Running, mostly off road race 3:45:58  50.34 km (4:29 / km) +1630m 3:52 / km
Bennachie ultra. So glad it went ahead in the end. The route was varied and mostly very nice, I especially liked the single trail bits and hilly stuff but didn't like the wide forest track and road section as much, although it made the distance go by quicker. Some bits were really muddy but it made it quite fun.
Started in the last wave of runners and opened a gap on Jason within 1km, wasn't sure if I was running too fast or not so just kept it comfortable and tried to sip on energy drink and water regularly. First 10km was mostly flat or gradual uphill then there was a bit of proper climb and a steep muddy descent. Passed the first few earlier wave runners around there then ticked off the road section, probably eased off a bit there by accident. Millstone was the first proper climb at 20km and my favourite section, passed so many people. The first bit of downhill was quite fun but it wasn't until 33km or so we hit the next longer climb and there was a lot of forest track to do.
Got some more drink from Ginie before the long climb to Bennachie, it was up the zigzag track which felt really flat until the final bit. Could feel a bit of stiffness in the hips, hamstring and lower back there after all the forest track running but once on the tops it was a complete change. Had a few km of soft muddy paths which eased the legs off and was a totally different kind of running/ bog hopping. Felt quite strong on that stuff. Once over Oxen Craig it was back on the smooth path to Mither Tap, lost a bit of time at an unmarked junction trying to work out if we went over the top of one of the smaller summits on the way. Felt good on the final two short climbs but didn't push the descents so I could avoid any accidents. Passed the final early runner on the last downhill to be first back to break the tape, then found out a guy took a wrong turn and only ran 45km to be first back! Energy levels stayed good until the end but I was feeling sick from the sweet stuff.
Happy to get the win, 15 minutes up from Jason and 35min under Kyle's time from last year. Never felt like I was working at a hard effort but my legs were stiff at times near the end so I don't know how much faster I could have ran before risking a meltdown. Nothing was too bad apart from the recent hamstring niggle on some of the forest tracks, it was only after I slipped on some mud and tweaked it slightly. Good day to round off the racing season. Three races is better than expected. Got an entry for Speyside way but I want to sort out the hamstring and get training well as a priority.