The name was in the title really and a nice bonus when waking in the morning was a fresh -5oC outside.
This ended up being the toughest race I have done. The fact I shot off at the start treating it as if it was a half marathon was never a good idea, it also meant I started in the top 5 at mile 1, then by mile 5 I was top 10 then drastically back to 23rd by the time I crossed the line.
I now remember why at school Cross County running never appealed to me.
The course consisted of relentless non-pedestrian friendly hills, some orienteering through forestry sections, running the single track bike routes and crossing frozen bogs… Truth be told it was the hills that where the hardest part, short but very steep even for a whippet like me. By mile 7 I was hiking and scrambling up some of them, this is when I started to wonder whether I was actually enjoying myself or fighting my way back to civilisation to sit down and recover my calves.
By the time I got to the frozen bog and the crowd where all cheering us I actually really started to enjoy myself, especially with the atmosphere and the music playing. Also camaraderie started to develop between the top guys so there was a little more banter too. As a side note I was soo thankful I wore my 110% compression gear, not only kept me a little warmer they also stopped my calves protruding my legs. 2 days after the event and I still could not walk correctly.
The frozen bog… this had all of the emotions a whole race does in the space of 100m:
I headed out into the wrong section and ended up trying to fit the edges of the ice shelf that were left from the passage the guys had left.
I lost my trainers underneath the ice in the mud.
I ran through a bog full of ice and god knows what beneath.
I then had the pleasure of attempting to put on my trainers with frozen fingers and frozen feet in front of a cheering crowd.
In all in all a great laugh that I have promised never to do again. Though pleased with a good result (23rd out of 1200) and the most intensive hill repeats I think I will ever be able to do!
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