What a stunning race. The route took us up high from the start and then left us on the tops until a few miles from the finish. For most of the race we had great views over the surrounding hills and valleys although it was difficult to appreciate them while being blasted by a fierce sun.
In what is becoming a standard MO for me, I started well, and ran steadily and comfortably until about half-way. Thereafter I ran unsteadily and increasingly uncomfortably until shuffling across the finish line in a pretty disappointing time.
I loved the first brutal climb straight up the grassy hillside and didn’t feel too bad. However all the time my temperature gauge was creeping upwards, and at the half-way hill Phil and Dave cruised by with their Climate Control still apparently working well. By the time we’d crested the half-way hill the heat had gone from being mildly uncomfortable to slightly frightening. There was a palpable texture to the sunshine that I found quite unnerving and I took my foot right off the gas. I walked more of this run than any race I’ve done before. Even flat bits.
Water stations were a bit congested but that was hardly surprising given the weather. Overall it was a well organised straightforward event with an interesting and challenging route and I’m already looking forward to doing it again next year.
Shaun adds: special mentions to Barrie Evans whose new knee got him round a full fourteen minutes faster than last year, and to Alan Purvis who was the only Strider who actually ran the whole course! Good runs, too, for ex-Striders Stewart Gardner (74.42) and Charlotte Roberts (90.33), now running for Calder Valley.
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