|Our course profile|
|East meets West - with Charlotte!|
|The route looks flat from above!|
|Escaping the cows...|
Under the safe cover of the trees (after yet another kissing gate) we rejoined our initial path climbing back up to the woods, though I was very careful not to fall this time. Maybe I was getting stronger as the race progressed, or maybe it was just others that were fading slightly, but I overtook a fair few runners on this long drag up. Having reached the highest point, I gave myself a quick talking to, knowing that this was my only opportunity to push on as we still had an awful lots of descending to come. It must've worked as nobody passed me all the way back down through the woods or the fields, even though I had a tear-jerking moment landing with a sharp stone right underneath my inflamed left calacneal bursa! Having escaped the cows for the second time,and successfully negotiated the 6th kissing gate, a marshal pointed runners back down towards the start area, along the route we'd initally come up. I tried to relax and stretch out down here knowing that there wasn't far to go, and not wanting to be pipped in the final furlong by a speedy descender.
Coming out of the woods onto the last 500m (remember that long grassy section?), the girl in front was a good 20s ahead of me, but I could hear someone right on my tail. I thought it was the 4th Scottish Easts team member and I really didn't want to be outrun in a sprint for the line, so I decided to put everything I had left into running for home. To my amazement, I managed to keep driving on towards the line (hmmmm......had I not put enough effort in earlier), closing the gap to 3s on the girl in front (I just ran out of race to get her) and pulling well clear of those behind, though I had no idea how I'd done overall.
Not a bad attempt at something quite new to me (and I liked the way they put it at the prizegiving....anchoring the team, rather than last for the team.....)!!!