This is the second time I have ran this race and I have to say it was much better last year! Last year it was held in September, a week after the Women's Challenge if I remember rightly, and I was all psyched up from the PB I got there by the time race day came along. More importantly last year the sun was shining and it was a great day out, today, however, it rained. I must admit it was kind enough to stop raining during the run and it conveniently started raining again as I crossed the finish line, so yes I am thanking God for the small mercies!
I went out for a run yesterday, just 6k to get the legs warm as my training has gone out the window this week due to the weather and my hiding out inside as much as possible to avoid it... Yesterday was glorious however so I had to get out and enjoy it! My Garmin wasn't charged and died in the middle of my run, so I popped it on the charger so it was nice and ready for todays run. It worked perfectly whilst I was out running, but when I got back and tried to sync it, it lost all my data and only recorded a zero run for yesterday! ARGH!!!! Never mind, I checked all the details before I sync and luckily I have a photographic memory so it's all in my head...
The race is run by Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research and ten people dressed as bananas set out around the course at different paces 5 mins before the runners start. The aim of the run is to chase the bananas around the course and try to overtake as many as possible. It's great fun and when your time is recorded at the end they tell you just how many bananas you managed to beat! Last year was fantastic, I had been training well and managed to get around in 53:53! I haven't even come close to that time since that race! This year I know my training has been slack, but I was still determined to do my best and whilst I didn't think I could get anywhere near that PB I wanted to get my best time for this year, which so far stands at 57:20; set way back in February.
This year the race really felt like a bit of a mess; it didn't start on time, which isn't a problem as we had some entertainment from a young girl who danced to Michael Jackson for us, then and interesting Zumba warmup. But as I made my way around the course Bananas 9 & 10 were running together, some of the bananas didn't have numbers on their backs which made it difficult to know who you were overtaking and I managed to pass Banana 3 (50 mins pace); who I was aiming to catch at 5km? That didn't impress me. He was walking, so he may have had an injury, which is in no way his fault, but it does take some of the fun out of it.
Another disadvantage of this race it that they use timing chips that are attached to your race number and read by a wand at the end. So timings are not accurate as there is not record of the time you passed the start line and then you have to wait in line after passing the finish line to have your number read! As I passed the finish the clock read 54:30, which is great, but it's exactly a minute out from what my watch read: 55:30? Not sure what happened there, I'll have to wait until the results are published, but either way I'm pleased with the run. It's a nice course around Willen Lake, I do like running there, and there were plenty of water stations and marshalls around the course all in all a good day out, it just the rain that had me running for my car the second I crossed the finish line!