FRA relays, leg 2 with Rhys
Little Rob sent us off in 2nd, 30s behind Shettleston and with HBT right on our trail (or maybe not). Rhys set the pace on the flat trail run out and I hit the hill feeling quite good. My legs have been quite tired after the Skyline but I felt OK when we started climbing. We reeled in Shettleston quite quickly and just set about putting out a good rhythm. Me and Rhys were both climbing pretty well but Jethro was on an off day so as we climbed into the clag we pulled out a lead.
I had the map out and set on navigating the ridge but in the end there was a path the whole way around which wasn't on the map. This made me a bit nervy at times as the path occasionally deviated from where my compass was telling me to go, but the few bits of tape settled those nerves. We perhaps dropped a bit early out of checkpoint 2, losing the path and dropping into the reentrant, but we got back on track soon enough. The descent was taken quite easy in anticipation of the climb coming up.
The first climb was runnable all the way. The second climb was hands on knees all the way and at times required hands out in front and crawl. We started the climb and I felt as good as I could expect. I had another look back here and was a bit scared to see Shettleston and HBT close behind. Maybe it was 30-40 seconds but it doesn't look far when it is steep.
We pushed hard up this climb and as we disappeared into the mist I saw that HBT were dropping back. I didn't look back much after that as we climbed back into the clag. We reached the top and ran as hard as we could down the hill, noone else in sight by now. When we finished we had pulled out the gap a bit more to 90 seconds.
Neil and Matt had a solid Nav leg and pulled the lead out to 4 minutes, so Jonny had a good buffer - not that he needed it. Good fun.