Hi blog followers and welcome to my weekly blog under the publication of Coach Ray Boardman’s Qwik-Kiwi Coaching Website. After becoming injury free, I was keen to test the mettle. I didn’t have far to look as on Base the US Army had a 10 Miler Run (16 Kilometers) with a free T-Shirt up for grabs, another one, I’m in, but with hardly running at all over the last 6 months, this was going to test how my injured foot had really progressed after the Physio’s clearance. So how did it go…
We reported to the US Army Camp on Base at 0500 hours (5 AM) for a brief by one of their Officers whose official title is Camp Mayor. Okay… but he was keen to give us the run down, along with the deputy, to get us going so we could be the sun which was about to let us know who was the real boss. Simple, we set off in waves, those carrying packs and heavy equipment go first, the rabbits go next and the remainder to be split into the next two waves, so a total of four waves. I was put into wave three due to my historical foot injury of over-pronation in my left foot. The starters hooter went off (car horn) and away we went. As soon as I started, one of the Kiwi’s joined me on a mountain bike to pace me, which was great. I let her know that I normally run for 9 minutes and walk for 1 minute, this was due to having calf strains a few years ago and was a remedy Coach Ray had come up with. Even though I am long since having calf strains, I have maintained this ratio and was keen to follow it with becoming injury free from the over-pronation, which stopped me in my tracks for six months (and did my head in).
The course was simple enough, I walked it frequently when I wasn’t allowed to run, so a quick check of the map before the race brief and everything was familiar, it was simply in an anti-clockwise direction when I normally completed it in a clockwise direction. The Aid-Stations were set up about every three miles, where I raided the cold water, Gatorade, bananas etc, loading up my supporters mountain bike with freebies. My first 9 minute run was a bit slower to warm up then I was into a routine pace I would maintain throughout. The athletes from the other waves were soon getting ticked off as I caught and ran pass them. My boss turned up on another mountain bike and we exchanged our usual friendly banter as I loaded his bike frame with the Gatorade bottle that I raided. Apart from a minor blister in my foot everything held together well as the kilometers ticked off on my Garmin, the run/walk pace of 9/1 was doing the trick.
The sun was hounding us with a touch of humidity as I approached the final straights, knowing I had one more corner to turn then head to the American base. The final runner I caught up with and passed wasn’t having a bar of it and soon caught me and passed me as he attempted to put his foot down, I sped up to a faster pace that I knew I could maintain compared to what he was trying to do, and clipped him to the post. He got a bit of grief from his colleagues for being beaten by an old man who was a bit puffed and the young American was almost buckled over. I had a smile on my face, not so much for beating the young guy, as it’s all about finishing to me, but for the fact my foot caused me absolutely no problems at all. And of course, I received a free finishers T-Shirt, of which I’ve lost count to how many I will be taking back to New Zealand with me, the finishers were also awarded some sample sands to commemorate the location…yup! But with an unofficial finishing time of 1 hour 32 minutes for the 10 miles or 16 kilometers, I was pretty happy considering I had only just restarted running again after a forced injury break of almost six months.
Stay tuned team as I continue my journey back into major events. Regards John Humphries (Aka Humps, Aka UltraHumps)!
UltraHumps will be writing weekly blogs as he continues his journey and raising funds for Charitable causes.
Read Humps article from last week here:
All his previous articles are stored here: