Castle Carr English champs. 16th (+18min on Sam Tosh)
Ear update: compacted wax, probs hayfver related. Soften up with drops. Decided to excavate som but succeded in compacting it further, so am now (temporarily) deaf in both ears.
Anyway, a faffy, convoluted, contrived route above the Cader Valley. Clash with The Ben (Nevis, not Mounsey), and general ambivalence towards champs - espcially if not an established race - at this time of year, meant points were to be had. Felt alright but not wanting to start too quick on fast early running - rumours of hip-high tussocks abounded!
Settled into the 3rd group, feeling comfortble, leeting a few people surge on the good running. First downhills and tussocks took easy, assaying others' skill over the baby's heads. Drifted off the back of the group a bit but they never got away. CP 4 found by smell positioned, as it was, behind the sewage works. Lost a bit of impetus at the top of climb 4 through to descent of climb 5, gap stretched a little bit (I ended up in a farm-yard, head in the map I missed the taped stile. Reading map is bad for you!) but I closed it up when we all went wrong but those ahead went wrongerer (maybe reading maps is beneficial. Although 1:25k OS with random path mapping difficult whilst flying along trods).
Anyway now in the pack with Pez, Vic and a few others (Little Rob and Garry Greenhow droped here), thugged my way up the penultimate hill through the promissed man-eating tussocks. From the last CP I hit it fairly hard to get a gap down the rough descent. Was closed up on the penultimate climb, but attacked as it got rough again, got a more direct line and held off our remaining pack of 4 (Pez, Jonny Dry and Nick Leigh; Chris Holdsworth overtaken walking having gone walkabout from 4th place earlier).
Just behind Mike Ainscough from Helm gt ahead when we went wrong), but was 5mins up to the next group. A faster start required to mae the step up.
As for running deaf - very aware of heartbeat, difficult to hear what people are saying; you don't know anyone's behind you so feel you have to stick to the group as best you can.