The day had come. Gosh was I nervous, even more so than any of my races in Sacramento. I think cause it was home town and I felt I had the expectations of my sponsors, friends and general public to do great!
We woke to a perfect day for racing. Still, cool and calm. It was sunny and approx 10degs when we got to the track. I went to the registration table and went to get my numbers and was given one number. I explained that race-walkers must have two numbers for front and back, so I headed off to find the chief judge and have him explain it. Soon enough a second lot of numbers were produced and we got into the meet and great of everyone. I went off on my own and started warming up out on the track. Soon enough others followed out and did similar.
We all lined up for race briefing. As they were starting the 3000m with the 10,000m they had to explain where the stop point was and also to explain about the DQ board (as for most of the walkers this was their first ever judged walk)
We started out and I took lead. Not the spot I wanted as I had expected Wendy to take lead spot. But I stayed to plan and settled into my pacing after the first km. My aim was to stick to 2:17 per lap and for most I was under that. I fluctuated around 5:40 per km - which is pretty much what I had wanted to do. Wendy stayed on my shoulder until the 6km mark and then made a burst away. I opted whether to chase but decided to stick to my own race plan. At the 9km mark I got my first warning for bent knee (left knee) and then another from the next judge. I corrected and pulled my self back up again.
Each time we would pass in front of the grand stand everyone would cheer and call out. This helped so much as by now my back was hurting badly and I was struggling. The last km felt like it took forever!!!
I crossed the line, hit stop on my watch and then waited for a moment until I checked it. 56:34 Wahooooo I got it.....Omg, I actually got it. Next I turned to cheer in Neroli and watching her cross over to get her NZ Masters record was just awesome. I was so thrilled for the club and the organizers of the South Is Masters Games .... that set it up for 3 Masters records on the first morning of events!
I have never felt so proud to be a walker.