Sunday, November 30, 2008

Centennial Park sexxi cross-country

The title of this post may require some explanation...

Some time ago, CoolRunning Australia member ShanksPony complained about the term half-marathon thus...
I think we need a new word for a half-marathon. The word 'half' is misleadingly diminutive, and this distance deserves better.

21 is also XXI, and i would like to propose that the half-marathon becomes the 'Standard Entry' for race meetings. Therefore the half-marathon could be renamed the SEXXI. This in turn would lead to an obvious re-classification of the other distances:

10km: Ain't half sexxi
marathon: 2sexxi
ultra: far2sexxi

This is such an obviously sensible and empowering suggestion that it's amazing that no one had thought of it before now.

The final Sri Chinmoy event for the 2008 Sydney series was a sexxi cross-country in beautiful Centennial Park. For those looking for faster fulfillment there were also 4km and 7km races.

I'd like to say at this point that I'd been training well leading up to this event and felt in tip-top shape and supremely confident - but I won't because it's not true. I arrived at the race feeling sluggish and nursing a sore achilles which I had somehow managed to provoke despite doing almost no running. Is it possible that you can strain your achilles while sitting down ?

The morning was unseasonally cold for spring time in Sydney, with occasional light showers and gusts of wind, but this made for quite nice running conditions, and anyway, nothing can dent the pleasure of running in Centennial Park. It's very easy to forget that you're just a stone's throw from the city as you jog past lakes and playing fields, through pine glades and over rolling grassy hills. I had chosen to wear my FiveFingers, thinking that they would be better than sandals if the course was muddy, and they felt very comfy on the grass and dirt trails.

For the first part of the race I ran and chatted with my friend Crabby (seen here rehydrating while I strike a fashionable pose) until she got into her stride and disappeared over the horizon as she is wont to do, as well as other CoolRunners MichaelG, Bert and RunningAngel. But after a while I found myself running alone and tried to get into a steady chug that I hoped would hold up for the 21.1km.

As it turned out I made it to the finish comfortably, having taken a bit over two hours for the run - a much better time than I deserved given my lack of preparation.

Many thanks to Prachar and the wonderfully friendly and encouraging Sri Chinmoy folk for another great event. If you're in or near Sydney, visit the Sri Chinmoy web site for details of the 2009 race series.

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