Sunday, 6 April 2014

Yarra Ranges Athletics Club - 5km Lillydale Lake Race

My first medal! Please allow me to indulge... 
Woohooo! Right, now that I've got that out of the system I can write up my race report.  

Sunday 6 April turned on the perfect weather for a 5km race. Normally two laps around Lillydale Lake is a comfortable 5km run. The trail is nice and flat bar a little rise if you go clock-wise around the lake. 

So, as having posted previously my desire to run a sub 20, sub 19 5km run I was feeling pretty good, and a little nervous. 

I had the inov-8 f-lite 252s laced up and was set to go. My amazing wife and kids came down with me and after I registered she took the kids off to the park for a play as I did a lap of the lake as a warm up. 

There must have been some nerves, as my HR was sitting around 165 - 170 BPM as I trotted around the lake at 5:15 to 5:30 pace. This was quite unexpected, but it had settled down to 145 BPM by the time I found the family back at the start line. 

After a few minutes delay, we set off at about 9:33. The plan was to hit out at around 4:00km pace. A few hundred meters in and a quick check of the watch and I was moving fairly quickly. The pace was closer to 3:45 but I was happy with that. The field was quite varied: Some younger, mid to late teens from the athletics club, some serious looking folk and the rest of us. I managed to pick and weave through the field and settled in somewhere near the top 10. 

Normally when you run the lake, you run the lake, but we turned left and onto the grass towards the main road.

A series of twists and turns, very nice!
We hit the first of the rises and this is where I picked up the pace a little and left the pack and slotted into 4th. I was running at a steady pace, and really used the slight downhill to pull away from the runners behind me. The lead runner mind you was doing exactly the same to me! We doubled back to the lake and followed it true for about 250m or an 1/8th of a mile before peeling to the right and up the hill be the edge of the lake estate fence line. The next 800m or so was a gradual uphill slog, and running through the grass made it all that much harder. The runner ahead of me stayed just out of reach, but I was happy to keep him in my sights. 

As we finished the paddock circuit and hit the lake track again I was starting to hit my limits. I was at a steady 4:05/4:10 pace as we tackled the km or so of rising gradient at the backside of the lake. Concentrating on my breathing I pushed on, slowly pulling away from the runner behind me. As we neared the 'wall' section of Lillydale Lake the course took us down to the off-lead play area for the local dogs and back onto the grass. We skirted along the park boundaries, ducking and weaving through the trees, just above my short head height. A short pinch took us back to the track before the hard hit of Hospital Hill. I managed to sneak a peek back behind me and saw that the runner behind me was about 75m away. I leaned into the hill, focused on the POSE lift and drop ad powered up the hill. I could hear the Marshall behind me giving him a spur on and the directions as I hit the downhill, about 100m of relief. 

From here you normally follow the track, but again we were diverted through the trees onto a very short single trail type track. Great fun! 

Busting through the trees I saw the 4km sign, the HR had to be sky-high as the end was sort of insight. No, we were again diverted half way up the hill in a bit of a zig zag before running onto the 'beach' area, which created about 250m of sand. This was brutal. It sounds simple but it was hard work and certainly slowed the pace. I had to chuckle at the tourists I heard nattering away. It sounded like they were encouraging me but they may have been very animatedly discussing the beautiful weather. 

Finally I reached the end of the sand and was allowed a short section on the path before again being direct onto the grass and away from the finish. Damn you! One final U-turn and I almost started on the 10km second loop before a marshal asked me what distance I was running. 5k I signalled, the breath was rapidly running out at this stage. 'This way' was her response and I made a quick turn into the right area. With 200m to go I found that little extra and headed for home, giving it my all. 
Powering home...
 I saw the family and allowed myself a big smile and a wave of relief washed over me as I crossed the line. 20:36 and I was told I had run in 3rd. I was honestly completely surprised by this as I was sure that I was 4th or 5th. 3rd place, it was an Athletics club run, I was not expecting this.  

We hung around for the 1/2 an hour or so that it took for the presentations and I was able to chat to Rohan, the race director for Two Bays and the Roller-coaster runs that I had also loved. 

Waving to the kids of course :)
I heard that the winner was about 90 seconds or so off his usual 5km time, so we were justified in saying that it was a tough course, and it was. I'd say nearly 75% was run on grass, where you have to work that little bit harder to keep the pace. There were hills at every turn and even sand. For those of you that run the lake, we have a real trail run right on our doorstep. You just have to think, and look outside the square, or at least off the man-made paths. 

A big shout out to the Yarra Ranges Athletics club for their organisation of the day. The course was well marked, the course was run between little orange and green markers and clearly signposted when you needed to turn. All the marshals had a smile on their face and were full of encouragement. 

And for the stats... My ave HR was 180BPM, right up there in the 90% plus range, with a peak of 193. My recorded max is 197. My average pace was 4:09. This was a little slower than anticipated, but given the actual course layout I was stoked. 

Well, finally I've done it. I've finished on a podium. Next up is a Skins A400 
Vs 2XU Elite tights review. Stay tuned and keep moving. 

Cheers once more, ThisFish


  1. Well Done Lachlan!! Thanks for supporting the run & glad you enjoyed it. Clarkey

    1. Thanks Clarkey, you guys set up a ripper of a run. The smiles on the faces I saw were gold. Anytime you need some support, sing out :)

  2. Enjoyed your recount Lachlan, it was a tough little run for sure

    1. I' glad you enjoyed the read Jane. Sometimes the little things in life can be the best :) Often we are surprised by what we find.

  3. very very nice, Lachie. Congrats and great win!

    1. Hey Stan, great to hear from you. I'd love to have had a win, but not yet. It was a victory of sorts, as I was able to run strongly and hold my nerve when times got tough. The hill training in the Dandenongs really paid off as I was able to pull away on ups and then even more so on the downs of all the hills.

  4. Superb effort. A tough little course for a 5k sprint!

  5. Thanks Les. It was a tough course. While it was not quite a sprint, it was certainly quick compared to any of the runs we do up in the Dandenongs.