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(20/4/2018) Blog 6-What is Run Culture? & The 2018 Canberra marathon


Hi all, this is to be the first of many personal running blogs by me. I have created ‘Run Culture’ for many reasons.

Firstly, after 20 yrs as a runner if you can still talk about running till, ‘the cows go home’, it’s an infinite passion. Everyone should do things in their life that they enjoy and are passionate about.

Until recently I hadn’t realised what a wasted resource I’d be if I didn’t share what I’ve learnt over the past 20 years of running.

I have also always been praised for my thoughtful writing, despite enjoying it I’ve never pursued it.

I love analysing and thinking about running, ‘Run Culture’ will provide me with a platform to do this.

I am an experienced physiotherapist that fully believes in the many physical and mental benefits that running can provide. I want people to know about the strong link between physical activity and a full filled life. I want to be apart of a culture that promotes physical activity.

I want to create a hub that avid runners regularly source as a reputable running network.

I want people to look forward to my blog post installments. I want to make people; smile, grow, gasp, learn, nod, get excited, fervently plan, etc. like I have personally done over the years when reading good running literature.

So here we are, my first personal Run Culture blog post. I hope you find it invaluable and if you do, someone else might too, so please share and let’s keep enriching lives with running chat.

So, that’s what Run Culture is but who am I? My name is Dane Verwey. I am a 32 year old male sub elite marathoner from the Mornington Peninsula, just southeast of Melbourne, Australia. Running has been a constant in my life since I was 11, it is a passion and part of my identity. Running has taught me a lot and it has helped me form so many friendships. As a 28 year old I caught the marathon bug and over the last 4 years I have really focused on becoming the best marathoner I can. I am also a full time physiotherapist and live with my beautiful fiancé Jess.

This first blog will quickly reflect on the recent 2018 Canberra marathon, an event I competed in on Sunday just passed.

Subsequent blogs from May will detail my weekly training in the 16 weeks into the 2018 Berlin marathon, where I want to break my 2:24:18 PB.

The 2018 Canberra Marathon:

The journey to Canberra Marathon started 9 weeks out; when Craig Appleby, Dion Finocchario (correct spelling finally and first guest blogger on Run Culture) and I contacted each other on Facebook and started the private message group; “Road to Canberra”.

Suddenly all three of us were in a unspoken pact, where we inevitably unknowingly held each other accountable. Weekly we checked in on each other in regards to; race entry, training ideas, progress, injury concerns and when when our programs aligned we joined forces for some group work outs for the mentally taxing marathon specific sessions.

Having training partners of similar ability and with similar goals was inspiring, it got us out the door on those early morning double runs where you’d prefer to sleep in it was a huge motivator. You almost felt apart of a team and you didn’t want to fall behind or let the others down. We soon labelled ourselves, ‘The Melbourne Boys’ for the race, and booked joint accomadation and a hire car.

Some of the group workouts we ticked off in the lead up might be of some interest for readers;

-One of these was 6 weeks out where Dion and I ran 2 hours on undulating trail at 4:15min/km in the langwarren Flora and Fauna Reserve into 8 by 1km off 1minute float at Ballam Park Athletics Track in Frankston. Dion was very strong in this session, we shared the lead for the 1km repetitions in 3:08-12 for 7 repetitions but then I had to stop as I got dizzy and bonked (this was 38kms into the session at the 2hr 32 minute mark). Dion clocked 3:04 for the last rep!

-On a Friday morning before work, 4 weeks pre-race was perhaps the biggest of our joint sessions. We had one of my best mates; Josh Papanikolou pacing on the bike, ‘brilliantly’ may I add. I was 5 days off 7th at Run for the Kids in 47:54 for 14.65km with a slow 2hr long run on Wednesday. The session was Marathon pace for 10km, float 1.1km at 4min/km into another 10km at marathon pace. We hit 33:42 into 33:26 on a flat asphalt bike track at Seaford Wetlands- clocking 71:34 for the Half marathon, feeling strong.

