Thursday, July 24, 2008

Off To Townsville.

Off to Aussie on Friday at 6am…..Yawn…..its going to be one long day.

We land in Brisbane at 8am and don’t fly out to Townsville until 6pm later that day. We are hoping we can stash our luggage in a locker somewhere and head off to the huge shopping complex up the road.

I thought that my first posting should be the times that I am racing. Just so you know to send me lots of encouragement to help me out … :0)

First race is Tuesday at 7.30am – 10km road race through Anderson Park
Second race is Thursday at 4pm – 5000m track walk
Third race is Saturday at 10.30am – 3000m track walk

Hope to update here soon

Hugs to all.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Harry Kerr 50km Track Relay

As said below in our press went to Auckland and raced in the NZ National Track Relay which was also to commemorate the first ever Olympic medal won by a NZer ... which happened to be a bronze won by Harry Kerr... A Race Walker.

We were picked to win bronze .. but have to admit to having some doubts once we got there and you saw how fast these people were on the track. But we pulled our selves together and proved to them and ourselves that we are a force to be reckoned with by winning 3rd.

So here are our medals - A NZ bronze medal and the replica Olympic medal. I am just soooo proud of what we achieved.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

NZ 50km Team Track Relay Champs

The Athletics Nelson race walking team confirmed their current national ranking when they comfortably won the bronze medal in the New Zealand 50km Team Track Relay Championships held at Sovereign Stadium in Auckland last Sunday. This follows their third placing in the NZ Team Road Relay Championship held in Wellington in May.

The event coincided with the 100th anniversary of New Zealand’s first Olympic medal. Harry Kerr, from Taranaki, won the bronze medal in the 3,500m track walk at the 1908 Olympic Games held in London. The other kiwi competitor in the race, Arthur Rowland, finished 5th.

Auckland A won the race from Taranaki A with a winning margin of 22 minutes setting a new race record of 4 hours 24 minutes. The Nelson team recorded a time of 5 hours 7 minutes with the Wellington team placed fourth with a time of 5.17.16. A total of seven teams completed the event which was held in warm and humid conditions on Auckland’s North Shore.

The first 10km leg was completed by Sharon McDonald in a time of 1.04.46 with Peter Hague finishing the second leg in 1.06.07. Yvonne Shaw finished her 10km leg in a personal best time of 1.02.30. Nyle Sunderland also recorded a personal best time of 1.00.54 in the fourth leg of the race. The final 10km was completed by Stephen Farquhar in a time of 52.53, only just short of his best time recorded in 1992.

“We were a little short of our target time of 5 hours but overall we are all very happy with our performance” says team coach and competitor Stephen Farquhar. “It was great for us to be invited to compete in this race and we certainly didn’t disgrace ourselves.

“A third placing is significant when put in context of our training facilities” says Farquhar. We all met at Trafalgar Park every night for the last 6 weeks and either headed off down the walkway towards Richmond or did 1km reps on the grass track in the dark complete with our head lights.”

“We regularly shared the park with the Makos. They were very accommodating and supportive”

The first three teams received an exact replica of Harry Kerr’s Olympic medal in addition to their respective NZ Championship medal. The first six teams to complete the 50km event also received a replica of Kerr’s original Olympic scroll recording details of the event and the team’s placing and time.

Wellington Relay

We decided that we would try to put together a team and head across to the Wellington Relay. It is raced over a marathon distance which means that we needed a team of 6. At the last minute one of our team members pulled out - leaving us with no chance to race for medals or any form of prize. We asked the officials if we could form a composite team and they let us ask another walker from another team to join us.

Even with this upsetting our night (which we drowned our sorrows....with way too much wine) we all marched up first thing in the morning for the race.

With 2 of us being total unknowns - we were watched with great interest from other teams.

Much to the surprize of most of the teams-we blitzed our way to third place.......just sadly the medals were given to 4th place.

Subway Nelson Half Marathon

I knew that my competition would be tough for this event.

Having finally beaten Sharon at the 10km race a month ago and also getting a personal best time of 62mins the pressure was on. I had been training with Yvonne and knew that we were neck and neck for speed and stamina. It would come down to race day tactics.

The day before the race I develop a migraine…….I get these for 3 days and they blind me. After taking enough drugs to drop a horse, I drag myself out into the cold and bright light to line up with everyone for the start. I didn’t give my self very good odds that morning due to feeling so nauseous as well.

My plan was to stick behind Sharon and try to keep Yvonne behind me and also not go out too fast at the start (a half marathon is not won in the first 5 km) but at the 3 km mark I felt great – adrenaline had taken care of my head ache and I passed Sharon on the over pass bridge with Yvonne hot on my heels.

The first 10km just breezed by and when I rounded the half way mark and doubled back I finally saw how close Yvonne was behind me…..she had gained. She was now 100mtr behind me. So I picked up the pace and set off determined to keep her at bay. By the 18km mark my hips and legs were hurting and I was having trouble keeping them moving. But some great encouragement from Shane on the side line spurred me on.

I crossed the finish line at 2 hours and 15 mins…………….5 mins faster than I had hoped for and giving me 1st place.