Running race 2:39:55  13.33 mi (12:00 / mi) +1333m 9:09 / mi
ahr:169 max:205 shoes: Red Inov-8 Mudlaws
STUC A' CHROIN HILL RACE
Exactly what a hill race should be like - a quality field on an epic course with entry on day in the back room of the village pub. Ace.
The usual course was waterlogged so they had to amend it, taking out a couple of miles of twisty forest trail in favour of landrover track. It was a cool day and conditions were wet and muddy underfoot. Zero visibility along the ridge and occassionally windy.
I started off steady and soon settled in to a nice rhythm along the track. Glancing up I could see Finlay Wild already out on his own with a significant gap only 10 mins in to the race. The descent in to Glen Ample was seriously muddy and I felt like more of a clutz than normal. I lost a few places - Peter Mackie catching me just at the bottom. I made a good pace on the long climb up Bein Each. Stayed with one group along the undulating ridge, losing time on the descents and making it back up on the ascents. Manny G caught me just before the summit - the Gorman takeover gets later every year!
I pushed a bit back along the ridge, there were plenty of strong runners just behind me. Half way down the descent to Glen Ample I was dropped by a group of about 10 including Peter and Iain Stewart. I knew this was going to happen but didn't expect it to be that many. I was determined to make those places up and had the bit between the teeth on the way back up. Managed to overhaul everyone, catching Iain just at the top. All along the undulating trail back to the track I could hear Iain breathing down my neck so couldn't let up for a second - was pretty confident I could drop him on the road though.
When I got to the track I pushed for the first 400m thinking that would be enough to allow for a leisurly cruise to the finish. Got a shock when I glanced behind me to see Peter within 200ft. Given his descending prowess, leisurly cruise became panicked chase. Despite running a 5.20 mile he stayed on my tail right to the bitter end. I could feel cramp kicking in in my right leg for the last little climb + technical descent 75M from the finish and I just prayed my body would hold together. Thankfully it did - though I had to do the last 10ft at a jerky stagger.
As always Stuc a Chroin was a brilliant day and I was happy with my performance.