Monday, April 29, 2013

Run The Rock @ Woodend, Victoria

Date: 27th April 2013 - Saturday.
Venue: Hanging Rock, Woodend, Victoria.
Flag Off: 9.15am
Distance: 19KM

Before I booked my flight for Melbourne, I scoured the Internet for possible races to sign up for. Sad as it sounds, I thought it would be better to fit a 'race' into my brief holiday just to make sure I maintained my fitness level.

Mmm, okay, that's utter rubbish, actually. I just thought it would be nice to take part in a race with the hubby, since the last time we ran together was ... Chinese New Year. :D

I arrived in Melbourne on Friday night, and there was concern whether I would be too tired for the run.

Just a wee bit!

Reaching Woodend in a bit.

We woke up to a beautiful morning and I did think it was silly to get out of the warm bed, and make the long drive out of Melbourne to Woodend.

We arrived at Hanging Rock around 840am and the parking lots were slowly filling up.

Besides the 19KM category, there was also the 10KM, 5KM and 2KM for kids. 

Hanging Rock in the background.

 Hanging Rock is located in the Macedon ranges and has a race course where Run The Rock started and ended on.

The wind was too cold for me. Brrrr!

The winds were chilly that morning, and I was torn between taking off my jacket or keeping it on. The sun looked like it was coming out soon!

The starting line. Flag off for 19KM runners was at 9.15am.

Decided to keep it on during the run although once halfway into the run, I got a bit warm and took it off.

Looks like we have an unregistered runner stealing the limelight.

With chilly winds (for me), it was hard to get warmed up. It called for some dynamic stretching and running on the spot. That was the best I could do! *grumble*

Cutie pies checking out the roo.

Before the start of the race, I didn't know what to expect. With the route was mostly flat on bitumen (tarmac), dirt ground and grass (on the race course), the plan was to hit 10KM in 55minutes and the remaining 9KM to be completed 53minutes.

There was a water station at every 3-4KM, which should be sufficient hydration.

The first 5-6KM was on road.

My mouth went dry during the start of the run as I struggled to regularise my breathing. I suspect that I was still a little dehydrated from my flight AND from that large latte I had consumed during the drive from Melbourne.

I was desperate for the first water station, but I had to reach KM3 first.

The pace was not too bad, despite my struggle to breathe as normally as possible. It was the thin air and I was also probably going too fast too soon.

Then we came onto the dirt road where we headed back towards Hanging Rock. There was a horse excitedly walking to and fro on the left (can you spot it?) as runners ran past.

Onto KM8 or 9, we veered off onto a trail somewhere in the race course compound, heading back to where we started. I was so out of breath that I had to slow down, letting runners past me by.

Soldiered on after catching my breath. Was desperate for the next water station.

After the 'trail', it was back on the race course (KM9 - 10) and we bumped into participants of the 2KM Kids category. It was so freaking cute to hear parents cajoling and encouraging their kids to keep running.

Overheard a conversation between father and daughter at the water station:

Dad: Would like some water, or some energy drink? *gives her a cup of electrolyte drink* When you drink this, you'll get some energy.
Little girl:*sips*
Dad: Do you like it, can you feel the energy?
Little girl: YEAHHH!!

We headed back past our start line (with the red arch). The sun was out by then and we took off our jackets and hung it on the barricade beside the arch.

Spotted three 3 kangaroos watching the runners from afar. They suddenly hopped towards the runners but made an abrupt turn away. It was too amusing to watch that I didn't take a picture, sorry!

Onto the second loop and I was tired already. I slowed down considerably (which pissed me off) but I had to because I slowly running out of steam.

Kept it steady up to KM15 and decided to push faster. I kept checking my watch, counting how much time I had left before my target time.

"Ok, 10 minutes more, you're almost there!"
"Another 1.5KM!! Don't stop now!!"
"5 minutes to go! You CAN do it, right??"

Panted like crazy and my shoulders were already drooping. I had to struggle to keep my posture upright (saw 2 cameramen ahead!) to avoid further fatigue from setting in.

Hubby ran back to the start line arch as they were dissembling it and packing up. He told me to run ahead first.

I saw and heard some runners laughing, thinking the hubby was a lost lamb, heading towards the wrong direction.

I was pretty much ecstatic to see the time displayed as I ran towards the finish line.

I waited to catch the hubby crossing the line. The least I could do. :D

You may ignore the time there since he made a little detour. And *roll eyes* of course he had to pace me all the way instead of running off on his own. 

