Each year, a few minutes before the start, people begin pushing to the front and climbing over barriers from the footpath all trying to get the best possible position near the start line. Keep clear of these runners. They may jostle you, set you off at too hot a pace or worse trip you up.
Everyone should enjoy the day – if you’re a walker and start up near the front of the field you won’t be happy if people are bumping into you and they won’t be either because you could be a potential risk
While it’s simple courtesy to start near the back of the field if you plan to walk right from the very beginning (unless you imagine you have a genuine chance of winning one of the categories), it’s also a good strategy to start near the back – especially given that the published results provide gun and net times for everyone.
The net time is the time it takes you to complete the 10km from the time you cross the start line till the time you cross the finish line. For 99% of us it’s the only time that matters.
Starting near the rear of the field means that while it may take a few minutes to reach the start line you’ll at least be moving when you reach it, you also lessen the risk of getting caught up with others at a pace that’s a little hot and you won’t be upsetting faster runners that are caught behind you.
Starting at the rear may give you a faster net time.
The best race day tip that anyone can give you is to be conservative at the start. The amount of people that line up at the start should slow you down anyway and besides, if you're feeling okay later, you can always pick up the pace when the crowd thins out. Ten kilometres is a long way but it can seem a lot longer if you get to the halfway turn with.
If you feel that you have taken off a little quickly, just slow down and even walk a little if you have to until you feel better.
Don't try anything new on race day. Leave your experiments to training. If you're going to wear new shoes then break them in at training a couple of runs before the race. Apply some sunscreen and double tie your shoelaces and wear familiar light clothes with your number already attached. Your normal routine should include some warm-up exercises prior to setting off. A three or four minute jog will increase the heart rate and warm up the muscles. Follow that by a few minutes stretching, taking extra care to stretch the quadriceps, hamstrings and calf muscles.
Make sure you use the drink stations, especially if it's a warm day. Many people who do get into trouble don't have enough to drink before and during the run.
I know the last thing you’ll probably want to do after the ten is warm down and stretch but do a little anyway. You’ll thank yourself on Monday.
A lot of capable people wait till next year… when they have more time to train. Next year is always next year - it never arrives for them. There’s going to be generous people clapping and cheering you along the way. Look forward to it - it’s a great feeling… and you’ll deserve it!
If you do find yourself in trouble at any stage of the run don't be afraid to stop and give it away. Seek out help if you have to. To make the decision to drop out of the race takes courage and common sense.
Lastly, be easy on yourself. Smile and enjoy the experience of participating in Australia’s premier 10km road race and if not everything goes to plan on race day, the sun will still rise on Monday – and there’s always next year.
Whether you are a walker or runner, new to exercise or a seasoned competitor, the keys to performing to your potential, and HAVING FUN, are having a workable training plan, and optimising your diet during training and on race day. View training and nutrition plan.