Posts Tagged ‘“john’

Perth Marathon 2009

Athlete: Mark O’Gara

Wow, what a day!!

Firstly, congratulations to Rob on becoming a Spartan and reaching 10 Perth marathons, it is a fantastic achievement. Also, your encouragement to me during the race was much appreciated and helped pull me through at a crucial stage.

Secondly, thanks for all the support of all the runners and supporters from the group. I cannot understate what it meant to have the encouragement and support of so many friendly faces around the course. I hope I can return the same encouragement at a race in the future. It really is testament to the strength and friendliness of the group that there were so many out there at all different parts of the course helping us along. Also, thanks to Chris for pulling everyone together (even the ones like me who find it hard to attend most runs)

Thirdly, Well done to those who completed their first marathon. You all looked pretty happy at the end and it is a great feeling to cross that finish line!

Well, I decided that I was going to try and run harder and faster this year based on that I had completed more km’s training and I pulled up well after last year’s marathon, feeling I could have probably gone a little quicker. I have also been running quicker in other races. Oh, how the marathon can bring you back to reality!!!!!

I eased into the race in the first 6km. it was at this point that I was going to make a call on whether to run for 3.15 or 3.20. I decided upon 3.15. I started chatting to a lad also called Mark around this point and we stayed together right the way through to 36km. He had the benefit of cheers for Mark from people who knew me and I had the benefift of cheers for Mark from people who recognised him!! He was a professional soccer player with Perth Glory up until a few months ago and he had also played professionally back in England so we had lots to talk about as I like my football. The km’s flew by and I was pretty happy with the 4.30 per km pace. This guy had never run further than his first ever half marathon two weeks earlier which he finished in 1.17 and just turned up to try running the marathon. He runs everyday and is now a soccer teacher as well, so he had the fitness but had not trained specifically for the event, he ended up finishing in 3.18. My wife thinks this could have been my first mistake as I spent to much time concentrating on talking rather than running. I look at it from the opposite angle in that the time passed pretty quickly as we were chatting!

So, I was flying along and feeling pretty good up to around 27km. It was then I started to slow gradually. I had a couple of gels up to this point but crucially, I could not drink my bottle of powerade I picked up on the return at Raffles at 30km. I was fine with water, but I could not get the Powerade down and left the bottle almost full at the next drinks station. At 30km 3.15 was still a possibility but closer to 3.20 was reality. I hit the wall somewhere between 32k and 36k and wow what a feeling (not recommended!!). I walked for a while to pull myself together at 36k and then tried walking/running for the next 2km’s. It was luck or fate at this stage that I was in the vicinity of Bob/Sheila/Ian/Nigel and Rob came running past as well. You all really helped me push on through, as once I started running again at around 38k I was fine and made it to the finish line at a pretty steady pace to finish in 3.28 a very respectable time considering I walked some distance between 36 and 38k. I felt terrible for the first 30 mins afterwards, it was only when I started drinking some of that sweet canned fruit juice (oh, how good it tasted at that moment, nothing could have tasted better, it was pure bliss – it probably tastes like crap normally!!) that I started to come around to some kind of normality and backed up with further food courtesy of WAMC, I was my normal self within an hour but in need of a new pair of legs!

Lessons learnt!!

Even with the pain, taking part was worthwhile. It is such a special feeling completing and being part of a marathon!
I’m still going to complete the City to Surf marathon – I want more of the feeling above (not the pain) and because its there to run!
Need to recognise signs of going downhill earlier and change tactics!!
Get out running with the group more often

The biggest lesson I have taken away is the importance of speed and tempo training if you want to achieve quicker times. Realistically, I think I need to become quicker over 5km, 10km and half marathon to put myself in a position to comfortably complete a marathon in 3.15.

Thanks again for all the support!

Perth Marathon 2009

Athlete: Rob Fowler

Hi to all, It was a great day for all concerned, as I saw many first timers do battle with the 42.2km test and come out triumphant. The support from the people on the sidelines was more than appreciated, at one stage there I felt like I was winning the event let alone just competing.

