Sometimes that’s just how it goes taking the gamble of the minimalist approach which could also have been the key to the win. Disappointing to train for something so hard and not have it pull off, something to learn from? You can always turn things into a positive in the long run though, I got to race in Canada thanks to a DNF in Switzerland which was the A race of that year.... dust yourself off and get entering the dark mountains to put that good training to use ;-)
FTOP is getting the full force of my anger.
Bad luck. Been there myself and I feel your pain. Let's face it, if it was easy it wouldn't be worth bothering!
This has got massive run at the National XC relays written all over it...
Sorry to read about it, hopefully will transfer to some great form for your marathon