2018 Sydney:10 (Australian 10km Road Champs) – Jordi Bates
Race Date: May 5th Results: 2018
It was a brutal wake up at 4am. I left the house at 4:30 and arrived at RP’s for 5am. From there RP drove a bunch of us down to Homebush, six of us in total. It was good fun driving down together to build up some team comradery before the big race.
Well done Paul Murray who had stayed in Homebush overnight and was already in the process of setting up the Flyers gazebo when we arrived, and right next to the finish line as well, for maximum exposure!
A few of us headed out for a slow warmup run and I was worried to feel a stitch come on. I felt like this was a bad omen for the race ahead. But otherwise I felt positive, I was wearing my ultra-light racing shoes and my legs were fresh, having not run since Tuesday. And the conditions were perfect: cool, sunny and almost no breeze. I felt like this was a perfect opportunity to improve on my previous bests of 36:36 on this course a year earlier and 36:34 on a hilly course in Hobart just a few months ago. Also, my mum and my sister had come down to cheer me on and I could see them a few hundred metres ahead. And of course, Robbo was on the mic, that’s always a good sign!
As the gun time approached, I swallowed a caffeine gel and followed in RP’s footsteps to line up at the very front of the start line. There is no net time for this race so a front position is all important. It made for a congested start. The gun went off and it was a mad scramble but I felt fresh so I went out hard anyway. The first km clocked in at 3:20 which felt OK but I knew I wouldn’t be able to hold it much longer so I consciously pulled it back a fraction after that.
From then on my pace was remarkably consistent, without really planning it. Each km ticked over at 3:30, give or take 1-2 seconds. This was a lot faster than what I was planning. My 5km split was 17:22, only 3 seconds off my parkrun PB. But I was surprised to find myself still feeling relaxed at that point so I set myself a new goal of maintaining that pace for the second half.
The final 2km were hard, particularly the long stretch slightly uphill along Olympic Boulevard on the pavers, but I was lucky enough to have Arnold come up behind me with about 1km to go and offer me some encouragement. Finally we entered the athletics field with just a lap of the track to go. By now my legs were burning and it was taking all my effort just to keep my form.
With 100m to go, Arnold sprinted past me and there was no way I could hold on to him. But I finished strongly nonetheless and managed to stop the clock in 34:44, that’s a 1 min 50 seconds PB! Second 5km slit was exactly 17:22 again, a perfectly even split! Very happy with that, I never would have dreamed of being part of the sub-35 club. There were a few other Flyers PBs on the day as well, including Kyle who ran sub-33 for the first time, a great effort.
Following the requisite man-hugs with the other Flyers at the finish line, and some classic accompanying commentary from Robbo, I make my way over to the PB bell for a highly enthusiastic ring!