I felt it in my toes - or more accurately my quads. I wanted to push hard on the 2,100 feet of ascent of the Fan-y-Big fell race but just didn't have the power. The 10 mile route was enjoyable though. The weather was just about alright. It was wet. Misty on the top but I could have done without the 'into your face' wind on the way up to the top. From memory I think it was windier this year than last but that's probably a close call.
It was a tough old climb. Runnable under normal circumstances but I had to admit defeat and walk bits here and there. I tried to hang on to Matthew L as he powered past. I stayed with him for a mile or so but in the end he drifted out the front, soon to disappear in the mist - not that I'm claiming he's a gorilla, mind.
The climb seemed to go on forever but finally I breached the summit and started around the ridge. I felt surprisingly good on the ridge and caught a few runners - a very nice surprise. By the time I got to the crossroad bit I was on my own. No one in view to the front or behind.
I pushed on down the descent which, like the ascent, seemed to go for ages and I began to doubt I was on the right route. But as soon as the doubts started four runners came into view, barely visible in the mist. Target acquired. With four places to be gained I made my power play and picked it up. I knew I needed to get past before the fell gave way to the final, horribly road section.
Soon I was running in their slip stream but the windy, rocky, single track meant overtaking was tricky. Eventually I made it past - including my old mate, Jason from Chippenham. He's had the better of me the last few times we've crossed swords. Today was my revenge - but in a friendly way. We cross swords again in next weeks Seaview 17...
By the time I made it to the road section I was clear. No one ahead and a good gap behind. Not wanting to destroy my legs on the hard surface I eased a little on the run in to finish in 20th place from close to 100 runners in all and a mere few seconds shy of my time from last year, 1:32:33. I'm pleased with that as last year I didn't run the double so to get the same time is almost like going quicker - it is in my mind anyway and from my log data I actually ran a near identical race to last year. I was within a few seconds of last years time to the Summit, to the end of the ridge and to the road. Almost an action replay. The only difference is that I didn't run the shortcut this time so maybe that cost me a bit of time - guess we'll never know.
Tomorrow I head back over to the mountains for a longish run. Now to plan my route...
Oh, and well done to Crispin, Naomi and Emma and all the marshals for hosting a great pair of races.
Fan-y-Big race route;