Monday, October 16, 2006

Stopping Time, or Pip Scores a DNF

Time started and a few hundred stop watches clicked in as we stepped over the startline. The first 400 metres was a quick out-and-back to the end of the street. Time stopped again at the 1km mark - 5.08 minutes. Too fast...

Trying to settle into a stride. Sarah running with me - what on earth are the others doing out in front? Over a bridge. God it's hot. Off the main road, past paddocks, past cows. God it's so damn flat.

God it's hot.

Time ticks over again at 5km. 26 minutes. Holy heck - that really was too fast. Sarah's gone. There's the awaited for stitch. Nope - it's gone. Settle down. Water - I need water.

6km. Water - I need water. I need water. I need water. I wonder if that spectator's got water. There's Jo. I thought she was behind me. Jo's got water. Thank God.

Running with Jo. What part of this is supposed to be fun? This is hell. Very scenic hell, but it's so damn hot, so damn flat. I need water. Although this is a lovely road. Why's Jo not ahead of me? Jo's in hell as well. What the heck is that woman in front of us doing running in a long-sleeved polyprop. She stops. I suggest she run in her sports bra. She doesn't agree. Heck, I wouldn't have hesitated to strip off in her position. We leave her behind us.

7km, 8km... this is getting a little better. Slower now - mile eating pace. Still feeling awful. We leave behind a whippet thin veteran with a long scraggly beard and the tiniest little shorts. He's a marathon runner on his second lap and he's losing the plot mentally because the nozzle on his Camelbak has just broken. Did I mention it's hot?

9km. A hill! A marshall tells us there's water at the top. The road winds up in a series of tight corners. It's only 400m but it feels like eternity. 10km! Water!

The clock ticks on at 58 minutes. I yank a gel shot from my tights. Raspberry! I stop, empty it into a cup, down it. The gel shot has collected in a jelly at the bottom. I shudder, grab another cup. This doesn't feel right.

I wander to the side of the road, bend over, spit. This really doesn't feel right. I sit in the shade beside the marshall's 4WD. I vomit. Everywhere. The marshall looks at me. "I don't think you should go on".

The clock stops at 58 minutes. At 1 hour 15 I briefly consider starting again as some of the last of our team jog slowly past. I give in to the lack of medication and the serious possibility that I could end up a crisis case on the side of the road if I vomit again. I am given a ride back to the start line by the nice marshall and then two anxious St Johns ladies.

The clock stops for Speedy Karen at 1.47. She comes third in the open category on her first half marathon. The clock stops for Duck at around 1.53. She's got cramp, had to slow right down, and she's pissed off as well. Sarah's clock stops at 2.07. She was aiming for under two hours but got slammed by the sun and wind. Jo makes it over the finish in 2.11. That could have been me. The clock continues to stop for a series of my fellow running girls, and I cheer them all on. On the way home with Hamish I see the funny side of things.

This is NOT how it ends.

Oh well, at least I looked good...
Just ignore the first two (Pip's hair in a gale) photos...

4 comments:

Catherine said...

Next time will be better! The Wairarapa can be pretty dammed hot. Great photos.

Ryan said...

Oops..I just wanted to let you know I posted a comment on your body talk post...back a few days ago..sorry I didn't realize i wasn’t on the most up-to-date page..anyway I look forward to reading over the rest of your blog...Happy trails!

Michelle Fry said...

Next time will be much better. So sorry to hear you got sick. I hope the next race isn't so hot. Heat really takes it out of a person. You know your body temperature rises by 20 degrees when you run. Yuck.

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