ready, Set, Go!" everyone surged forward.

The first km was a dusty stampede as the stomping feet rustled up the dust which could have choked a baby lizard. I heard someone comment how choking the air was and I nodded in agreement, to nobody in particular. I was cringing and tried not to inhale but it wasn't easy!

As I caught up with the hubby, he looked at me and asked, "Are you sure you're in the right pace?"

Tsk tsk.
I told him yes, and maybe he needed to go a bit faster eh. *smirk*

And so he zig-zagged in between the runners and left me on my own.

The 2nd km was a bit of a surprise as we approached a gentle incline. It wasn't that steep but I wasn't expecting it. Unsure how far would it go, my pace slowed down to 5:27. It was probably just 500m - 700m and thereafter it was back to being flat.

In my head, I was grumbling to myself, "And KYK said that it was a flat route! Geez."

I finished the 1st lap in 21:09 and felt great.
It must be the air!
And the flat route!
Mmmm what can I say except "Awesome"!

The 2nd lap soon saw me overtaking several runners (and vice versa) until the incline, where I approached a veteran guy. As much as I tried to overtake him without pushing too much, he refused to budge make way and I decided that FINE, I shall just pace him instead.

As I tried to run alongside, he huffed and puffed and pushed on, and tempted as I was to speed off, I decided to wait until we reached the top of the incline.
During the last 2 km, I did my best to go on a sub-5 pace, especially during the last km. I caught up with a girl and as we ran together for 10 seconds or so, I pulled away (like the kiasu / sprinter style I tend to do during the last hundred metres before the finish line!) and raced towards the clock.

A great 8km run to mark the end of 2012!

42:02 for 8.05km, not too shabby!

Bless the cool climate and flat route indeed! :)

We headed to the table to fill up our own participant certificate and proceeded to the food and beverage area, which was located along the Yarra River.

Queuing up for croissants.

The croissants were already sliced for runners to spread butter, various jams or Vegemite on to them. Everyone was polite to grab only ONE croissant and I followed suit, although I really wanted to take two.

The mixed berry jam and blueberry jam were homemade.

Soft drinks like Coke Zero and lemonade was also available.

We tried the 'champagne' after we guzzled up some Coke Zero. Croissant was decent. :)

Soon after, it was time for the prize-giving ceremony for the top 3 finishers for Men's / Women's / Veteran's / Junior's categories, which we were not aware of. We couldn't hear the results properly but I think the top junior completed 4km in 18 14 minutes or something like that.

After that, random numbers were read out and the lucky runners approached the table to select a prize from it. There were socks, water bottles, caps and bottles of wine to choose from. How cool is that!

Both the hubby and I were not lucky enough to be selected. Bummer!

We had just returned from a 4D3N trip to the Grampians National Park and Great Ocean Road the night before and as much as I would have loved to lie in bed that early morning, I'm glad we managed to roll out of bed and participated in the 8km fun run.

Oh, and a few minutes after I completed my run, the veteran guy crossed the line and approached me and shook my hand. He said something like, "Well done!" and told us that clearly age was catching up on him ... you catch his drift?

Guess I'll have to watch my back with the folks around here - whoops!

Review on the GR2 and dress coming up soon. :)
Happy New Year, peeps!!

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