British Unis Cross Country Championships.
Frozen, slightly rutted in places, pan flat, snowing.
So in previous xc races I have often started slowly and then moved through the field. Probably from orienteering where it makes sense to start steadier. So following discussion with the captain of Ranelagh I decided to make a real go of starting hard and then hanging in there.
At the first corner I was jointly leading the race, had a minor sphincter clench, and settled back down the field in around 20th. Towards the end of the 2nd lap a gap started to appear between the top 20 and the group that I was in (20-25ish), this was the group I finished "with" (we caught some people from the front group and some people came past near the end). I ended up in 22nd.
I am pleased with this run, I think I got pretty much all I could get out of myself. Maybe if I worked harder I could have hung onto the front 20 group and done better but that is easy to say with hindsight and I certainly didn't feel like keeping up with the pace at the time. I could maybe have done better if the course was hillier, muddier, and required some navigation between orange and white flags, but you deal with what the situation is and so I now have a 10km time to work off.