I woke up to blue skies and a ground mist, the day was looking to become a cracker, breakfast and a quick warm up or 2 was followed by club members congregating at the start line, I was being pressed for my target but wasn't for giving it away, it would only spur Paul on!
In reality I had no idea how I would do on the run, so beating Paul and getting a good first cycle was all I could really aim for.
I was in the 3rd wave, 40 riders already on the road and I wasn't for hanging about and comfortably dropped everyone in my wave by the 2nd bridge and closing fast on the 2nd wave of riders, I counted 10 overtakes before the Gella bridge turn for 3 from behind that past me. However with this being early morning even the warm up hadn't quite been enough to get my legs "In" and the early lumps were a struggle, if only they could run this at my best time of day 7pm!
I stopped counting who I had overtaken, however a quick scan revealed not too many bikes in transition, sadly a slow change over saw a few more past and then the intensity of the cycle hit me as my ankles ached on the fire road run up to Corrie Fee, I was reduced to a walk/run pattern followed by a plain walk up past Titch's post on the hillside, I looked back, everyone in view was now walking, a steady stream of Duathletes ascending the waterfall.
Slowly the Corrie gave way to open hillside, still too steep for me but as the busy summit cairn of Mayar came into view I got running again, round the cairn I went and off down to the Kilbo col for the climb of Dreish, where descending runners were giving the "nearly there" encouragement.
I rounded that final summit cairn and set off for the bike, about half way down to the col the moment I'd been dreading arrived, there was Paul and Colin on their way up Dreish, surely they would be close behind if not catch me, I reckoned they started around 6 minutes behind me but I had no idea how close it would be.
Apparently Mountain Goats and their fell running kin are in a perpetual state of free fall... I've not practiced this abuse of Newton's 3rd law so for a significant portion of the Kilbo path I was walking again, but once I was in the trees with the exposure risk gone and the path earthy and rooty I was able to get speed up again. (If only I was on my MTB!)
Running into transition Alison popped out from her MR post to give some last encouragement, and it was onto the bike and oh my God it hurt. My legs wasted from the effort of the previous 3hrs 19mins, an effort akin to a light pootle took me back to the hotel in 12 minutes and a finishing time of 3hrs 31mins, delighted with that, now to see if my previously secret target would be met.
I had time so my bike was shoved in car and shoes switched for something more walkable and I got back to the finish as Paul and Colin arrived.
Times were coaxed out of each other as we waited for Justyna, Kevin and Mhairi to arrive. I was rather happy to have beaten Colin and Paul by 6 and 7 minutes, they're much stronger runners than me, going all out on the cycle although tactically suicidal as seen with my run starting poorly is really what let me beat them as they must have been a good 15 minutes faster than me on the run.
The others arrived in good time, and I think it's fair to say we were all happy with our achievements.
On the kilbo descent when as others passed me on the way down the words "I'll need to practice this for next year" passed through my mind. Roll on next year!
A massive well done to my club mates, except Paul, he really should have beat me. :-p
Oh ok, well done Paul, but will you please buys some longer shorts!
|Paul, looking refreshed with his Soup at the finish|
|Either Colin coaxed a hot chocolate out of the soup canteen or he does eat something other than chocolate|
|Kevin, fresh as a daisy.|
|Justyna, shortly after arriving|
|Mhairi, after a brief moment to recover, even had energy to insist I include the finishers medal in the photo|
Cycle 1: https://www.strava.com/activities/396085548
The Run: https://www.strava.com/activities/396085715
Cycle 2: https://www.strava.com/activities/396085525