Event: Wings for Life World Run 2016
Distance: ? km – when do you get caught?
Stay ahead of the Catcher Car
Date: Sunday the 8th May 2016, 9PM start
Location: Hawthorn to ?
Organised by: Wings for Life World Run
The Moving Finish Line – Catcher Car – It’s Behind You!
Runners and wheelchair competitors, from beginners to elite athletes, race side by side to stay ahead of the Catcher Car, chasing them from behind.
34 Locations Worldwide All Start at 11am UTC
Wings for Life World Runners start at exactly the same time in multiple locations or as Selfie Runners using their smartphones worldwide. Runners and wheelchair competitors race side by side.
Based on the Wings for Life World Run 2016 Goal Calculator tool the plan was to average c.6 minute kilometers and end up with 15kms before being caught;
At the moment all timings and splits reflect onto Tracy’s training for a sub 2h 15m half marathon at the Gold Coast in July. With the objective of 6:21/km giving a 2h 14m half, the target was 6min/km would give 15km before being caught. As the sun set and night settled in, the event precinct took on a party atmosphere. We were expecting to see a lot of glow stick action but surprisingly very few others were wearing the glowsticks – the Westerfoldians had this identification method almost all to themselves (which was very handy).
The start was very congested, and it took us almost 2m30s to get under the starting banner and onto the freeway after the gun went off at 9pm. After watching videos today I see that there were waves based upon the little colour square on the race bibs; this was impossible to hear on the day and as far as I can see, not explained in the race notes.
Once on the course the conditions were pleasant as the rain earlier in the day had cleaned the road, and the temperature hovered at approx 18°C. For the first 5km we were weaving to keep tempo as I think we were still catching slower runners who had started closer to the front; there were also runners who had hit their limits and had begun to walk until they were caught. Surprisingly over the course of the run we were on a steady climb from 16m ASL to 120m ASL at c.11.5km, not obvious when you are driving but enough to impact your running pace. In the end we were caught just before 14km (13.77km). Tracy also managed to do her 2nd best estimated 10k effort (59:26)!
Ignoring the first km which was too congested, the tempo was great with an average pace of 6:05 [on target] with a noticeable dip in the pace at the first rest station (issues with the food/water), and a slight issue at the second rest station due to congestion (These issues can be solved on the Gold Coast by using the Salomon race vest and soft drink bottles). An issue with me doing some recent speed work and solo runs is that I need to concentrate on my pace more to hold the 5:30, 5:45, 6:00 pacing and not drift onto my pace.
All in all a great concept and an enjoyable run, if anything the organisers really need to rethink the bus pickup method – it felt adhoc, was dangerous, and put a dampener on an otherwise good vibe at the 15km rest stop pickup. (I say this as a previous manager of aid stations at the Melbourne Ironman, I would not have been happy being responsible for what was occurring.)