Path/Terrain race 2:35:07  27.11 km (5:43 / km) +1804m 4:18 / km
shoes: Inov-8 Oroc 280 (2016)
Pentland Skyline - 11th
A big goal for this year, one that's been on my mind since spring and [almost] more important to me than JEC... I have been plagued with bad luck in the last two years of early october but for once I was prepared to race so was fairly excited going into it. Legs feeling good and even though the start was delayed, I was confident in the way I was planning to treat it and ready to die for the finish line. Biggest fear was an overuse injury but hoped that the last few big summer munro runs would pay off and keep me safe.
Started safely and tucked in behind Oleg, where I thought was a good place to be seeing as our paces have been quite close recently. Top of Caerketton no problem and soon overtaking some early hard starters to Allermuir with Oleg. Left him as I was feeling a chase and was involved in chasing the lead pack of 6 with Coombs and Tom Martyn trailing behind them too. Sat in this spot for a very long time, and watched as the two leapfrogged about.
Up and over Castlelaw easily and then a bit of recovery before grinding up Turnhouse. Ran most of the way before walking, not because I had to but because I didn't want to burn out. Decided that looking back was a very bad idea so refrained from it, and just settled into a rollercoaster ridge rhythm instead. Up and over Carnethy was hard but then Scald Law felt easy. Lumps and bumps went quickly with some power walking and soon was at Drove Rd feeling pretty much fine.
Tom seemed to be struggling and I began to gain as he faught off heather on Hare. Shocked to see Spongey and Oleg pulled out in the ravine but nice to have some lucozade and an update on place (7th). Got excited and began to real in Tom, but we took a bad route through heather up black and suddenly, out of nowhere, a pack of 5 were gaining. Raging, I put in some pace down Black to drop Tom and Stewart W but let a Westie get away. This was a bad idea though, as Bell's was bad, worse than normal. Really struggled but was catching Coombs too.
We crawled over Harbour but by the time we hit Capelaw the pack of 4 were back for more. I let them pass after sticking to them for a while and joining Al A for a gel, but Al was also struggling up Allermuir and I thought of a possible sprint finish. Met Dan up here, in his down jacket with shorts, and asked him what my gap behind was. He said he couldn't see anything so that was too good to resist. Plus Al is a crazy descender so I just enjoyed the last ridge and descent, crossing the line with a bit of the sprint to cause havoc by breaking the funnel tapes.
Really happy to see the finish line. The first 3/4 were great but I've never felt so bad on the last quarter. Cramping up and hardly able to walk climbs, perhaps not drinking enough but I reckon just not enough long racing done. Orienteers did very nicely and it was a privilege to run in the race in such perfect Pentland weather/conditions and where the record went. Would be nice to have a proper punt at it in a few years, but in the meantime I might have to miss out next year after that last few km of pain....