"Each step forward has a sacred meaning of its own"   Sri Chinmoy

Nusa Dua 1 Mile Race - Feb 2023 - Bali

The final race of our Bali trip came around sooner than I'd expected - on the tuesday rather than the wednesday - and it was touch and go when it came to even making the start line. I was up all night with gastric distress (the theme, sadly, of my 4th trip to Bali) and it was only around 25 mins before the scheduled start that I made the firm decision to put my body through the rigours of a race. After all, it was just one mile, what could do wrong? I was well enough to jog down there and line up for the start so why not go for it?

By the time I was lined up for the brief meditation at the start, I did feel pretty settled, so I went out briskly to see what happened. The hares, as usual, were off and away in no time and that left myself,  Atul and Prachar, as the only chasers. As Prachar fell back and Atul left me standing, I realised I was going to have a pretty solitary race. At least I had Atul up ahead now, playing the role of a marker for me that Apaguha had played in Seminyak, so I could focus on his figure down the road and work not to let the distance lengthen between us.

After the initial charge I did settle down to a sensible pace, not going into the red too much, and although that meant I had slowed I still felt as though I was racing rather than just covering the distance. The beep for half a mile went at 2.48. Yes, 2.48! I haven't run a half mile that quick for some time, that's for sure. Of course, half way on the Garmin was not half way on planet reality, so although I did hold on to that pace and push myself hard round the bends (where so much momentum can be lost), I knew it would be hard work to achieve my goal of sub-6.

As I rounded the final turn, a 180 round a marshal in front of the conference centre, I started to see the clock come into view and as I approached I could see it reading five-thirty-something. There was just a hint of a kick left in my lighter-than-usual-but-depleted frame and it got me over the line in 5.43. Well, that was a result!

Looking back through this site, I can see I ran 5.40 in Kalamata in 2016 but I am convinced that course was short. So that means this mile, coming in the midst of a health nightmare and with my body still battling all kinds of problems, was my fastest since 2009. That 's a great result for me and I was well pleased. It bought me 5th place in the race behind Atul and was a satisfying way to end the races on this trip. Looking back on my 2023 trip to Bali, it was fraught with problems and definitely I feel like I need a holiday at home when I get there, to get over the trip! At least I can look back on this simple one-mile race as something really positive, the payoff from the racing I've been doing through the Autumn and Winter back home in the rain and cold.

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