FRAs Relays - Harries Leg 2 with Thomas Otton
Nervous going into this as wasn't really sure what to expect. A flyer of a first leg sent us out in 16th. We went pretty fast out through the woods before hitting the hill and insta-catching and dropping a pair. The weather got worse and worse as we climb into the mist. Spent the whole time behind Thomas who was tearing up the climb. All the way up we were painfully slowly catching and passing teams, but occasionally teams would fly past us. After everything reached the top of the hill in some driving rain, 33mins in, still in 16th place.
Next section was flattish round the top of the ridge. Thomas began to struggle as the terrain was tougher, but we basically ran with another pair, trying to do the nav while keeping a good pace. After the 3rd checkpoint came a disgusting terrain descent. You could see the next checkpoint up ahead down the valley so put in some pace and did a bit of sliding. Reached the bottom to find that Thomas had loved the terrain significantly less and I could see him still back up the hill going much slower. Had a nice chat to the marshal for about 90seconds and a few teams came past.
Then came the sting in the tail: a grueling 20min hands-on-knees climb uphill in the terrain on that occasionally turned into a filthy hands-and-knees gradient. A real struggle, but felt okay so just kept climbing up into the mist until eventually the checkpoint at the top appeared.
Quick regroup before a rapid descent home. Had a quick look at the watch and decided 90mins was a good target. On the way down, had a bit of a head to head with another guy only to realized I'd dropped Thomas. Slowed down a bit to let him catch up again and then bailed into the bracken. Came back into the woods together with the other pair we were running with earlier slightly ahead. Put in a burst and took them on the run-in.
Really happy to have got 90 on the leg and achieve the target. Handed over in 19th and was 23rd on the leg. Some solid leg 3 and 4 run pulled us up to 15th in the end. A really enjoyable day and felt good throughout, a real contrast to last Sunday.Results