A chilly arrival and knowing it was to be the warmest I would experience, made for quite a shock. The opening ceremony was on the Friday afternoon at the Tasmanian Police Academy, along with a track walk. My course was 2x3 km laps on a rather easy course in a grass paddock. The only thing making the course tough was the wind, rain and cold.
Friday night was the usual pre race dinner of lasagne and garlic bread until disaster struck. I have been dealing with a chest infection for a couple of weeks and thought I had shaken it, turns out I haven’t. With flying and masses of people I managed to pick up a fever, runny nose and spark up my chest infection again. I went to bed around 8:30 and didn’t have to get up early for my race which was nice for a change.
My race was scheduled to start at 1pm so I spent the morning lying in bed watching it snow on Mt Wellington along with the SSA livestream. Due to the cold and wind gusts recorded up to 120km I did not have to arrive at the race until 12. I arrived in the miserable rain, checked in and began warming up with Dan Paddison. We went for a steady jog, or at least until we turned around... the full force of the wind had us cruising at 6-7 minute km's. I put on the devils number and headed into marshalling with my new spikes from The Athletes Foot Carindale. We were kept dry on an indoor basketball court to finish the rest of our warm ups before being called to the start line and put our spikes on. A couple of us Queensland athletes peeled off and sat on the dry steps to put on our spikes rather than sitting in the rain. I managed to get on the front line and the gun went quickly. I was a bit slow off the mark and was buried deep into the pack.
After the first 200m, 81 runners had to fit into a narrow roped course about 3m wide with a spikey tree pushing that down to 1m soon after. I tried to use my size and push through the inside of the athletes and spent my first km being kicked, hit and running into the little barrier poles. I moved up a little bit and tucked back into the pack out of the wind and slowly worked off 1 by 1. My first lap was far too slow and I had lots of work to do if I wanted to even make the top half. Going into the wind I put bursts of energy on between packs before sitting out of the wind for a while and doing the same to the next pack. My body was in no way ready for this event but I gave it my best shot and came in 34th, achieving my goal of improving my Queensland ranking.
I headed back to our apartment as soon as possible to get warm and fell asleep. Sunday was excursion day to Port Arthur and I explored the grounds with Dan, quite an interesting place. I was getting sicker as the days went on, so by Monday morning for the 3km I was aiming to just finish the race and not be in last place. The wind was ridiculous and running by myself was pretty darn hard, sometimes I wish I was short, less wind resistance. That marked the end of my last National school event, and to finish off the day we played in the snow. One more night in our apartment and we checked out, walked through Hobart and jumped on the plane, which is where I wrote this. #needsmoregoats