Race race 1:08:00  15.3 km (4:27 / km) +164m 4:13 / km
Another very good night sleep.
Warmup w/Laura, easy, plus drills and a few strides.
A new course this year - basically a 10k loop with less elevation than some of the races around here, but surprisingly hard. Some tough terrain, constantly up and down, difficult to get into any sort of rhythm as the terrain changes constantly, a few gates and some mud. Of course. But bloody hell - it's fun. And fucking hard.
Since there are noe proper climbs on the course I decided to change my tactics. Normally I would let someone else set the pace and try to pull away on a climb in the last half/third of the race, but that wasn't really an option here. So decided to go out hard and see if I could drop as many as possible just by running constantly hard throughout the course. I felt really good early on and got in the lead after about 200m. Only 2 people followed. More or less as expected. The same two guys I raced the last XC and one of them who beat me at the Ferriby 10miler... Great guys, fast and good competition. I pushed hard and could hear the two others work really hard as well. As we approched the 4mile mark, Rob had dropped back a few meters and that's when I made my mistake. Instead of keep pushing, I let the other guy - JJ - take the lead, and pace slowed enough for Rob to catch up.... I should have kept going instead but could also feel the pace and got too comfrotable with someone else pushing up front for a bit (I'd been setting the pace for the entire first 4 miles). But that gave Rob what he needed to make a move with about a mile to go. I managed to follow whilst we dropped JJ. But Soon Rob got a few seconds on me as well and I just couldn't close the gap. He ran very hard. And even though I got a bit closer on the last little climb, I just couldn't keep up on the flatter bits.He's got a very strong finish and leg speed. So in the end he beat me with something like 8 seconds.... about the same as last time. But I think I raced better this time, and Rob admitted that he was about to give up at the point where I slowed down a bit - and basically invited him back in the race. I should have kept going/pushing just that little bit harder at that point. And I probably would have come back with a win. But hey - you learn something new every time. And I love racing with these two guys. Noone holding back, proper hard racing from start to finish. Proper fucked by the end...