Despite threatening all morning the rain stayed away until after the race and without any wind it was almost not cold. The first two downhill miles are always too fast and then the next three almost flat ones are a bit of a struggle. 35:16 at halfway meant a PB wasn’t going to happen because the climbing hasn’t started yet. The 6 mile hill wasn’t as bad as I remembered and there were runners to chase although one guy came past as though he was going downhill. I had hoped to pick a place or two on the long descent but there was no-one close enough. I did get away from another runner who had been chasing/pulling me along for the last three miles. Reeling in the runner in front on the long second climb worked I got past him just after the summit and then eventually away from him on the descent. Three or four more places in the last mile suggest I could have gone quicker in the middle but I don’t have the experience of this type of racing to know what pace I can sustain. My 71:53 was quicker than my 2008 and 2007 times so I am not disappointed and Pauline wasn’t disappointed to finish just outside her 2008 time but under 90 minutes.
The splits show how fast the first two miles are or how little control over my pace I have. Miles 6-8 involve a long lovely downhill bookended by two climbs and then there is enough downhill to the finish to encourage you to stretch your legs – if you have anything left.
This completed my week with a total of 51.5 miles; 9988 feet spread over 14:24:52.
Next week will be far fewer miles and almost no climbing.