Running race 2:57:05 31.28 km (5:40 / km) +1750m 4:25 / km
Looking forward to getting out of my comfort zone a bit with something a bit longer. The first couple of km along the road felt very easy and as soon as it went uphill me and Spongey started to pull out a lead. We both went for the line shown on the race map but no one followed us. It turned out to be very heathery and have extra climb. This was a bit annoying as when the pack rejoined they'd been running up the valley on a nice trod.
Still, me and Spongey pulled away again on the climb proper. I took this climb, the descent and the next climb very easy and so did Spongey. It felt a bit like a nice day in the hills. Just after the second hill, Spongey reached into his bumbag and the next thing I knew he was 100m behind. I wasn't going to stop if he was slow and faffing (turns out he'd lost his map in the wind and tried to chase it for a bit) but I didn't really push on all the same.
He caught me again when I didn't know the route through the farm. We were still going well and feeling good through the forest, apart from a couple of navigation errors, but when we came to the climb I started to get a bit of a lead. I pushed on a bit this time and the gap started to grow. It was still feeling easy so I wasn't worried I was pushing too hard. I think I had about a minute lead maximum.
I crossed the river across to Trahenna bog in a bit of a rubbish place and got a little pang of cramp. Oh dear. I started through the bog a bit further left than where I had planned from the satellite but it was awful. I crawled through the bog, weaving in a vain attempt to find anywhere where I could run. It was on one of these weaves that Spongey came back past me. I pulled a little bit back on the first part of the climb but the last part became a survival exercise in the wind and the rain.
Spongey reached the top with a 15-20 second lead and I'd all but given the race to him but he stopped at the summit.
I thought this was a bit odd but turns out he didn't fancy guessing the way off the hill without a map in the rain and wind and mist - can't see why.. I took the lead and started to run off the hill but my legs were gone so I had to stick to the trod the whole way for fear of cramping.. I didn't want to be a dick after Spongey had me on the ropes and waited (plus I don't think I could have done much anyway) so a bit of a gentleman's agreement appeared and after Spongey went past on the descent we both cruised in with Spongey a bit ahead.
That was the longest race I have done and good fun. I haven't experienced anything like the quick demise in there bog before. I went from feeling fine to bring dead on my feet almost instantly..