Saturday, 13 August 2011

Brisbane Running Festival 2011

Half-marathon run.
Brisbane this year suffered some of its worst flooding ever. And to repeat myself, the spirit and character of Queenslanders is typified by their resilience. They get knocked down but they get up again, and run around the river again.
The camera, like the runner, is still sleepy.
On 7 August 2011, I arrived to an almost deserted Brisbane about 0515h. The city’s streets of course were well lit and also well occupied by cars. I have no idea whose cars are parked in the CBD at this early time, but I am certain many of these cars are driven by early-bird runners. After doing a couple of laps around I found a spot on Edward Street about 300m from the botanic gardens, venue for the start and finish line. The gardens was still dark at 0530h but already the place was milling with runners, volunteers, and a couple of mobile coffee stalls. There is a newly installed flood marker  at the entrance to the gardens. This showed the flood levels of the 1974 and 2011 floods. The 2011 flood line was about waist height but not as high as the 1974 marker at about head height. I only saw this marker after the race. It quickly roused me from feeling totally buggered, to thinking of how truly frightening and devastating, are the forces wreaked by the fury of nature.  The high and mighty floodwaters have swamped these gardens only seven months ago. One could not imagine that, on that morning of the 20th running of the Brisbane running festival.
The annual Brisbane running festival is a major running event. Many bemoan the fact that Brisbane does not have a proper marathon event but that may change. The run was staged around the botanical gardens and then along the southern banks of the beautiful Brisbane river.

The venue of the festival has shifted from southbank to the northbank at the Riverstage in the city botanical gardens.
The Brisbane river was at its roaring worst in January. I have mentioned the floods a few times now and will do so again, for the 1 in 100 year flood event, is just that – a 1:100 year occurrence. I may not see one again in my lifetime, but then again I may. The Brisbane river winds around about 50 kilometres of the City that bears its name. From Wivenhoe dam west of the D’Aguilar range to the sea on Moreton Bay, I have traversed much of the length of the river.
I ran the 10km run in this event last year. But this year I thought to have a go at the half-M. I got back from the gasfields 12 days before the runfest. In those 12 days I managed to sneak in a 10km run in the park2park, as well as a couple of 7km Wednesday runs with the bunyavilletrailrunners. I rounded off my 12-day preparation with a few short runs.
The start and finish lines were moved to the riverstage in the city botanical gardens.  The route of the Brisbane running festival includes a loop though the botanic gardens and across the river on Goodwill bridge. It then follows a good stretch of the southern banks of the river from West End through South Brisbane to Kangaroo Point. Along the section of the run route, there are seven bridges across the river. Four of these are for vehicles (The Go-between bridge, Captain Cook bridge, Victoria Bridge and Grey Street bridge), two for pedestrians (Kurilpa bridge and Goodwill bridge), and one for trains only (Grey Street bridge). I think the organisers are considering calling the Brisbane marathon ‘the seven bridges’ run. We can include Story bridge in place of the railway bridge.
Along the run route are many of the iconic spots in Brisbane. The start line is right next to the City Gardens café. The loop around inside City Gardens is about 2.11 km.
The course heads south through the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) Gardens Point campus courtyard before going towards Goodwill Bridge. These places seem vaguely familiar. And I have a feeling of deja vu, like I may have been here before, one cool night in the past.
Once across the 700m bridge it enters the South Bank Grand Arbour (3.8km) and then joins the Clem Jones Promenade in Southbank Parklands going upstream. At Victoria Bridge it gets onto River Boardwalk through Kurilpa Park and on towards Riverside Drive. It then goes under the Go-Between Bridge and continues along through suburban streets and Davies park (7km) in West End, to a turning point in Orleigh Park in Hill End (9.6km).
From this upstream most point of the run, the route turns and goes all the way back to and past the Goodwill Bridge to Lower River Terrace (15km), then continues downstream towards Kangaroo Point. It goes past and under Captain Cook Bridge to the Kangaroo Point cliffs (16km) and on to Captain Burke park (17.7) under the Story Bridge. Again it turns around and heads back towards the Goodwill Bridge (20.5km). It turns right for one final little incline at the  Goodwill Bridge and then back towards the finish line at the lower section of Riverstage. The marathoners do two laps with a slight variation.
The race started at 0600h on the dot. Some 21.1km and 2:11 later I crossed the finish. I actually finished in a net time of 2h08m49s, exactly 2’11” under 2h11m. I was feeling okay up to about 15 or 16km, when the lack of training told and I faded away from a 2-hour finish time.
Having said that, after two half-marathons, this is my second best time ever J (and I did a PB on my first half-marathon).

