Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Race Report (sort of)


This is taken in the last k, when I had recovered to around 5 min K's.

Official Results:

497 M1408 MARK HEWITT 497th/2686 10K 00:45:48 20K 00:45:24 Half 00:05:05 40K 01:39:22 FINISH 03:27:06 NETT 03:26:51 MALE 417 M4044M 70th

This is from my letter to Pat (Organiser of the Pacers) ....

"My pacing experience was always going to be tough at 3:15. I did lead the way and made the first splits through 5k, 10k, 20k, the half, 25k all within seconds of the plan. We didn't go out too fast and I had to surge and push the group to remain on track. Heading past the start after 25K I handed over to Ken (the other pacer). I was feeling the strain at that stage and he did a wonderful job but finished only 30 seconds or so short.

On the far turn, a group of about 10 to 15 were sitting a little ahead of Ken and I guess they all made it.

To date, running has only been myself and therefore I was the only one I could let down. Pacing is different! I was surprised at the pressure that comes with it when the challenge is as high as it was on the day. I just had a bad day, stitch, cramps, etc. I was covered in salt and lost a substantial amount of weight. I finished emotionally drained, sad and shattered with the hope I hadn't let anyone down. This not only includes the runners but also yourself and the creditability of pacing. The few I spoke to were supportive and thanked me for my efforts. Some even appreciated what a good job I did at the start."


and his reply .....

"Mate you have not let anyone down. I totally appreciate the fact you put your hand up to help on the day and we both know that it was going to be a mission and a half given you had never done the time before. Please don't feel bad at all - feel proud knowing that you have the desire to help other runners."

and then from a fellow runner .....

"Even though I spoke to Mark after the run, when you talk with him again could you please pass on a huge thanks from me. I knew before the race that you had difficulty finding a 3.15 pacer and he had offered knowing that the pace was faster than his PB which was an incredibly gutsy thing to do. When I felt him slow at 25 km I felt guilty pulling out of the bus and leaving him behind after his great effort particularly as he had pushed against the occasional headwind while I had hidden in the pack saving my energy. While I’ve never run in a pacing group before preferring to run at my own pace, Mark’s effort (and that of other pacers) was truly inspirational.

When I ran in the Brisbane Marathon I passed a pacer who wasn’t able to maintain pace on the day but urged his group to run on ahead only to bagged by some at the end of the race. Many pacers like Mark forgo a chance of a personal PB and put their reputations on the line for the good of other runners so it has to be one of the greatest contributions any runner can make and they deserve our whole hearted support. Mark put in a championship effort in my book."

20 Comments:

Blogger 21stCenturyMom said...

You Win! And so did everyone in your pace group. You got them going the right pace and then they were able to keep it up.

We never know what will happen in an endurance event. We can't control the whole thing.

You did great. I hope you are feeling it now - your greatness, that is.

3:19 pm  
Blogger Eddie said...

On the day, Mark, it would be easy to blame the pacer but the pacer is exactly that, a pacer, he/she is not the guarantee. You got them out there and you got them on there way the rest was up to them. Oh! and you beat me :).

7:40 pm  
Blogger Bolder said...

that WAS gutsy mate.

you could be MY pacer anyday!

unfortunately Mr. Speedy Pants, i'd never be yours...

well.done.

10:25 pm  
Blogger *jeanne* said...

You did great. You are one of my heroes - a pacer of a MARATHON. Awesome, unimaginable feat for somebody like me.

Don't be hard on yourself; you obviously were a tremendous help to those who followed your lead.

1:12 am  
Blogger runswithdog said...

Ok, here's the scoop. You rock. You went in honest. No exagerating of ability, just a 'Never done it before but I will give it my best shot". You do realize you just ran a marathon not even for *yourself* but for others. And just to give you a little perspective, give me a call if they need a pacer for next year. I will volunteer. For the 12 m/m group. And only for the first 5 miles. I can't go any further or faster :-)

3:44 am  
Blogger Robert Song said...

By putting your hand up for the pacing duties, you displayed courage beyond the call of duty even before the race started.

To get them to 25k on time gave them the platform. After that, at that sort of level it is always going to be up to the individual runner to drive themselves to the finish.

I found myself just behind your group for most of the first half. Many a time I would have liked to have made up the ground to say hello but I couldn't justify that extra effort so early in the race.

Sunday just wasn't your day as an individual run but as a contribution to the running community you covered yourself in glory with your daring and dedication to others. Well done.

9:54 am  
Blogger Clairie said...

Mark, I thought you were crazy for putting your hand up to pace the 3:15 group. I still think you were!

But you did it when very few others would and you did a damn fine job to get everyone halfway there.

After the halfway mark I have seen runners drop off and pacers go through to the finish on their own. They get bagged for not staying with other runners and encouraging them as much as they can. Then you get the pacer that does just that and gets bagged for not finishing EXACTLY on time.

