Lake Macquarie Fernleigh 15
Category: Road Events
For the Fernleigh 15 this year we planned to get as many members of the Telligence Run Club involved as possible. Thankfully, we had enough team members sign up to enter a team in the relay leg and Kat, our awesome web designer, decided to step up and tackle the full 15k!
Morning of the run everyone met at my place before car shuffling to the event. Arriving at the event Melissa promptly organised our relay runners and had them on their appropriate buses for delivery to their respective start points. The remaining four of us stood around in the sun and tried to keep warm. Speaking of which, it was uncharacteristically cold, so keeping warm was a little difficult wearing only a singlet. Soon after we heard over the PA it was time to head for the start line so off we went.
At the start line we were all able to huddle around in a nice sunny patch but the cold wind was still quite cutting. Thankfully, it was only a few short minutes until the start gun fired and we were off and running. Beau, who started the relay leg took off like a shot setting a cracking pace of 5:00 per/km. Kat and I hung back a little and kept a steady pace of 6:30 per/km. The first few kilometres were all up hill and this was Kat's first 15k event so we just kept it steady.
Over the hill and through the tunnel we made our way down to the first relay checkpoint. Beau pulled in and Julie took over. Kat and I slowed for a quick water break. Looking ahead it was funny seeing Melissa pushing Julie along. Julie had the shortest leg but again, it was all up hill so she had her work cut out for her.
Nearing the second relay checkpoint I heard a big sigh of relief from Kat to finally be at the top of the last hill. Julie ducked off and Phil stepped in for the gentle downhill slog from Whitebridge to Redhead. Kat and I made another stop for water then pressed on for Redhead. Nearing Redhead I started looking out for my parents who said they would be there for encouragement. Sure enough, they were there by the oval, mum screaming "go Telligence team" and Dad telling me to pick up the pace! Kat scoffed a quick gel and we each gulped down some water. Phil finished his relay leg and Troy was now in the race. Him and Melissa were already too far ahead for us to see so we assumed they were setting a good pace.
Now past the 10km mark, Kat's legs were breaking new ground and starting to feel the grind. I must admit, after running the Melbourne marathon on the previous Sunday, I was feeling pretty damn tired myself! We dropped our pace to around 6:45 per/km just to be safe.
Approaching Jewells crossing we had about 4ks to go. Troy made his changeover for Leigh to run home the final leg. Kat and I did all we could to hang on for the last few kilometres. With only two kilometres to go things got really tough and our pace slowed to about 6:55 per/km, which is still great given my tiredness and Kat's new distance record.
Now breaking into the final kilometre we could hear the cheering at the finish line and that was all the encouragement we needed to get the job done. Crossing the line there was a big round of high–fives with each other and the relay team. Everyone seemed to be beaming with being finished. We all took a little minute to catch our breath and then made our way back to my house for post–race BBQ and beers. Great race and afternoon had by all. Can't wait to do it again next year!
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