BATHURST HALF MARATHON
(min cost $8)
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WOODFORD runner Brendan Davies isn’t used to running 21.1 kilometres.
Not many people are.
But he has a better excuse than most – usually he’s running a lot further.
In what must feel like a leisurely stroll for the Blue Mountains native, Davies blitzed the field at yesterday’s CSU Bathurst Half Marathon to easily claim his first victory, just a week after running one of the most gruelling events on the planet.
Seven days before his win, he was contesting the Ultra Trail Mount Fuji race in Japan – a run of 100 miles, or 161 kilometres.
It made the Bathurst race look trivial by comparison. Davies had little trouble shaking the chasing pack off his tail and crossing the line in 72.53 minutes.
In a satisfying outcome for Davies, his Bathurst-based protégée Wes Gibson finished second, just over three minutes behind, with Darien Williams another four and a half minutes away in third.
“This sort of run is basically a sprint compared to what I’m used to and it definitely makes it easier for me to run this sort of race having the aerobic capacity that I need for 100 kilometre races,” Davies, who must have barely broken a sweat when winning last year’s 10km event, said.
“I was pretty happy to race steadily early on and then really go for it after the start of the last 10 kilometres. That period was probably the most intensity I’ve run with for a long time, I’m not used to running that fast, so it has taken it out of me.”
Davies and Gibson ran side-by-side for the first half of the race as Davies had planned to try and pace his friend towards a good overall time. With conditions perfectly suited to distance running, everything was set up for both to manage something close to their best.
“There was no wind, the temperature was ideal and the course is flat, it was suited for a fast time,” Davies said.
“I love coming out here to the Central West. I won the Orange Marathon earlier this year and always enjoy getting west of the Mountains for a run.
“The next thing on the list for me is the North Face 100 trail run in the Blue Mountains in a couple of weeks, I’ll put my feet up until then and take it easy.”
Gibson had set himself a goal of breaking 78 minutes for the race and did it easily with a time of 75.57, having only run his first half marathon at the same event last year.
He shaved the best part of 10 minutes off his debut effort.
“I’ve been running with Brendan a fair bit, he’s helped me out a lot and it helped having run the same circuit before,” he said. “I’ve got the 50 kilometre version of North Face and this is my hit last hit out. All those runs are hard.”
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