2017: My Year in Running

2017: My Year in Running

As is now customary, I'm reviewing last year by waiting until I'm a third of the way through this year. This time in 2017 I set myself some goals and it's worth revisiting the list and setting some new ones.

2017 was a really good year for my running. I ran further and faster than I had hoped, and had a heap of fun doing so. Below is for my own self reflection but you might find it somewhat interesting too.

Checking in on my 2017 Goals

I think it's safe to say I hit my running goals in 2017. The only exception was the 10km, which I basically gave up on trying while focusing on longer races.

  • Smash the trails. Done. All of my best runs were on trails this year.
  • Get a road half marathon time under 1h45m. During the 2017 Great Ocean Road Half Marathon I hit 1:42 at the half marathon point. Pretty bloody happy with that.
  • Finish a bunch of trail half marathons I don't think I did this, officially, but ran a heap of 20+km runs on the trails. After May, the majority of my long runs were on trail rather than road.
  • Get a 10km time under 45 minutes Didn't get there, mostly because I didn't really race any 10ks. In the Eltham Fun Run I ran the nominally 10k (really 9.7 or so) in 44:51 so I guess that counts?
  • Get a parkrun time below 21 minutes Achieved a 20:41 in July. Promptly got sick a day later.
  • Run something longer than a half marathon Ultimately I had many runs over 21km n 2017, but the obvious standouts were two fantastic races: Two Bays Trail Run (28km), and the Surf Coast Trail Marathon (43km). Very happy with both of these.

Goals for 2018

  • Run a 50k. I'm signed up for Ultra Trail Australia 50k in May.
  • Run another Marathon. Go below 5 hours if it's a trail run, or below 4 if it's on the road.
  • Get the parkrun 5k time below 20 minutes
  • Find a way to run these long races with less impact on my family

In early 2018 I ran the Two Bays Trail Race again and took 10 minutes of my 2017 time. As noted above I'm already signed up for the UTA50k and just about to begin tapering after a few very intense months of training. Following UTA, I'm signed up for the Wonderland Run 36k in the Grampians during Winter which leaves some time in the calendar for another race in October or November. I'm not to keen on running the Melbourne Marathon (which falls in October, and is the obvious choice for a road marathon) and I'm very keen to spend less time away from my kids... if you've got any advice I'd love to hear it!

Now, that's two blog posts in a couple of days. I better log out for a few months!

Photo: Halfway through the 2017 Wonderland Run 8k. I was meant to tackle the 20k distance but came down with a horrid lurgy all through August. I'll return in 2018 for another go...

The Long Way Round: The Plane that Accidentally Circumnavigated the World

The Long Way Round: The Plane that Accidentally Circumnavigated the World

During World War II, a Pan Am flying boat found itself stranded in Auckland, New Zealand, unable to return to San Francisco due to Pearl Harbour's bombing turning the Pacific into a theatre of war.

From John Bull, The Lapsed Historian:

After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, the crew of Pan Am flight 18602 were forced to do something almost impossible: return to America the long way round.

To get back the California Clipper would have to carve out an all-new route for flying boats from Australia to the East Coast of America. Years before, when the Pacific route had first been charted, it had been done in careful stages, with fuelling ships and stations carefully planned and placed months in advance, using a flying boat specially prepared for the purpose and with a bountiful supply of maps and charts.

The crew of the California Clipper had none of that — all they had was whatever they could scrounge up at Auckland and a commercial flying boat which, by the end of the trip, would have had to fly longer and further in a single trip than any Boeing 314 had ever managed before. They would be flying blind, and they would have to push themselves and — more crucially — their plane well beyond the limits of knowledge and safety.

The entire story is well worth a read (including parts two and three) and covers adventures including poor quality fuel, run-ins with submarines, and world records the public didn't know about for years.

This would make a fascinating Indiana Jones-style movie.

Cover image: Library of Congress via Wikipedia

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