Running 41:26  7.36 km (5:38 / km) +422m 4:22 / km
IMRA Sugarloaf - 2nd
Felt alright starting, but not long later I felt really quite rubbish and was struggling a lot on the uphills. Dropped back to 7th / 8th and struggling, but hanging on to my group.
Could see the group ahead moving away a bit, but on the final climb Eoin Keith came by me, and I tried to hang on. Pace didn’t feel that quick, we were slowly plodding up, I felt like I should be trying to kick on, but keeping up felt alright and I knew I had nothing in the legs to try plough on ahead so I just stuck in.
As the climb got more scrambly Eoin was still running the whole thing, and I have never stuck my head so far up some man’s arse, just ground out behind him in a power walk knowing it was a good pace. By the time we’d reached the summit he had dragged us up to just behind the group fighting for 3rd.
I nipped in front of one or two on the scrambly descent and then slowly made my way to the back of 4th, with 3rd just ahead. Wa as little held up on the single track, but mostly was quite impressed by the descending as we were going well and was a little worried I wouldn’t get by.
It flattened out at one point and I made an effort to get by Warren and then shortly later it widened on some nice grassy downhill and I moved into 3rd. Figured now ahead of these two I could slowly open a gap on the tricky stuff so I wouldn’t have to worry about a sprint, but suddenly Peter was coming back quickly as well so soon enough moved into 2nd and opened a decent gap then.
At the last turn I went right and then doubted myself and stopped to shout back. Peter told me to keep going, so I did, but had very little momentum now and they were right on me. Opened up harder on some flat bit and was desperately waiting for the finish, and sure enough it came soon and I could cruise across.
Turns out Niall heard me coming and faked a fall as well in order to have an excuse in case I got him, but he held me off by about 15sec. Lucky boy.
Nice evening and a lovely BBQ after.