Thanks to the army of volunteers, race marshalls, and the secondary school students who make it possible for those of us to serve our penance, but that’s just speaking for myself.
And the winners are: All the runners.
The place-getters:
1    Justin Creek 2:44:31.7
2    Ralf Hamann 2:44:58.3
3    Chris Taylor 2:49:03.8

Half Marathon
1    Trent Harlow1:12:45.0
2    Geoffrey Berkeley 1:16:52.9
3    Craig Pascoe 1:19:05.6

1    Peter Nowill 30:26.7
2    Matthew Hawke 32:04.2
3    Ben Shaw 35:12.9

2km Beginner
1    Caleb Ackland  8:06.6
2    Alexandra Clements 8:14.9
3    Liam Hampson 8:22.6
    Place    Name  Bib No  Overall   Time
Overall Female Overall Winners               
 1    Clare Geraghty  1324       4      1:19:11.6  
 2    Tara Gorman     1342      22      1:25:01.5  
 3    Tammy Egstorf   1263      37      1:28:36.2  
Female U18
1    Lauren Dixon    1239     756      2:00:08.3  
 2    Kayla Gilbert   1329     833      2:03:24.6  
 3    Lauren King     1486     996      2:09:58.3  
Female 18 to 29
1    Charlotte Hockey         1411      64      1:31:37.2  
 2    Nathan Lindsay  2130      85      1:33:26.8  
 3    Nicola Potter   1735     106      1:34:57.7  
Female 30 to 39
1    Pieta Hynes     2343      40      1:28:46.5  
 2    Andrea Appleton 2344      51      1:30:17.4  
 3    Liz Fancutt     2391     103      1:34:39.9  
Female 40 to 49
1    Jo Sherman      2353      62      1:31:38.1  
 2    Clare Williams  2093      99      1:34:14.7  
 3    Carolyn Seipolt 1810     134      1:36:38.7  
Female 50 to 59
1    Muriel McLean   1607     170      1:38:41.5  
 2    Betty Wedding   1977     285      1:43:48.9  
 3    Lesley Noreiks  1672     322      1:45:04.4  
Female 60 to 69
1    carol coburn    1182     442      1:49:39.5  
 2    Sandra Brett    1107     698      1:58:30.5  
 3    Denise Drury    2135     961      2:07:40.0  
Overall Male Overall Winners                    
1    Trent Harlow    2139       1      1:12:45.0  
 2    Geoffrey Berkeley        2484       2      1:16:52.4  
 3    craig pascoe    1713       3      1:19:04.5  
Male U18
1    nicholas scarponi        2094      29      1:27:29.9  
 2    Louie Hadfield  1364      35      1:28:19.5  
 3    lachlan pascoe  1714     132      1:36:33.4  
Male 18 to 29
1    Dan Nunan 2302       6      1:19:56.8  
 2    Daniel Wright   2335       7      1:19:59.1  
 3    steve whiteman  2415      17      1:23:33.4  
Male 30 to 39
1    Stephen Gurr    2354       5      1:19:30.7  
 2    justin hunter   2164       8      1:20:03.1  
 3    Nic VAN DER MAAT         1935       9      1:20:03.2  
Male 40 to 49
1    Andrew Douglas  1246      15      1:23:02.2  
 2    David Whiteman  1989      16      1:23:27.3  
 3    David Sharpe    1815      18      1:23:33.8  
Male 50 to 59
1    Alan Peacock    1718      28      1:27:28.5  
 2    Tim Lanham      1506      31      1:28:04.1  
 3    Geoff Oliver    2105      41      1:29:00.2  
Male 60 to 69
1    Michael Briggs  1110     141      1:37:14.4  
 2    Christopher Paul         1716     148      1:37:50.4  
 3    Peter James     1439     190      1:39:38.7  
Male 70+
1    Colin Woods     2017     504      1:51:59.5  
 2    Reg Hogan 2092     707      1:58:51.2  
 3    Bob Williams    1996     847      2:04:01.9  


Friday, 5 August 2011

a kenyan safari

This is a video blog of a safari to Kenya.
Yes I went to Kenya last month. I needed to do a lot of work - on my running, and I wanted to find out what made these great Kenyans run so fast. Maybe it's to do with chasing wildlife.

Maybe not. Maybe I lost my way. Maybe it's all the gas around. The gas-bagging...
Music is from 'The Loner' - Nils Lofgren singing some Neil Young songs.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Park2park 2011

Park2park fun run. Ipswich, Qld. 31 July  2011.
Parts of Ipswich suffered the worst effects of the devastating floods back in January this year. But the resilience of Queenslanders is typified by the attitude of the people of Ipswich. They get knocked down but they get up again. They run the park2park again.
The annual park2park fun run is a major running event in Ipswich. The last Sunday on the last day of July was the 7th running of the park2park. The run is staged around Limestone Park and Queens Park, up on the heights of Ipswich.

