A bloody nice day for it - stop it - and I came home inside last years time in the Exmoor Stagger. Result. But not by quite as much as I would have hoped for. Never the less I was pleased with the manner of the run if not how quickly.
Conditions, as best I can remember, were similar to last year. Maybe a fraction drier today but I don't think there was much in it. I set off towards the front and took it steady - slowly, slowly, catchy monkey and all that.
The significant difference this time round was the fact that I was able to run all the way to the top of the Dunkery Beacon without stopping once (that's the highest point on Exmoor unless Tony says different). Last year I remember being reduced to walking once in the initial woodland section and then multiple times on the way up. For me that's a big plus. I must be stronger.
The descents were a real boon. I out descended a ton of people - and by big margins, but then I needed to, to put big space between me and them else they'd have caught me back up on the ascents and flat. I almost descended like my old self, with gay abandon - I'll rephrase that - with fell style madness.
I was totally hanging by the time I reached the last woodland section. With a couple of miles to go I just about managed to keep the legs going till the finish. The race is supposed to by 15 miles but I measured it as just over 16 - which confirms last years measurement, and good enough for me to call it a long measure. Total ascent in the region 3,300 feet so pretty hilly as well.
My time was five minutes quicker than last year, I crossed the line in two hours and fifteen minutes. I'm guessing I'll be further down the field than last year despite the improved time as the competition at the front looked full of tidy club runners. Still, for me its not about the finish position its all about the time. And in my own opinion, I dun good.