Maureen, Carey, Allison and company yelled it up and even sprinted across a park yelling my name. Nigel Furse and Ian Mcphan who’s running careers have been on hold for a few months were very welcome faces at all stages and at the end, it is as hard to watch people doing what you love as it is to cheer them on. To see smiling faces of Bob and Sheila offering support and drinks( vodka or scotch next year thanks) was a great feeling.

Rob D who only a month or so ago ran in the Kep at 100kms and backed up with a fine marathon run. The young girls who stuck together for most of the race Angela, Nicola, Silvia some of them their first marathon and got through with flying colours. Louis effort on his first day out for the event also seemed over the moon with his special effort on the day.New kid on the block Marty who discovered the pain and anguish that only 42,2kms can bring but still gritted his teeth to get the respectable sub 3.30 he wanted.

Marcus who set out like a gazelle and looked on target for a great PB in only his second attempt at the distance, was humbled by the experience and will search his training diaries to see what he could have done better. But only in his mind was it not a good run on the day, but still under 3.30 and would not have got near that had he been more conservative, the wall is there for nearly everyone but unfortunately we work as hard as we can to avoid it.I think all we avoid is variations on how we deal with it, Marcus put in a great effort and will have a different attack for next time maybe it will go the way he wants.

To my good friend and to most people on the day their running glue, CHRISTOPHER KOWALSKI who more often than not is helping all those around him with advice, support and useful hints. He ran like most guys his age can only dream about while there maybe people faster and older none of them have near 10 or 15 people thanking them for there help. His own time of 3.36 is his best effort in the marathon for some years proving to himself there is some good races left to run and an inspiration to myself on many an occasion.

Also Brucey who always cheers me on with his smiling face and Phil who owes me a cup of soup or maybe we are even on the beer he spotted me one night. The always lovely and supportive Allie and Tory and anyone who I forgot.As for myself I completed 10 Perth marathons and along the way have had some great ones and not so great but with time have eventually enjoyed everyone of them. I have only got there for them from the support of a great wife and family and many friends and the majority of those have been done with the 3 AMIGOES Chris, Nigel and me.

Always remember it is about making it to the start line, what happens over 42.2km will be just part of the story, we never tell people we trained for ex amount of weeks, did ex amount of kilometers and all the effort to get there. We just show our medal and certificate and can say that’s when I ran a marathon the last bit is the end to a very long and satisfying journey.

Cheers to all.
Rob F

P.S Can someone lend me their legs for a week or so mine aren’t working to well.

Perth Half Marathon 2009

Athlete: Louis Bonta

I arrived at 8:45 only to find out that there were plenty of competitors a lot more than I expected so it took me a while to find parking. 5 minutes later I found parking about ½ k away and saw Lillian there with hubby in support. The walk to the start line was good as I’d not done any stretching yet! Finally at the toilets I queued and waited, and queued some more turning up at the start line after everyone had taken off!!!

Took me a while to catch up with some others and I just kept going to finish in my best time ever 1:45:03 the quickest prior to this was back in England and that was at 1:48.

However, when I finished the official nearly didn’t give me a medal as I was wearing my WAMC number instead of the official half marathon number!!! I never received one in the post even though I registered online. I will have to check that I will be receiving the marathon number now!

Thanks to all for your support and advice bring on the full marathon!


Perth Half Marathon 2009

Athlete: Julie Carnelley

I had a very good race yesterday. Weather was perfect compared to last year and hardly any rain really, although there was a few puddles on the path that we had to jump over. There was a bit of a strong headwind along by the Swan Brewery, but not too bad and only lasted for a few km’s. I went there initially just to use the run as a training run, but for some reason I ended up racing it and did a PB of 1:42:10 according to my watch. Very pleased with this time as I have been feeling very slow and struggling with my runs recently and honestly didn’t think I could run a PB.

