Sunday, September 02, 2012

O So Long

Well I survived but was it ever hard bloody work...

We - that's Pat and I - arrived just before ten which gave us a few minutes to get ourselves ready and then we were into it. I set off first since I was pretty confident that Pat would defeat me. Dibber dibbed off I set. Not wanting to balls it up inside ten minutes I got out my measuring stick - oh, matron - as I jogged on and got my brain programmed for the 1:15,000 scale. Then it was all systems - or as much of systems as are currently functional - go.

I was straight onto control one in 5:19. Two was reasonable, 15:04, but I did lose some time as I dropped to the wrong craggy bit and had to regain some height into the control. Three was - for want of better words - a total f#&%ing balls up. I don't think my idea was too bad but the execution was piss poor - pardon my french. My route choice was based on minimising ascent albeit at the cost of distance. After eventually finding the control in a rather awesome 32:21 - read it a weep, I know I did.

I got myself back on track with some reasonably splits over the next few controls. They were fairly straight forward and there really wasn't much route choice. The terrain was hard going though. In fact the terrain over the whole route was hard going. Knee high heather. Waist high ferns. It was draining my energy. Four 4:58, five 17:24 and six 12:31. Seven was a disappointing 6:53 as I had to stop and do my shoe lace up. Suffice to say they didn't come undone again - I've still got them on now... only joking.

I'm not sure I really picked the best route over to eight but I don't think it was too bad. With hindsight there probably were better ways but in the heat of battle you makes your choice and you runs it. 33:32.

From there to the finish there weren't really any route choices and as I reached nine, 17:06, I knew my game was up. The scrambling through heather on the short section off the track had sapped the last of my strength. From there on in I was well and truly into plod mode as I picked off ten 5:20, eleven 13:24, twelve 11:38 and then the heather overloaded finish in 5:46 for a total time of 3:01:08.

I'm really happy with my time. If I could have bought that at the start I would have. Most important though - OK, second most important - is that I now feel ready to take on the Peris Horseshoe in two weeks. Before today's race I had doubts. Now I don't. The most important thing, of course, is how badly Matthew kicked my ass. We conveyed ourselves to the valley of death - fearing, perhaps, just a little bit of evil - by different carriage. Like ships passing in the night we didn't see each other nor did I espy the other Chepstow runners. Pat skinned me though, posting 2:49 (I think) but he also made a few mistakes. As my Nepalese Guru would say, better to get the mistakes out of the way this week. He's now all set for the Lake District Mountain Trial next week so fingers crossed he has a good one.

The 19.7km and 3,100 feet of ascent that was the Long Mynd Long 'O' 2012...

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