Running race 1:40:00  14.85 km (6:44 / km) +1519m 4:27 / km
shoes: Inov8 X-Talon 225 (Red)
4 Peaks Day 3, Mount Hotham - 2nd.
Nice steady start today along the river, winding along for 6km until the climbing started properly. Thankfully none of the guys who just rocked up for the day went off super quick, and everyone seemed content to follow the pace which I was setting. This section seemed to pass really quickly, and I was enjoying myself just cruising along the really nice trail.
At the river crossing I messed up the line slight, so Pete took the lead up the climb proper and the group of 8 which had formed quickly dwindled down to just myself, Will and Pete. Took on a first gel here and sat in following the feet. About halfway up, Pete moved aside so I took up the pace setting again, which I was fine with as I didn't want Will pushing it on too early. We finally crested the climb and hit the ridge run, with some stunning views. A bit of chatting ensued, after we all realised that we didn't really have to race the clock, as we were the ones in the fight for the overall; turns out Will had pissed himself slightly on the way up the climb as he didn't want to drop of the pace. Pete the suddenly disappeared and shortly reappeared, having snuck off for one himself. I had thought about attacking a couple of times over the trees trunks which were covering the trail, but every time I did my legs didn't really have a response, so I was left with the unappealing prospect of attacking on the next climb.
As soon as we hit this, Will put in a big surge, which very nearly broke me. I was in the hurtlocker for a long time up the rest of it, just trying to stay in the group. As we neared the tree line, the pace eased slightly and I regained my breath, but the wind suddenly hit us and it got pretty cold quite quickly. About 200m from the summit Pete launched a pretty big attack, I had been thinking one would come, but it caught me slightly off guard. I did my best to respond but couldn't close the initial gap. I did, however, manage to get a gap on Will, so pushed over the summit to try to get as much time on him as I could.
Finished about 35 seconds down on Pete, and maybe a minute up on Will, and I think regained 2nd on the GC. A really fun race, and I'm very glad we raced it in the way we did, not balls to the wall from the gun. That last climb was horrible though.