So, along with some 10s of other fair weather racers I entered on the day for a bargain price. It was such a beautiful morning, lazy start at 11 and nothing but blue skies and the beautiful Oxfordshire countryside to gawp at so why the hell not!
The race profile showed a fast first k likely as we ran down hill towards the Thames, a mildly (very mild) lumpy 2-8k... A ridiculous (as in 30% gradient) few hundred metre climb and a mainly down hill 1k to the end. Perfect (ok perhaps apart from that hill but that was a different kind of fun!)
My training plan had 60min run build so my plan was to nose breath the first 3k, partly puff 3-6k then try really hard... Despite this my 1k splits were in fact a little over the place but at least my HR did build ... It was a pretty rough path in places (mainly looked like somehow had gone down a grassy field with a strimer the day before)... The most impressive runner I saw was definitely the guy who passed me at about 2.5k running with a double buggy. He was amazing! I passed him again just before 5K I don't know how he managed to get that buggy around the course and particularly up that Hill at 8 to 9K amazing!
Now likely due to my build plan this was I think one of the first ever races where I've overtaken people fairly consistently during the second half. It was a whole new (and secretly nice) feeling. Now for that hill I basically didn't even bother trying as soon as on the lower slopes in walked up.. Using my hands to push my thighs into action..... Having got to the summit though I was determined to let rip (as much as I was able!) for the remainder... So I flew down hill, bounded up steps to the next hill top, ran fast down hill again... Didn't realise I'd have to run up another (small) incline... Tried to power on (thinking bloody hell I've over cooked it), got to the top ... Steep stones run (out of control) downhill to round the final edge of the grassy knoll to the finish line! I was knackered by then but the skies were blue, not a cloud, and someone handed me a brown bag with a bottle of water and banana in....at some point I decided to stop my Garmin ... But never fear as it was chipped time so my time was... 1:01:46 .. I didn't have to wait long to see Alison come galloping in behind me... Which was a great sight mainly because it meant a well earned bacon butty and coffee was imminent!
Thank you Alison for finding this race 😍