Back to the Malborough downs for a DAR. We remembered how muddy and claggy it was cycling last time on a questars, so were fairly adamant that we were going to get more of the running points than the cycling.
The weather was cold, foggy with occassional sleet.
Starting out running we took the loop out to the south east taking in 19, 20, 21, 35, 22 (with good use of the open access land and good compass work), 34, 23, 24, 27- which wasnt actually there, and we spent far too long looking for). at this stage it was a toss up whether to go straight back via a couple of points and then bike it, or whether to clear the running course, just to see if we could. we decided on the latter, and went south to 28, 33, 32 and 29, then up into the wood.
By this time it was easily 4h 30m in, and we were flagging, but with the hill training from the week before fresh in our minds and legs, it was astonishing to find that we were running up the hills, still.
More astonishing was the fact that we continued running past checks 30, 26, 25, 36, 31 and home, 32k in all, and 5 hours in total.
ok, if we were playing for points, it would have been more intelligent to get the higher pointage running ones and then leap on our bikes, but as we had never finished a running section before, it was a good thing to do. Especially as a year ago, it would have been an impossibility- physically and mentally- unless we walked.
Transition was about 20 mins,
onto the bikes, making sure that we werent going to go south, we headed out west to 8, then north up a horrendous path- used by greenlaners, which was not pleasant to cycle on in the gathering dark, and into the wind, down to 13 and north from there up the bridle path to 14.
By this time it was freezing, we couldnt feel our fingers, I couldnt feel my feet, and visibility was down to about 5 metres in the fog.
Rounded out to 17 with less than an hour to go- so we bombed down to 18- deceptively hard to find- as it was dark and foggy- you couldnt make out the trees literally on the roads' edge, there was a plan to go to 16, but we were so cold an knackered, we just headed straight home along the roads via 10.
Had we curtailed our running, a few more points would have been taken on the bike section, though how many, I dont know, we were in a seriously bad cold way on the way back.
I think the next specialist thing is bike technique training. It seemed to work for the running, very efficient as we have the endurance base now. Just need to get up the speed.