First, a big thank you to all race officials, SES volunteers and emergency service personnel. Also the water station masters and the secondary school students who chanted and cheered the runners on.

I come a few times each year to Ipswich mainly for work. On previous assignments here, I ventured to Emerald Hill heeding the call of Brassal; checked out Woodend with a friend; sauntered up the hills of the well-heeled in Springfield; strolled along the creeks of Brookwater golf course with no driver; glimpsed the river and leas of Karalee; lunched off a dam near Bundamba; drove the heights and downs of Karana; laughed to the banks of redbank; and saw many of the surrounding picturesque riches of Ipswich. The place has grown from a small provincial city to a bustling and growing centre with industrial and residential growth areas sprouting up all around. The nearby areas in Swanbank, and satellite precincts in Springfield and soon Ripley, all contribute to sustaining the future economic growth of Ipswich.  In 2007 Ipswich was voted the most liveable mid-size city (populations between 75,000 - 200,000) in the world.

On the last day of July 2011, runners arrived to a bright though quite cold and sleepy winter morning at the Bill Paterson Oval, venue for the start and finish line. The hardier half-marathoners started a lot earlier, in the still dark hour of 6 o’clock but they’re the serious runners. The 10km and 5km runners are the real funrunners, well most of us are, but that’s speaking strictly for myself. Earlier I looked around for a place to park for the 2011 park2park. This is my first time to run here. I quickly registered, collected a race bib, tied on the timing chip, and just as quickly rugged up again. Soon announcements for the countdown to the 10km run blared over the airwaves. Some runners warmed up with some fun zumba exercise.

We started off at 0800h. From the oval we raced out of the turfed grounds, to the southern bounds of the park. The course went anti-clockwise and uphill on Salisbury Street. Soon we got to the ridges on the lengthy Chermside Road. A couple of crossings intersected the rolling pathways on this eastern bound of the park.  Great views of Ipswich and its surroundings flitted in and out of the tree-lined route as we headed north. The route turned left, westerly and downhill at the northern bounds of the park on Brisbane Street. At the intersection of Limestone Street on Milford Street, the fun had all but gone as we turned south to a twisting turning and hilly obstacle course. The uphill stretch on Griffith Road between Queens Park and Limestone Park was painful. A drinks stop was set up along the way between a couple of testing hills. Then we came back to the start line completing a 5km loop. 

I stopped for a drink and a rest before I rejoined the 10km runners and ran around the course again. My split time at the 5km was not flash. I tried to keep up the same pace for the second lap, but barely managed a sub-30 min. My total race time (sub-60 minutes) for the 10km park2park, is on the slow side of my average over the past two years. I blame it on the hills, but realistically you can’t run a good run on a mere 5 days of training prior. Maybe I should run to and from the gasfields. It's only 300 km one way.

My time was just better than the average. Cold comfort indeed, but I had some warm breath left. I heard that the local member took part. Good onya Mr Parliamentarian. I hope you will work towards more healthy lifestyle initiatives in parliament. Such as legislating for prizes for everyone joining and finishing a fun run. A vote-getter right there. And a good incentive towards building healthy communities.

The festivities of the park2park came to life in the 5km run where 1000 people lined up to take part. The run is a family affair, but friends and work colleagues make up a great number of runners. Good to see.
And we'll do it again next year.

10 km Results - Males
Place              Bib #  Name                                         Net Time
1                     476     CLAY DAWSON                          0:34:20
2                     337     GRANT GWYNNE                      0:34:40
3                     464     BIOR AROK                                0:35:24
4                     189     TIM GADO                                  0:35:28
5                     245     MASAYUKI ATSUMI                   0:36:03

10 km Results - Females                                                                                     
Place              Bib #  Name                                         Net Time
1                     206     BRIARNA MACKIE                      0:38:15
2                     463     APRIL SLOAN                             0:38:46
3                     470     EMILY DONKER                          0:39:01
4                     472     GLENDA BANAGHAN                0:39:27
5                     320     RENUKA SATIANATHAN            0:40:24

Polichay's 10 km Rivals. These guys are up to 5 minutes faster than me. They had better watch their backs.
121                 158     DAVE MORROW                        0:55:14
131                 405     JOHN BRADLEY                          0:55:39
132                 468     JASON DAVIDSON                     0:56:01
140                 329     STEVEN TOZER                          0:57:10
142                 236     STEVE SEARLE                           0:57:20
147                 324     WAYNE STEELE                          0:58:04
149                 408     RUSSELL EARLE                         0:57:47
154                 480     JUSTIN WATSON                       0:58:35
157                 486     ROGERIO COUTO                      0:58:58
158                 432     JOHN KRAUSE                           0:59:03
161                 172     SHAYNE NEUMANN               0:59:15