You know those best races are the local ones! The last race of the year (and last race before the Dopey Challenge) was during the last weekend of November, with the starting line only 2.5km away from my front door!
The Central Coast Half Marathon & 10k event holds a special place in my heart as this is the race where I completed my first half marathon back in 2013. No repeat half distance for me this year, the week just happened to be my short week before attempting my first 20-miler.
What’s great about the Central Coast Half Marathon & 10k is that it is run on the pedestrian/bike path following Tuggerah Lake – entirely flat with the exception of a new pedestrian bridge built over the creek. It truly makes a fast course!
The course is an out and back, with the start approx 200m ahead of the finish line. There are aid stations at the 2km & 4km marks (thus 6km & 8km on the way back) plus I felt that there was more on-course support this year than 2 years ago – although I was more in the middle of the pack than in 2013 when I was one of the last finishers. Since this is already an established pedestrian pathway and the course is out and back the half marathon participants are on the way back as the 10k gets underway which leads to an interesting conundrum where people are everywhere and event staff on bicycles are trying to make room for the front runners. This year the course was clear of the general public, but this may have been due to the fact that I was in the main bunch rather than the very back (which I was in 2013).
For me, I wasn’t planning on racing this one – I just wanted an awesome, fun run. I had already run a Parkrun PR for the 5k the day before so I wasn’t thinking of running quickly – looking to keep around a 7:30 per km speed (for a nice run). As per usual the race started out quicker than what I was hoping but I was able to maintain that speed the entire way which was a nice but crazy surprise. I did get to the point where I felt the distance training kicked in and I was running on autopilot. I ran in at 1:09:33 which was the best 10k I have ran in 2015, and the best since coming back from injury (I’m getting back to those pre-injury, pre-crazy mineral deficiency times)!!! I was absolutely stoked with the time, getting back into the groove of things.
I’m always a huge fan of local events – especially when they’re walking distance from my house. And with awesome weather in November (it wasn’t too hot this year) it’s definitely one to keep on the calendar! Not sure whether I’ll pick up the half next year again (and better my 2013 time), I guess I have a year to decide!