I bet he would finish 19KM way faster than this. Hmmfhs.

We were given a muesli bar and a bottle of water at the finish line and that was it.

We found a sunny spot (there was plenty of space) to stretch and watch the crowd. There were plenty of runners still coming in from the 19KM, 10KM and 5KM categories.

Our bodies had already cooled down and it was difficult to stretch. But it was hard for me to stretch, anyway, because I would cramp whenever I attempted to stretch!

Hello, doggies! :)

The first guy to finish 19KM crossed the line at 1:05 and the first lady did it in 1:20.


The queue for AUD$3 sausage was very long.

And I'm not sure why the picture is wonky.

We listened out for the spot prizes (lucky draw) but they had a strange way of doing it. Instead of plucking a bib number out of a box, they called out for people with number 2 or 5 or 1 in their bibs to go forward to the stage for the prizes.

We were too tired to move so we didn't bother.

I've decided that I need a blue cap, so if someone could kindly buy me one ... *cough cough* ... my birthday is coming up, innit! 

The hubby's cap was too loose for me, despite trying to tighten it.

Not really an anniversary photo but yeah,
it's a whole week of dates to celebrate :D

Summary of my run is as below:

Target time to complete: 1:48 (in preparation for SCKLM half marathon)
Completed time: 1:46:45 for 19.12km
Average pace: 5:35

The 1st 5KM splits: 5:30 - 5:24 - 5:31 - 5:19 - 5:19
Too fast. Was supposed to do an average 5:40. But I wanted water!
Muscles were still cold.
Panting too hard.

2nd 5KM splits: 5:17 - 5:33 - 5:22 - 6:52 - 6:08
Where was the next water station??
Trail? Too out of breath. Soldiered on and remember overtaking a guy in black vest and shorts. Almost stopped to walk on a gentle incline. Still panting.
Couldn't run properly on the grassy race track.
Adjusted bib and watched the 3 roos. 

3rd 5KM splits: 5:42 - 5:45 - 5:48 - 5:32 - 5:08
Decided to keep it slow until a downhill.
Dammit! Half marathons are boring.
Should have signed up for the 10KM instead.
Felt a bit of pain on right thigh.

Last 5KM splits: 5:31 - 5:29 - 5:44 - 5:17 - 4:39
Saw a lady in a short blue running skirt with scalloped hem. Told her it was nice, and I continued running. Hubby said it was rude of me to give a compliment and then 'sayur' (overtake) people.
On the trail, overtook that same guy in black vest and shorts. He gave me a glance. I gave him a glance. He must have overtaken me at the water station. *evil stare*
Posture, posture, posture!
Last 1KM to go! Oh, water station, might as well have another cup for the final push.

1. Should have stuck to my race plan. Too fast too soon = unable to maintain. Or could I have maintained it if I had power gel?
2. Will need to condition the body to run without the need for power gel after KM10. Suspect the slowdown at KM11-KM13 was due to low glycogen level. *shrug*
3. Stick to my trusty pair of shoes. My new pair of GRU didn't like me at all. Had a blister on each foot. (Was in a rush that I didn't manage to slather anti-chafe cream that morning.)
4. I caught a chill immediately after the race. My lungs just cannot take the winds! Will need to invest in a vest for winter running in Melbourne.

Went to Woodend for lunch. Parked beneath a lovely tree.

It's autumn!

Fish and chips to refuel before we headed back to Melbourne.

The view on the way back. I dozed off half an hour later. Zzz


  1. Winter running vest shopping soon? :-D

    1. i am, i am ... including gloves and maybe long tights. :(

      i also have a tan line from the race, can you believe it? tsk tsk, UV rays kat sini memang kuat betul.

  2. So nice, running at a beautiful place. So fast some more! Me so envious :P

    1. it is! i can't wait to run under the autumn coloured trees and the countryside. :)

      the only thing is the chilly winds, i can't tahan a little bit of cold, no matter what.

  3. Only a runner would factor in a run/race during a holiday :-D Looks like a nice scenic race though. I wonder when I would be able to afford a holiday run overseas cos running around Putrajaya and Padang Merbok can be a tad boring these days. Congrats on a race well run.

    1. WHERE'S THE GCAM AMBASSADOR when you need him? hahahaha
      "Jamie, hello, Jaaaaaymieeeeeeee?"