807 David Hunt, GBR

807 David Hunt, GBR
Finish time: 3:15:20

Coach’s remarks: Thanks Hunty for sharing this mate, it was a superb piece of running and you really have laid it down and raised the bar for the runners out there such as Capt J, Jordo for example who I would like to bet, come out and match you. The best part of that is you will raise it again.. Your aeroscan data as we talked about proves your an endurance King, very close data to Hammer in fact, a Top contender in the World of triathlon in your cat 45-49’s. Anyway, brilliant running and a great report mate.

The race report.
I will start this race report by looking back at the Phuket 70.3 race in December. I was slightly disappointed with my performance in that event and I probably should have written my race report in the immediate aftermath rather than quaffing champers with Marshall, in the Emirates Biz class lounge in Bangkok. All I want to say about that race is what a wonderful event it is and for those in the team that didn’t make it this year plan it in your race calendar for 2012 and beyond if you have not already done so. The whole experience, the organization, the food, friendly easy going people, accommodation and the value for money make this one of the best events I have done. The course was just superb, a real challenge, for mind, body and spirit, and I definitely have unfinished business on that course (and with Jordo) which needs addressing this year. The sheeting rain mid way through the bike added some danger and additional challenge and I can say I did not leave anything out there. The after party was fab and Mrs. Hunt is already looking forward to this years.

So to the Marathon. I was determined to do well this year. I trained hard last year only to go down with a flu bug 5 days before the event. It was the week I first met our coach and I got off my sick bed for a chat about doing IronMan South Africa and joining the Group. He suggested that a give the marathon a miss and I should join the Group once I felt better. Good advice that.

Immediately after the DCS half on December 9 I had the Aerofit Scan and got my report. It was what I expected. I had done two hard races in a week and come off a hamstring strain so I wasn’t at peak fitness. The report said I had an excellent running base and that I should spend more time working out close to threshold and in the 140-150 HR zone to push out my anaerobic zone. So I planned my training to spend 2/3 of my time running close to threshold and 1/3 doing long runs. I have to thank Benny for his advice on long runs in December and January.

I managed one per week and slowly increasing until I ran one 38K run two weeks prior to the event in 3 hrs 23 which kept me on my feet for the approximate time I planned to run the marathon. In that 7 week training period there were some pretty brutal runs on beach road with my training partners from Abras (Debbie, Aileen and Dave Thurley). It’s amazing what you can learn running with a bunch of women. From a week prior to the race I kept myself pretty much wrapped in cotton wool, no swimming, no cycling just some gentle jogs and some stretching with my personal fitness advisor and manager, Mrs. Hunt.

Pre-Race issues were a) where to park given that a lot of roads in Downtown would be closed- that was solved by getting a lift; b) deciding what shoes to run in- follow the mantra of not trying anything new in a race and c) how to keep warm until the start- wear an old T shirt and throw it just before the gun.

Race day arrived and I was confident to do a good time of around mid 320s. I had planned my training, done the work and planned the race. Coach and I had talked about running the first 30 at 450s to 5 and then rolling the dice at 30/32 and giving it all. In the end I decided to run 450s or thereabouts for the first half and then see how we felt at the turnaround and give it everything in the last ten. Saw Beej and
Liz all wrapped up against the cold. This was one of the challenges for the day, trying to warm up and keep warm before the race start. Soon 0700 arrived . I caught Janey’s eye across from me on the start line, exchanged XXXs and we were off.

I just eased into the race at planned 450s and saw loads of people run past me. I wasn’t worried, a plan is a plan, and I knew I would finish strong. I think that’s the confidence you get after doing an ironman and having all the training that we do under the belt. It wasn’t congested and running was smooth. I don’t talk much when I race, but I found it easy to chat with a couple of guys from Striders in the first
ten. Rianca was at Lime Tree café, 11km, with a Gu and choice of drinks. I had decided to have a Gu every 20 mins learning from iron man races. Some might say running on Beach Road is boring but it has a nice comforting familiarity about it and the out and back makes sure you have got people to see for most of the race and that made the time pass.

I stuck with the 4 50s and gradually got that down to 4 45s as we approached the turn around. I was feeling really good here; the conditions were A1 perfect; running within myself, nice posture, even having time to smile. I felt I could go faster but I hung on at this pace right to the 22 km marker. It was great to see Didge on the course shouting “go Hunty” and a disconsolate Chris Seller at the 22 km marker who missed the race due to a stomach bug. I felt for him as he was a sure bet for sub 3 hours.

At 22 km I dropped the pace to 4 30s and just ran. I felt really strong and was keeping to 430s/ 429s. I don’t think I got passed on the course from about the 15 km point and now I was easing my way past all the runners who went out too quick. Mrs. H gave me a bottle of flat coke at 26km which key me going all the way to 35 km when it was all in. I was feeling strong over the last 5 km and I managed to hold my pace. I tried so hard over the last 500M to get under 3 15 but I had nothing left.

These performances are just not possible without great support networks. I would like to thank Coach for his encouragement and guidance on how to pace the race. I really appreciated the texts the day before; my physiotherapist, Jackie Elay, of Up and Running, who is quite simply the best physio in Dubai and who came in a 0630am two weeks before the race to ease my calf. All of my training partners over the last seven weeks whom I have shared some amazingly hard sessions and some serious pain. And of course my number one fan Rianca, who managed to see me at 5 different points on the course to offer me Gus, Isostar and flat cokes. I am taking her to the movies tonight!

I had the perfect race. I didn’t even know that I qualified for Boston 2013 which I am told is the Kona of the marathon world. So my manager better put that one in the diary.