and a few things nice - like a lung busting, leg aching race up to Sugar Loaf mountain and back - awesome dude - where the hell did that come from. Next I'll be 'have a nice day'ing. I'm stopping that right now.
Conditions were as close to perfect as you could get. A slight breeze. Cool temperatures. Medium to soft going and 105 fellow competitors all surging across the landscape to Sugar Loaf mountain, covering 5.5 miles and 1,400 feet of ascent (I think).
I was in determined mood - determined to beat last years time. I set off towards the front but not right up there and took it steady on the first climb up the road. Once onto the fell I pulled back a few places but continued to run steadily. The Sugar Loaf (Winter version - that's the one today, as opposed to the one in the spring) is a race of two halves - a first half and then funnily, a second one. I managed to run most of the way to the top except the last sharply steep bit.
It took me a couple of minutes to find my downhill legs after the summit and I lost some ground on the lad ahead. Eventually I got going and picked up a few more places on the fast run to the far point of the course. From there it was a steady grind back up a ways before hanging on for the last couple of kilometres which are flat and then downward.
I finished in a time of 46:50, which is 36 seconds faster than last year so it was mission accomplished.
Helen wasn't able to retain her title as she was running in the Cross Country Relays up in Mansfield. Tomorrow we are off for a long run up Lord Hereford's Knob - now if ever there was an ooh 'er mrs waiting to be typed, this is it - ooh 'er mrs