The third big joint session was two days later, this was a 3hr over-distance run, where we covered 42.2kms at Lysterfield Lake. This was a great session with a lot of banter, nicknames were established and we all gained a mutual appreciation of just how fit each of us were.

Race Day:

We all woke up at 4am in the morning to the sound of wind. We drove 10minutes from the Ibis hotel in the dark to the race precinct out the front of old Parliament House, it was a freezing 8 degrees. I commenced my usual pre- marathon ritual of; deep heat on the chronically stiff achillies, Vaseline everywhere, fixomol strips over the nipples, 4 pit stops to the single ‘blocked’ portaloo at the elite runners tent, an easy 10 minute warm up shuffle, I put my Nike 4%ers and my run culture singlet on, I hogged the heater, wrote out where the personalised drink stops were on my arm, popped a ‘no doz’, inhaled some ventolin and with 5 minutes to go I hugged my fiancé Jess and headed to the startline.

At the startline I saw Dion and Craig; gave them a slap on the butt and plenty of goodluck. They said that there was no sign of pre-race favourite Tom Do Canto, whilst David Criniti was pacing a friend to 2:45. I heard someone calling my name, I looked out off to the right of the startline and immediately got emotional; I saw my mum, dad and brother who had made the 8hr trip to watch me, it meant so much. I was running for my dad and was so rapt he was there. I was ready.

Off we went and immediately there was 4 of us. Jaimie Cook, Dion, Craig and myself. The 2018 Canberra Marathon was over a new course, where they littered the front 21kms with corners/turns and hills. Jaimie dropped off the back of us by 10kms while Craig drove a strong pace and led most of the first half of the race.

Dion was the strongest on the downhill segments in the race, while Craig and I were stronger on the uphills. So this made for an interesting race as Dion ‘yo-yo’d’ in front or behind depending on the incline of the course.

The three of us went through halfway in 72 ‘ish although this was hard to adjudge as the course was without kilometre signage due to the gailforce winds. I could find my fluroscent green drink bottles well but didn’t feel like drinking, in retrospect I think I enjoyed my pre race ‘carb load’ a bit too much. I was so bloated and full. I forced myself to drink 100mls or so of my carbohydrate rich solution at each drink station.

Over the bridge and into the headwind for the 5km stretch from 24 to 29kms Craig and I got a slight 10 to 15 second advantage on Dion. We hit 30kms in roughly 1:43:50’ish. By 33kms I started to feel like the unrelenting pace Craig was setting was starting to feel too strong. I dropped about 15 seconds behind Craig by 35kms. Dion passed me at this point and yelled ‘hold on’ but he was flying.

Over the bridge at 38kms Craig unfortunately started to get really sore quads, he slowed quickly and Dion and I were able to close over the top.

Dion won the 2018 Canberra marathon in 2:25:38, I was second in 2:26:14 and Craig was 3rd in 2:27:18. Covered in blankets and still shivering we each received giant novelty cheques at the presentation, which was pretty cool. There was a big screen broadcasting the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games Marathon, where the weather stood in stark contrast. Many cold, tired but satisfied runners huddled around the big screen cheering on the gutsy efforts of the Australian marathoners and stood in absolute shock as Scotland’s poor Callum Hawkins got stretchered off just two kilometers short of the line.

Overall, the whole Canberra Marathon experience was a memorable one. I fortified two lifelong friendships, my family was there watching and I got a step closer to learning the tricky craft of the marathon. Now, for an easy four weeks and then the slow build continues to the 2018 Berlin Marathon in September. As, i mentioned earlier, I am going to start a weekly blog about my Berlin preparations in May, 16 weeks out, so stay tuned.

Also, look out for a blog on Achillies Tendinopathy management and a quick chat with Liam Adams post Commonwealth Games in the next week.

Anyway, for now it’s over and out!

Rememeber. Run, Live, Grow.

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