So, Sunday and marathon race day .. and boy was it HOT!
Got to the track at 10:30am, got my race number and electronic timing chip and took a seat next to the track. Even at this early time of day the heat was building, it was obvious, for me, and probably most of the other skaters, dehydration was going to play a major part in this race.
The race was slated to start at 2:00pm. At 2:00pm the gun was fired.
I decided to start the race slow and see how I felt after 10 laps. On lap 8 I was starting to feel the heat sapping my energy reserves, I couldn’t believe it.. was I going to get to the half way stage? At this point it was doubtful. I had picked a boiler of a race for my introduction to speed skate marathon racing.
Got to the half way stage and thankfully my stamina was holding. I could see other skaters finding the going hard so this, in a strange race mentality sort of way, gave me the confidence to start increasing my pace.
Lap 20 came and went, 21, 22. At this point I knew I was going to finish.
The last 6 laps were taken in a more ‘race’ manner. I joined a couple of slip-stream lines, overtook a couple of skaters and generally started to feel comfortable.
My partner Sue, was lap counting. On what I thought was the final lap, I communicated to Sue to let me know if I had completed the necessary 28 circuits. Sue replied ’28 LAPS .. I think’ !
‘I think ..’ was enough for me to add an extra couple of ‘make sure’ laps.
Although I can honestly say I wasn’t ‘out of it’, I was happy to finish.
I’m not completely sure of my finish position, but I was told I may have achieved 2nd place in the Masters category. Not an Earth shaking achievement because of the low numbers of the entrants to the Masters section. I will be waiting to see the web-published results to be sure of my race finish position.
For me though, finishing was everything. Finishing in the heat of today’s race was a bonus.
For my introductory marathon, I’m happy with my race build-up, the race and my placing. I’m hooked and already looking for another race to compete in.