What a glorious morning it set out to be.....Bank Holiday weekend and the prospect of 2 marathons in 2 days. I drove down to Bewl Water in no time at all from South London, about 50 mins. I had a text from Immune last night stating he was going to be there so I made sure we caught up at the start as I don't have the capacity to run XC's at 7.00s like the Ginger Ninja. he just clocked a 3.12 a few weeks previously so I wisely ran my own race. At the start I also caught up with Peter Bowles who shall now be known as PB for clocking 2.58 at VLM. Well done Peter.
The race was far busier than last year. perhaps it was the weather, a sultry 15 degrees forecast. I met James Elson from Centurion running at the start too, but opted to run with Helen as we hadn't caught up in ages.
Helen and I ran together at between 7.45s and 8.30s, depending on the terrain and the hills and caught up on all things running and everything else besides. I finally got to have a good chat with Malcolm (Mal) who I see everywhere but often he is dying on his arse at about 20 so I never really get to have a chat. Turns out he lives in Colchester, about 15 miles away from my old folks. Great to catch up......but he died on his arse again today!
Lap 1 averaged 8.00s which I was pleased with, despite me working just over 70 hours at school this week and getting home at 8.30pm last night; shattered. I have also now run 100k for the week which is also a bonus. Lap 2 was more of a struggle. My hamstring, which has been giving me a bit of gyp, was not in the best of places and by 18, not long after Helen completed a commando roll in the dust, I decided to slow and commit to damage limitation. I've not been injured in ages but all of the speed work I have been doing at 7s and sub 7s has obviously had an impact.
Helen was clearly on form so after the 3rd hill on the 3 mile road section, I changed down a gear and enjoyed the last few miles and the Primroses, the emerging Bluebells, wild Auricula and in particular, after the light rain, the waft of sweet, yet pungent wild garlic. Awesome!
21 to 23 was a pick up point and I ground out the important miles. Too many walk at this point and it is here that you get to know your own mental strength. I passed a fair few runner but one or two speedy types whizzed past.....obviously something in the tank! Then it was all about finishing. The hill at 25 was cruel on the first lap so everyone knew what was coming. Head down and go as the last mile was downhill and for me a chance to knock off a lovely little 7.30s cameo. 3.52.13 which was 2 mins fast than last year.....now this is the weird thing.....the same time to the second for Black Dog 2 weeks ago!
Great to catch up with 1st Lady of the day Helen (looking a bit random in the pic!), who finished a couple of mins up on me, David who did a 3.35 and Peter and James E who notched up a 3.25 to come in 7th. Cider O'clock and its now of to Luca's BBQ for some recovery meats and ciders before bed and ready for the 3FC 27 miler tomorrow. 37 down, 38 tomorrow