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Sunday, 6 December 2015

High Weald Challenge 50km race report

Having really enjoyed the 50k earlier this year I thought I'd have a go at the autumn version, albeit on a different part of the Weald, tracking North instead of South. Arriving early I hadn't expected the drop to 4 degrees in the middle of October. I had come in a t-shirt......brrrrr! Good to meet up with George again at the start, David Thompson (in a vest!) Rich Stewart and Dave Barker. A short trudge to the start and it was off. George and I ran together for the first few miles. I guess we have run together over 30 times now but is rare that we are both in the same vein of always does better!

After a hilly first 5 miles I was feeling the early undulations. Travelling light with a bottle and some gels, I finally got into a rhythm and ran with something a bit more like I was enjoying it, but pushing myself. After about 10 miles I began to find some form. Sometimes of the early miles are slow, I can speed right up. The cold lifted and so did my spirits. Running atop the High Weald and Ashdown Forest was delightful, the gradients seemed to flatten and I gained lots of places during the second half of the race, although the sedentary start meant that a 5 hour time was out of the question, although it was a hilly course.

In the end I nearly caught up with Rich Stewart, who was building up to the Autumn 100 and in great form. 26th place and 5 hours 12 mins. The reason for doing it was that RD Stu Mills gave me the earthenware mug that my wife had asked me to bring home. Marathon #63 Done.

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