Trying hard not to get keyed up and stressed about this race. By now I had established that Tammy (housemate, friend and training partner) was my main competition. All of us settled in for the evening and I had been out for a short training walk. My ankle had bothered me a little during the walk and my coach suggested I take some anti flam medication for it. Which I did and also some natural sleeping remedy to help me get a good sleep before the race.
We all headed to bed and tucked our selfs up by 10pm but by 1am I was woken by terrible stomach cramps which quickly turned to a nasty dose of diarrhea. Hmmmm not fun before a long race I can assure you.
We drive into watch the race and manage to catch a small segment of the earlier age groups. As we had suspected the race was delayed (I was most grateful to this news!!) and so we were able to chat quietly with new found friends and some old ones too.
Photo below shows where I spent most of my pre race warm up!!1
So race briefing started and we all lined up and got ready to go. Here I am below ready to start my Garmin and go baby go!!!!
The gun goes off and I am away. We had approx 600m to walk until we crossed the official finish line and from where I would start my lap data. It was here that I realized that I only had about 5 people in front of me and came quickly to the realization I had started way to fast, so I quickly slowed up but I still went through my first km in 5:15 which is an insane pace for a 10km and I berated myself for the next lap. It was very hard to pace yourself (well it was for me) as it was almost a 1 mile loop and they did have 1, 2 & 3 km markers up....it was still very odd. The only good thing was it was only 6 loops for the 10km .... not 10 as it is back home. I was feeling very weak and light headed for the first couple of km's and it took that long to slip into my race pace and figure out my race line. There were two sections in the course that you could cut out a complete "S" in the road and save up to 20secs per lap. I was the only one in the lead group to cut the lines and we were told to use the "whole" course......it was only annoying when the spectators started milling around on the corner and standing across to the centre of the course......but me and my booming voice soon got rid of them!!! I am told that those behind me started following my lines as it made more sense....ok it was out of the shade but I would go for the shortest route over the longer shade one any day!!!
By 7th km I was feeling very tired. The camber on the course was taking its toll on my legs and hips and the heat was starting to pick up. What started out at 19degs soon picked up to mid 20's and even though I was drinking at each lap...it was not enough to replace what I had lost during the night and the morning. So as I started to slow with GI cramps......Tammy started to gain.....second by second each lap. I had NO idea how far behind me she was......just that she was there. I would listen out behind me as I crossed the start finish to hear her name being called out by spectators or the lap counters ... but I never did hear it.
On the last lap (that bell sounded soooo good) I picked up the pace a little and I did look at my time and try to work out my projected finish time. I had so wanted a 56:?? and I worked it out in my head that I should get a high 56:?? so I pushed on and passed a number of the slower walkers. As I rounded the last bend and came down to the finish line (which did have a down hill run to it) the cheif judge stepped out and gave me the hand signal to slow down.....(palms down and pushing them towards the ground) it really confused me as I was NOT lifting and was just starting to build speed for the press home. I have always been told the chief judge can DQ you in the last 100m but I still thought he had to either show you a paddle to warn you.....or just take you off. (I found out he did this to ALL finishers) so of course not know what it meant I slowed right down......and probably lost my 4 secs that I needed in the last 200m.
But................I WON, so it really didnt matter all that much. My time was 57:03:11 and is a personal best for the judged 10km Road Walk. I could not be happier...... after I crossed the line I wandered off under the trees to get some air and try not to be sick and so missed Tammy's finish which I felt badly about once I realised. But the scary thing to me was how close she was. she was only 32secs behind me in the end. Just over 100m and I now know how tough she is going to make the 20km walk be!!!!!
We traveled back to the park for the Medal Ceremony which ended up being a total disaster. We were told no official results were in and it would be an hour til there would be any due to a protest. As we had to drop Lis to the air port the only choice was to go then and there. So poor Tammy had to rush to the car, drive back into Davis and then out to Sacramento Airport. Drop Lis off and then rush back to the University. Taking her an hour!! no sooner had she left, the officials started calling up the medal groups and our group was in it. So we delayed it for an hour, but the teams medals were not being done until after all individual medals were given out. So when Tammy got back and we were able to get our medals we still had to wait for Tammy to be able to get her Gold Team medal. All racewalkers had to stand out in the HOT sun, with little water and almost NO shade for over 4 hours. It was worth it though when we all stood by and watched Tammy get her Gold.
So here is the top 3 for the W40 - 44 10km Road Walk