Running race (Bright 4 Peaks - Day 4) 56:30  10.8 km (5:14 / km) +700m 3:57 / km
At Mystic Mountain, came 4th today, sort of 1st overall ish. Keen for this one, looking forward to a smaller climb and some fun downhill. Pace for the first minor (but very steep) climb was high and I was already off the back of the pack in about 8th. Got up the real steep big climb ok pulling up to 6th by the top. The leaders had gotten away a bit but I still got the occasional glimpse of them along the ridgeline - Mathieu Dore was leading and he was 3rd overall, so I needed to keep an eye on him to make sure he didn't get more than 3.5mins on me today. The steep descent off the top was great fun as always and I went past Sam halfway down it. Onto the gradual downhill trails and it was a real burn-up - I was in 4th here, could see the group in front so focused on trying to catch them, and in doing so opened up a small gap to Sam behind (more on that later...). As we neared the end I did catch and briefly pass Phil into 3rd, but the effort of doing so meant I had nothing left for the actual sprint finish and he duly went back past me. Schepisi had a blinder for the win today, and fortunately Mathieu only got about 1min out of me, so I was very happy and relieved to get 2nd overall...
...assuming Sam finishes soon that is... tick tock... 7mins pass... Oh that's odd. Something's gone wrong - hope he's ok... Eventually he finishes, fortunately not injured but clearly unhappy - turns out there were some other pink tapes out there going down a side track, and so he ran an extra 2km along the wrong route. When I got that small gap I must have just got out of sight when the group behind got to the offending junction and didn't know which was the right path. It only affected a few people because when they realised they came back and someone took down the offending tapes.
In the end the organisers decided to give Sam and me the joint win, which seemed like a sensible decision in the situation. It was a pretty disappointing way for the weekend to end for Sam and I felt a bit awkward about it all, but everyone knew he was clearly the deserving winner.