Might see you all Saturday morning at Neil Hawkins

Best wishes
Julie Carnelley

Perth Half Marathon 2009

Athlete: Lee Holland

There were a few faces from the group i spotted during yesterdays run mostly as you all passed me at various stages lol.

All ran very well, i ran and yes my other half Teresa beat me again with a time of 1.38.51, this was ten minute improvement on her time last year, well done …you bi#%, i clocked a 1.42 .53, Melissa did a great job in what i believe was her first half with a 1.41.41, Eulalia ran a 1.28.50 (what the!), Sylvia ran a 1.48.58 which she said was a ten minute improvement on last year’s time(awesome result well done), I saw Andy he clocked 1.31.28 and Julie (well done on the p.b) passed me just inside the last 5k it was good to see so many familiar faces – well done to all who ran.

Weather was much more pleasant than last year, it was my first Perth half and i thoroughly enjoyed the scenic and more importantly flat track will definitely be back to try and beat Teresa next year!! And the year after and the year after that ….. you get the picture.

Lee Holland

Perth Half Marathon 2009

Athlete: Eulalia Van Blomestein

Im always running late so I thought I’d get to the half early ( ie. 07h35! ) but everyone had the same idea and I had to park miles away. Anyway it gave me a good warm-up to the start. The clubhouse was packed with jittery runners and that old familiar pre-race smell of Deep Heat !

After achieving my PB in Albany I thought I’d just have a good run without any pressure on myself. So,I had a great run and with the help of a mate called David Renshaw who ” paced” our race with his fancy (bleeping) Garmin I bettered my time to around 1:28:46. Thank goodness the weather was on our side this year with only a bit of headwind towards the Brewery but then on the return it helped a bit.

It was good to see all the other familiar faces there and well done to all of you. If you are running the marathon I wil be there on the side to cheer you on! Otherwise I’ll see you on one of the weekend runs.

Have a great week. Cheers,

South Africa 2009

Athlete: Allison Ratcliffe

I must admit we had a fun packed, adventurous 12 days! After a few mishaps on Tuesday night before Comrades in the departures department at Perth airport between Customs Officers and Jackie, we finally boarded the SAA and headed to Durban. The beautiful hotel we had all booked was on the Beach front with outstanding views of the ocean. Also staying in the hotel were all the star players from the IPL cricket tournament, including Shane Warne!! ( I must add that he is arrogant sorry) and all the film crews, so there was plenty to see the first couple of days!! They left on Thursday for the finals that had been redirected to Jo’burg as the Comrades finish was to be held in Kingsmead Cricket Stadium. Friday, the hotel was now being overtaken by Comrades runners, the Russian winners, all the top athletes from South Africa, their coaches, their team manager!. Which takes me to another encounter!!

Jackie has entered into the National Youth 10k Fun Run which was held on the Saturday before Comrades, not knowing where the event was, we asked hotel reception, then a guy appeared, offering us a lift, we accepted and proceeded to get in a car marked with Nedbank Running Club and sponsor stickers. The guys name was Nick, very pleasant and offered to wait and give us a lift back. I later found out he was the Team Manager for the top South Africa athletes competing in Comrades and also a Comrades WINNER in 1991 and holder of 9 Gold medals. Nick Bester!!! That made my day!!!!!

Alli with Nick Bester

Alli with Nick Bester

OK, on the RACE DAY. We were up for breakfast at 0130, and ready for the bus journey to Petermarizburg at 0300. Kevin was his usual vibrant self (does that guy ever stop!!!) and before we knew it we were in line and off at 0530am. The start was slow going as thousands crammed the street and at times very dark, so placing your feet carefully on the ground was top priority. Our first of the Big 5 hills Polly Shortts came and went, then the next, I felt great, about 30k in I saw a pacer just ahead, it was the 10hr bus, Great!!! I stayed behind them.

