Monday, 15 March 2010

State Masters Sprint Champion

Results never tell the full story. Pictures can be deceiving. Standing on a podium on 3rd spot all by yourself is rather lonesome, as is standing on the top stop all by yourself.

Victorian State Masters Track titles are done and dusted. I came away with 1 gold, 1 silver, 2 bronze, all hard earnt, even the gold.

Saturday was packed full of racing: sprints, 500m TT and keirin. After her bone biopsy on Friday, Princess Kaz wasn’t up to racing the sprints, and as my only competitor, left me with a gold medal and a flying 200m 0.05 seconds slower than the WMAS4 gold medallist, Wendy Martin to compare myself to. I’ve raced Wendy before: she is tough and gutsy, very fit and strong, has much more endurance than I do, and over distance can whoop my butt no problems. The Chief Comm was happy for the two WMAS4s and myself to race a 3 lap sprint derby for their final medal positions, and to give me a run on the boards. For me, it was an opportunity to actually win my medal, rather than being awarded it by proxy.

I had a bit of a dilemma. I sure didn’t want to interfere with Wendy’s and Marita’s race, but I also didn’t want to float around off the back and just roll around for the hell of it. And I wanted to win, earn my gold in competition. As we rolled off the start, I was up high on the banking. It was a lucky draw. Coming out of corner 2 all I saw was open track space and a beautiful downhill section that my legs just had to jump into. No thought, just a lot of hunger. I saw an opportunity and it was mine. I hit the accelerator and jumped, with 2 ½ laps to go, gaining a good gap on the girls quickly. As I came through with a lap and a half to go, all I could think was you idiot, there goes any chance of a good time in the 500m ‘cos I am laying most of it out here right now. My legs were not in good shape to start with, This was going to bury them. But it didn’t stop me :-) I wanted to win. I kept sneaking looks behind, expecting Wendy to be hi-tailing it across to me, but mostly, I saw empty boards. I was surprised, to be honest. I kept waiting for the catch, but once I was in the final bend, heading for the home straight, and saw the girls still well down in the back straight, I realised there would be no catch. I had gapped them too hard at the start, and they were unable to bring it back, despite a strong effort to do so. I even had the luxury of backing off a bit and rolled over the line, with nearly half a lap up my sleeve. It’s a bit weird winning a race, but I kinda like it. Results on paper don’t tell the story. Podium shots can be deceptive.

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