Led the race for 5 miles only to miss out in the final .4 mile climb but I couldn’t have done much more.
Ultimately it wasn’t to be. I felt I had a pretty good chance of winning the School Run – a local fell/trail race which is part of a series and helps generate funds for my son’s school – but when your rival keeps on running just as your legs hint they might slow down you know it’s going to hurt!
The weather looked absolutely grim in the morning – wind and a lot of rain – which wasn’t looking good for fundraising but amazingly it cleared just before the race start and although the course was wet and a bit windy it wasn’t too bad.
I went out fast on the short climb from the start and found myself at the front right away (and finally subject of a half decent race photo) but was overtaken as I eased back on the first descent to see who fancied taking on the pacing as I was fairly happy to sit back and follow as I knew there were a couple of good spots on the course to kick later.
The course is pretty undulating and it’s quite a long and consistent slog up to the highest point about 3 miles in which saw Jonny McLean (the orange Holmfirth vest above) take over the lead so I tucked in behind although I could hear and feel I was working harder than he was throughout which didn’t bode well for the final .4 mile climb back up to the finish.
As with the Trunce I was perhaps a little too conservative on the downhill parts of the course which Jonny mentioned (afterwards!) weren’t his strong suit. If I’d really gone for it on the steeper downhills rather than running together perhaps I could have opened enough of a gap to cling on to the end. I’ll know next time I face him on a similar course though!
In the end the final climb proved too much and I just couldn’t keep the legs going and when it happens there’s not much you can do but I was second and a few glances over my shoulder confirmed that was safe enough so I dug in to the finish and a very pleasing result anyway.