|No more be said really|
|The Downfall. Going down for once.|
|Stevie K at Millhill|
|Julien displaying the correct torso wear for clag|
At the gun, a number of people, despite talking about holding back, surged forward and blasted down the road. They could do what they wanted, I had a plan and was sticking to it, nice and gentle, not pushing too hard, and just enjoying it. The rain had stopped (mostly), and occasionally it looked like it might even brighten up at some point.
I saw John and Alistaire thrashing away up the hill somewhere near the front of the pack, with Julien, kind of doing what he said he would, running along a few yards in front of me, but not giving it all to stay with the really fast guys.
|John at Mill Hill|
By the top of Lantern Pike I had overhauled Ali, who was paying for his very fast start, but John was still out of reach.
I ran with Dave Soles up through the lanes to Monks road, expecting him to overrun me on the way down to the Grouse, but never really saw him again after he stopped briefly at the watering station. Another bonus of having my own water bottle, not having to stop or slow down at specific times.
|Me chasing John|
We passed Lynne (who was out for a run with a camera) and Geoff Briggs at Mill Hill, without much of a change in places, and I finally managed to catch up with John on the steeps going up onto the plateau. We ran along exchanging pleasantries, and I brought him up to date with who I'd passed, who might be behind us and who wasn't.
Neither of us were going to look back.
|Keeping John in sight toward Kinder (thats in the mist)|
We made it to Kinder downfall without much ado, apart from the ridiculous amount of cloud surrounding us, then down the West side of the plateau, past Red Brook. This was where I started falling a lot last year, so I was making sure I was hydrated, and not getting too tired. Down toward Kinder Low trig there were a gaggle of about 5 people in front of John and I, and as we started down the hill I downed my gel and in the process, noticed that we were following the same line as we had done on the Solstice run.
The wrong line.
Mentioning this to John we immediately hung a sharp right with the chap behind us doing the same thing. The gaggle of runners in front of us noticing a little too late, and ended up having to follow us, but the damage was done and I'm pretty sure none of them caught up with us again.
|Alistaire running into the clag|
We got to the top without being passed.
Brilliant. Mission Accomplished.
|Claire enjoying the run|
We ran pretty much side by side, with him leading most of the way for the next 3km, and then with me leading the last 1. Not a place that I actually wanted to be, John on my shoulder, I felt sure that he had something up his sleeve to negate a final kick.
|The gap at the end|
I came in 19th, in a time of about 2 hours 10. 9 minutes faster than last year. Talking to everyone else that was finishing, it seemed that nearly everyone else had had a much slower run than last year, so thats a bit of a result.
Glossopdale had a pretty good day with Mark O coming in 9th, Julien was somewhere in the top 20, I was 19th and John was 20th. Ok, so Dark Peak won the team prize, but I think we would have come a comfortable 2nd.
Sarah Ridgeway came in a little after us, only 30 seconds outside the Female course record, which was a fantastic effort.
|At the end|
Still, the plan worked, no-one passed me on the big hills where I really felt let down last year, and I wasn't dropped too badly (most of the time). I think hills still need work, but longer hills rather than shorter ones, and also running through bad terrain at the back end of a race. Its good to know I have things to improve upon, I just need to get another 10 mins or so quicker for next year, and I'll be under the magical 2 hour boundary!
|The end of quite a race|
|Chewing the fat.|
And for those that are interested, here are the super-quick results. Well done the organisers!