The concept of a pacer is to run at a certain pace whilst motivating those around to run to their ability. The best thing a pacer can do in the later stages of a race is to encourage a runner to continue on their own to finish as best as they can.

We have to take that same advice even as pacers. You did run the best you could on the day with all the pain and sufference you went through and I am extremely proud of your efforts and final results.

Others would walk or DNF but you kept it going and finished strongly - just as you always do in training.

I can't wait to have this baby and ask your special permission to pace me to a good marathon - because I know deep down you are up for it.

So no time for tears or regrets, recovery quickly and get stuck into training.

I'll be back to join you in no time.

12:01 pm  
Blogger Ewen said...

You did well Mark. Don't be too hard on yourself. You'll be in or ahead of the 3:15 group in Melbourne.

By the way, did Katy let the dogs lick the salt off afterwards?

12:36 pm  
Blogger Scott said...

It's interesting Toasty that nobody here is saying you did the "wrong thing."

Is this because they are a bunch of brown nosing sycophants without common sense or are they right!

You decide.

Well done mate.

1:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done Toastie.

I know its a sh!te feeling not taking them all the way. I just paced in a little half in Brisbane and failed. I felt awful for a while but the support of the running community was fantastic and i bounced back (and in my opinion big time - couldnt pace 95 then did 86 in next race). You had the pressure of the biggest Marathon in Australia. You too will bounce back and i know big time at your next goal race.

I think you did a great job to get your group to 25k. I also share your philosophy that if you are a pacer you should try and run as close to the goal pace per km as possible. ie dont get time in the bank. Great effort getting them through to 25km and i know 2 of the people in the bus managed to finish very strongly and achieve more than they had initally hoped for. Perhaps if you had gone out to get time in the bank the wouldnt have had anything left to get home. All i can say is well done, you will be a stronger person. You are taking the right approach... as the great Wayne Bennett said to Matt Hayden when he couldnt get into the Aussie team... get better not bitter, you should vowl to pace the 3h15bus to success next year!

N 5t3v3

(or N Steve)

PS I think i saw Ihatetoast with a sword on the course. Very good effort in the support role there too :)

5:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well done Toastie.

I know its a sh!te feeling not taking them all the way. I just paced in a little half in Brisbane and failed. I felt awful for a while but the support of the running community was fantastic and i bounced back (and in my opinion big time - couldnt pace 95 then did 86 in next race). You had the pressure of the biggest Marathon in Australia. You too will bounce back and i know big time at your next goal race.

I think you did a great job to get your group to 25k. I also share your philosophy that if you are a pacer you should try and run as close to the goal pace per km as possible. ie dont get time in the bank. Great effort getting them through to 25km and i know 2 of the people in the bus managed to finish very strongly and achieve more than they had initally hoped for. Perhaps if you had gone out to get time in the bank the wouldnt have had anything left to get home. All i can say is well done, you will be a stronger person. The approach you are taking is right... getting better not bitter, perhaps you should vowl to pace the 3h15bus to success next year!

N 5t3v3

5:46 pm  
Blogger Laurie said...

That made me smile and I wasn't even the pacer! You should be proud of your efforts out there. It was greatly appreciated!

5:00 am  
Blogger Tomawac said...

There you go Mark.

Jury is in.

No sychophants, just support and friendship.

Every race is different and has highs and lows. Every.Race. That's what makes marathon special.

That and the crazy cheer squads you see on the side (hi katy).

Bring on Melbourne.

12:19 pm  
Blogger Coach Tammy said...

YAY for TOASTIE!!! But I thought you were going to run in your Super Toast outfit :(

3:00 pm  
Blogger Tesso said...

What everyone else said :-) Except I have one extra thing to say.

You ... Me ... Melbourne Marathon 2007.

Move over, I'm coming too!!!

4:03 pm  
Blogger robtherunner said...

You stepped up to the plate and delivered your best effort for the day. Guts go a long way in my back as well as the desire to help others. My hat, if I wore one, is off to you. Well done!

11:11 am  
Blogger speedygeoff said...

Well done champ.

And that's one of my speedygeese, Roger Pilkington, right behind you in the photo!

8:02 pm  
Blogger massoman said...

sorry i haven't dropped by and read the last few posts.

mark, your attitude, determination, and spirit is (are) as tough as woodpecker lips.

and you are so goddamn fast.

12:59 pm  
Blogger Peterhorse said...

i agree with Pat and the other note said, and all of your friends here. you got guts and plenty of heart to offer help like that. you looked like you were carrying that pressure before the start. it makes for an even better story when you turn up and kick it's ass back.

11:17 am  
Blogger mike said...

When I took that photo I thought here's a man running 4.37s, how come he's 10 mins late? Thought you must've had an extended portaloo break (a la Doomben)...The pacers that I see on tele always pull out after they've set the pace. Congrats on gritting it out to the bitter end.

7:04 pm  

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