Just as it was when I did my first Sun Run 7km, a couple of years ago now, the weather forecast was for showers, and I awoke to the rain falling hard outside. Thankfully, the weather was okay for the commute to Dee Why, but it did give us a decent, heavy downpour right before the 10km start.
Fortunately, the rain stopped just before the race began and, once the gun was fired, we were on the way to Manly, with KR well represented across both the 10km and 7km distances as well as in the pacing team.
The Sun Run follows the coast from Dee Why to Manly, offering some great scenery and some challenging hills along the way.
I’d thought a bit before the race about a goal time; I hadn’t hit 45 minutes for a 10km before, and when Chris told me he was pacing the 45 minute group, I figured that that time would be as good a goal as any. My previous 10km PB was around the 47:30 mark, so it was going to take a bit of effort to beat 45 minutes — but I’d done a lot more running leading into this one, and I was feeling good at the start line.
This was the first time I’d done the 10km distance for the Sun Run, and I hadn’t done a lot of research into the course, so I was hoping my memories of the 7km run would serve me well. They didn’t. Getting into the first hill straight out of Dee Why was a shock to the system and the lungs still hadn’t recovered that well when we began the descent into Curl Curl.
I could see Chris and his 45 minute flag up ahead, so I picked up the pace over the flat to catch him and then kept it up to put myself just ahead. The next few kms were mostly flat, so I managed to keep the pace up and felt surprisingly comfortable. I did, however, know that there was a long hill coming up after we passed the Harbord Hilton and even though my mind was saying “smash it,” the legs just weren’t feeling the same way.
Chris caught me at the top of the hill but the last 2.5–3kms are downhill and flat, so I knew if I could get my breath back and pick the pace up again I had a good chance of hitting my goal time. Manly Beach is beautiful, but as I was coming home along North Steyne all I was concentrating on was the inflatable arch at the end of it. I was feeling good again, and even managed a bit of a sprint finish to cross the line in 43:50. My fastest 10km by a long way!
It was then time for a debrief and breakfast with the other KRs at the Boathouse in Shelley Beach; not a bad spot at all! Congratulations to everyone that ran on the day and a special thanks to Chris for the pacing and motivation to run faster! I’ll definitely be back for Sun Run 2019.