Date: Sunday 15th February 2015 11:00am
Pace: 5:53 min/km
Description: So, 7:30am, lying in bed thinking do I really want to do this? Get up, go to the club and hope I can get a lift, or get a train and taxi? Meh. OK, I’m up. Let’s get dressed and pack. As I’m on the bus, I get confirmation that a lift is available. I get down there and have some time to find some breakfast. Which is harder to do before 9am than you’d think. Betting shop is already open though!
So after a ham sarnie my lift arrives. A pleasant journey to Bath race course with someone who’s occasionally running with TACH and who lived in Germany for several years. Thankfully it’s warmer today, so no sheet ice to negotiate. We arrive a bit later than usual, and chat with the other SRC people and Liam and his friend are here as well.
Only 10mins before the start, I do some very quick warm ups (not enough) and pop to the toilet just in time to make it into wave 1 before 30 seconds and the start. We’re off and I want to be quick here like last time to try to get ahead of as many people as possible before the mud bath. I manage to close the gap to Tom and Lee for a bit, but then after a couple of km I’m sensing my lack of warm up, energy and that ham sarnie still digesting. Slosh, slosh, slosh as I bound down the big hill. It doesn’t seem as fast or as controlled as last time, I’m using bigger strides. But STRAVA tells a different story. A very different story. I smashed that today in 1:52 at 3:27/km pace. (Which almost seems slow as that’s downhill, and I’m doing that on the flat at WISE.) But last time, I was nearly a whole minute slower on pace. 2:21 at 4:21/km pace. Wow! Mark, the guy from B&WAC is #1 on this segment, Lee and Tom from SRC are 2nd and 4th respectively. Only 10s off top place, but that was done at 3:09/km! Nice work.
It’s been cat and mouse with a guy from SRC, I’m just faster on the downhill, but I pay for that on the up hill. I try to keep jogging, but have to fell walk the rest of it. Then forcing myself back in to a trot. Then comes the mud. Not so much of it this time. I have quite a gap in front. There are still really muddy bits, where I think I’m gonna loose a shoe. But it seems to pass quicker than last time. However, coming up the hill towards 5k my legs feel like they’re full of acid. Shit, too much too soon. Lack of prep, lack of food, lack of hydration, this is my fault. Similar thing happened at Sugarloaf last year. It’s flat after 5k, but it just seems to go on and on forever. I’m dreading the woods. Eventually they come and I’m still slow in them. There’s no queue but I get over taken. Despite being drier, I still don’t trust this ground. I can’t let go on this. Going up is still painfully (yes, lower back hurts) slow. I make it to the top and I’m shattered. Speeding up as fast as an oil tanker on the flat. Less confidence on the downhill. This needs to be under the hour, and it’s looking extremely close. I’ve just got to keep the pace up. Approaching the last km I’m starting to catch the SRC guy I’ve been tailing. As we both get on the final straight I tell him we should be under the hour. Four minutes to go. The closer I get, the more I know this should be under the hour. I’m certainly not comfortable, but I’m not half a second away from death. I pass a guy who’s just slowed to a walking pace and I tell him to keep going, he’ll be under the hour! He starts jogging again J I make it to the finish and see the clock is 58:40. As I pass it, I know it must be under 59 minutes. I’m happy with that! I turn around and the SRC fella comes in and we shake hands. Great race.
It makes a nice change to get to the tent and be very few people around. I grab some food and my third medal and head back to the start. On my way, someone comes up to me and says they recognise me from Pen y Pass. I recognise him, but it takes me a while for the cogs to turn. Then his wife turns up and yes, they are the couple from Bristol who were also at the Pen Y Pass YHA in Snowdonia when I was there. Awesome! Forgot she is a member of SRC.
I get to start and the others are there. We cheer in the other runners as usual; “Sprint Finish!”, “Go on, get him!” etc. We cheer Liam in and 118. Great atmosphere. And wearing my SRC Green jacket, it almost feels warm. Great way to end what is likely to be my last Skyline for a while.