I very nearly did though - I had visions of the Vicar of Dibley again. I was so knackered in the last few miles I could no longer attempt to take evasive manoeuvres around puddles and once again I sank up over the knee and nearly went down but luckily I was able to stay on my feet - it was a close call.
I didn't think yesterday's race would affect me that much but even in the warm up I knew it was going to be tough. I hadn't read about the race so I didn't know what to expect. With a name like the Rough n Tumble I guess you get some idea of what's in store. And it more than lived up to the title - I'm sure quite a few people actually took a tumble.
My fell running stood me in good stead though. On the slippy, narrow descents I was able to fly - in my mind anyway - and make good ground. On the ascents, even though I was in a fair state of distress I was able to force myself on and made good gains but on the flat it was all I could do to hang on and try not to lose too much ground - I just had no speed and couldn't seem to make my legs want to go.
Anyway, I started the race steady, knowing full well, anything more would be suicide, and probably somewhere in the top fifty. After about two miles and the first of the lung busters I guess I was up to around 30-35th. Then it was just a case of picking my way through the field with what little power and energy I had left. It was certainly a case of the mind overcoming the weakness of the body today.
On the steepest and last of the major descents I was able to pile past a good few runners which moved me up into 20th place. I then dug deep to overhaul another two runners in the last three miles. Three miles for which much of it was trudging through mud four or five inches deep. I managed to get to the finish in 18th place (subject to confirmation) and a time of 1:16.
After mapping the route it looks like the race took in around 1,500ft of ascent and covered just over ten miles so it really was a bit of a toughie. As a result, my legs are pretty much wrecked. I am currently hobbling around the house like a cripple. I'm not sure if I'm going to make tomorrow's session on the Down's with the lads - but can't really facing wimping out either - come on, I am the Mad Runner after all...
Thought for the day: A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out.