A guy called Paul came up behind me and asked what part of WA I was from, as he had a brother who lived in Perth!!! John Hillen and his lovely family, who some of you might know from previous Baileys run and occasional runs out with us!!! A small world, but not only that, whilst taking to him, another South African came up and asked if I was from Perth, he had just been over to do the 40 miler in the Perth hills. I looked across at him and asked if his name was Steve at the same time he asked if I was Alli. He had contacted me a few months previously, from South Africa and asked about running in Perth whilst he was visiting his family. I put him in touch with Rob D, who met up with him and ran the 40 miler with him. The world just got a lot smaller…

OK, running with the 10 hour bus felt great. Got to half way and felt ok, just got to do another 45k and I’m home, then I started getting a pain in my left quad, never had that before!!!!! Kept going but it slowly got worse, I had it strapped by the physio’s on the course, along with other bodily parts, and kept on moving. Finally I can recall at the 13k to go mark, someone shouted keep going you still have 2.5 hours to finish it. That spurred me on, by now, I couldn’t run downhill, it was too painful, but managed to hobble on the straight and walk down the hills (sometimes backwards).

Approaching the stadium, I was chuckling to myself, still shuffling, what a mess. Into the stadium, I was determined to run around to the finish, still laughing but in a lot of pain, I was relieved and proud of myself that I had just completed by 2nd Comrades and achieved my back to back medal. YaY.

Jackie and the guys that had already finished were there to welcome me in. Jackie was very emotional, but an absolute brick, and it make the whole event a special memory for me to have her there. Well, myself, Jackie, Jane and Richard spent the rest of the week on Safari, which was amazing, we startled a few rhinos and elephants (I think it was my driving!!!)

Finally, I arrived back in Perth Sunday afternoon, BUT Jackie…Her story continues, she was stopped at Jo’burg, South African Airways refused to fly her home to Perth, so she had to take a flight to ENGLAND, where is remains until I find out more! I will let her tell you her story another time…


Kep Ultra Race Report

Athlete: Rob Donkersloot

The Kep Ultra is a trail race from Mundaring Weir to Northam, a distance of 103 kilometres. It was sort of my idea to get this race off the ground. I thought I might be able to convince one or two running buddies to join me in trying this, but in the six months the race was in preparation, about 20 people signed up, and eight made it to the start line on Sunday morning as well as four for the 75km. The weather forecast had been all over the place with it varying from “windy and rainy” to “possible late shower”. Driving to Mundaring at 5:15 there was a bit of lightening around, but there was no rain, and the temperature was very mild.

After a bit of a race briefing I announced there was 3 minutes before the start, and a minute later was a little puzzled why I was facing one way, and seven other runners the other way. Managed to turn everyone in the right direction, and seconds later we were off. I hoped these guys were going to be able to find Northam ok.

The first 26km from the Weir to Swan View is mainly downhill, so the plan was not to go too fast. Made it down to the first aid station at Bellevue manned by Bruce and Nigel in equal last place, and was pleased to see Nigel hadn’t helped himself to my pikelets as he had threatened. A quick splash and dash refill of the hydration pack and was off for the run across to Pechey Road and the start of the 16km climb from there to Mt Helena. Was feeling ok, but there was a lot of blue metal gravel on the track, and it and the constant pounding was starting to hurt the soles of my feet.

Had a bit of a down period at around 40km because of this, thinking that another 60km of painful feet wasn’t going to be a pleasant experience.

Luckily at the Mt Helena aid station manned by wife Sue, and father in law John, my sponsorship with Nurofen paid off in spades, when shortly after taking two of those magic tablets, the pain started to ease. In fact I was going so well I managed to pick up a place when I ran past the runner who had flown in from Indonesia for the event.

The run from Mt Helena to Wooroloo was uneventful, and I felt pretty good running into the Wooroloo aid station where Chris and Jamal were on duty. There I found out that three guys had pulled out, and all of a sudden with 60km done in 6 hours and 40 minutes I was up in fourth place. At Wooroloo I packed my head lamp for the night time part of the run which would start about 3 hours later. I also went to change from sunglasses to my prescription glasses, and commented to Jamal I would have liked to have been able to keep the sunnies with me a little longer. Not a worry says Jamal, I’ll drop them off at the next aid station for you. I do a bit of quick mental arithmetic (not easy after 60km), and work out that yes, I should get into Clackline before dark, so take up Jamal’s kind offer. As I leave I say something like whatever you do, don’t forget those specs I’ll be blind without them.

