The hills are the same, just in a different order.
To be honest, if this had been any other race I probably would not have done it. But, having ran this race 24 times (first time in 1987 and then every year since 1990) it has become one of my favourites and I wanted to keep my run (pun wasn't intended) going.
As we lined up at the start the conditions were warm and muggy. With an average weekly mileage of 25 miles and no speed work or long runs, I knew I wasn't in any real condition to race what can be a challenging course. So my plan was just to get around as best I could and try to enjoy it.
And, that's how it started, settling into a comfortable rhythm we soon hit the off road down hill section and I was starting to move up the field a little?
However, as soon as we hit the road and a short sharp climb I was struggling. Knowing what was still to come I knew that I was in trouble.
Just after 6 miles and another long climb I actually caught and passed someone and then on the following downhill caught a young runner in black. I managed to hang onto him until just before 9 miles when my legs 'went' completely.
From just after the 10 mile point its a long climb to the finish and I dropped back down through the field.
As the intention for this race was just to get around I did not wear a watch and as yet I have been unable to find a copy of the results. This means as yet I am not sure of my time or position. Although I think I may have scraped into the top 50 in a new personal worse of around 1.44.
Obviously not the best but the target of just finishing was achieved and
I still enjoyed the event. But, I will be back next year to make amends.
As usual thanks to Francesca for the pics.