9th out of 60 finishers
This was on a new route around Ranscombe for me and was allegedly the hilly route and was predominantly the regular routes in reverse with a few addons. The forecast was hot hot hot and there was no mud. Being spring there was also a chance of seeing a wild flower or 2.
|View and very steep hill|
It was an 8am start and pretty much everyone was there early except Leon who took a wrong turn and ended up in Ashford and arrived with seconds to spare. It was hot from the get go starting at around 10 degrees and rising rapidly to mid 20's by late morning. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and it would have been a lovely day if you weren't running. From time to time there was a slight breeze.
|Beside Railway line|
Due to the heat and the hills things were slow with only one sub 4 marathon from Martin Devine and even Lee Rogers coming in at marathon in 4:40 (wow!).
|Steep down after fire road|
|He loved this view|
|Enda the new 100er|
Jimi Hendrick tells me that the log or root or stump has become known as "Leo's log" and people are warned off it ahead of time.
The next few laps were painful as I felt my knee every step of the way. In fact it was only when I got to 20 miles was the first time I didnt feel it. Half marathon was 3hrs odd. Now to say the trail was easy is wrong as each mile had about 150ft climb which is in the upper end of very hilly. Still I was way down on normal. Never the less very few people were lapping me and it was only as I was coming up to lap 6 that Gary Wayman came past with about 1 mile to go for his 7th lap. I tried my best to keep with him and as we approached the aid station I just about unlapped myself and found myself out on lap 7. For a few laps I was having a too and fro with Emily Holland and she duly came past me in the middle of lap 7 to take the honors. Most stopped early today and only Nick went out for 8 laps and I ended up in 9th place. It took 7 1/2 hours and it was roasting and it hurt like hell. I'll be glad of the couple of weeks rest now.
Photos courtesy of Gary Groutage
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