4 kilometers later I get to the 64km point, the furthest distance I had run previously. The legs were starting to tire, and with my GPS watch expired, I wasn’t able to keep a check of the pace I was running. I came across a track sign advising Northam 35km. I ran on, for what felt a like long time, and saw another marker in the distance. That sign should say around 31km to Northam I guessed. Got to the sign at it said Northam 34km, I had travelled just 1km, when it felt like 4km. This was the second down period during the run, and the next 5km was a real battle. I don’t think it’s possible to run 5km more slowly. Something had to change, otherwise the last 30k were not going to be fun. I had noted the success another competitor, Phil Baker from the Hills Group has had with cycles of running 25 minutes, and walking for 5 minutes. I thought I would give this a try, I certainly couldn’t run much more slowly anyway. After the first 5 minute walk break, the legs were refreshed, and felt much better. The 25 minutes running was far stronger, and I kept this strategy up for the rest of the race.

The slow down in pace though meant that all of a sudden the view out of my sunglasses was decidedly dark. I still had some distance before Clackline where my prescription glasses were hopefully waiting for me. Just ahead I saw a cyclist get off his bike, and as I got closer I could tell it was Jamal’s friend Paul. He pulled the spectacles case out of his bag, and we did a swap. It was a great example of how the race volunteers had gone out of there way to help those running. Fantastic.

Ran into Clackline where Bruce and Nigel were waiting for me again, and did the last refuel of fruit bars and energy gels, though I wondered after eating these every half hour for the previous 9 hours how I was going to be able to stomach any more. Nigel advised there was only about 17km to go, as well as telling me my wife has sent him an SMS requesting he let me know I needed to mow the lawn the next day. I had run this last 17km in training, and knew it was the hardest part of the course. The first 7km is along a road, pretty well all up hill, and then becomes a difficult bumpy trail for the run into Northam. To my surprise the 25 minute run, 5 minute walk strategy was still working, even going uphill. I felt surprisingly strong, and managed to pass one of the 75km runners who had started his race 3 hours later than I had.

The downhill run into Northam was interesting, especially in the dark; with the main objective being to keep lifting up the feet so I wouldn’t stumble on a rock and break a leg. As I approached the town I felt like I could probably get in at around 12 hours 30 minutes, so managed to put speed up just a little over the last 3km to cross the finish line in 12 hours and 27 minutes, in fourth position.

I would like to give a big thanks Roy who did a heap of the many kilometers of training with me, and then wasn’t able to run the race because of illness.

Also to everyone in the group, there are just so many inspirational people there to run with and learn from.

Thank you.

My Bunbury Marathon Race Report

Athlete: Andy Lane

I managed my goal of running a 3hr 15min (and 53secs) Marathon. My gun time is 3.16.02 but I started my watch as I crossed the start line. I did the 1st half in 1.36 (about 1min under time) and 2nd half was a bit slower at 1.39. I came 8th outright and 1st in my age class out of 50 starters.

I felt great up until 37kms when I started to get leg ‘twinges’ and got worried about cramping so I slowed slightly. I missed my fellow NSRGroupies this year but my wife, Christine, and the kids came down with ‘GO DAD’ banners. That was fantastic and brought a tear to my eye. It was a great morning for it with a cool 6 degrees at the start. The easterly was a very slight breeze that caused no problems.

The 50km race had 9 starters, the half marathon had 145 with another 25 teams doing the half marathon relay.No commemorative glass mug this year. We marathoners got an embroided ‘face washer’. WOW. Lucky I got a medal for 1st in the age class.I’m sore today but I’m thinking how sore you ultra marathoners must feel after your races.