Running race 39:46  11.77 km (3:23 / km) +217m 3:06 / km
ahr:166 max:190 shoes: Saucony Havoc XC
ENglish Nationals XC - 85th
Had a dreadful start, getting caught out by the lack of a proper pen for the club (there were only three of us), but I should have been more aggressive with getting towards the front line.
A nice tap on my shoulder from Ba-ba up the first climb, reminding me to not overcook it, and then once we were up onto the ridge I got a bit more space and started to move through people. Felt pretty rubbish, but caught sight of Alistair Smith and Gorringe ahead, so set me sights on getting up to them. Up the first long climb and I went past Alistair pretty well, and I was just moving across the gaps to different groups, starting to feel stronger. Bit of a bad patch on the short climb on the end of the lap, and a couple of guys came back to me, but then we started gaining places again.
Began hearing top-100 being called on the ridge at the start of the lap, so mentally started to pick up a bit and worked hard to get onto Gorringe's big group. Fast on the downhill to the long climb and I made contact, and started to work my way through them, and over the top I started to move away trying to make contact with the next pack, and finally did as we hit the off-camber traverse. Went through them and tried to push the pace on the final climb, but just didn't quite have the legs, and lost a couple of places. A grim finish, but I managed to nab one more place from a guy going backwards hard.
This was exceptional fun, ad I will definitely try to come back next year; I can't believe I've never got around to doing it. I'm disappointed with the start I had as I think it hampered me quite badly, but it was a nice way to race it, going through people the entire way and definitely meant that I paced it well. A good marker to work down from moving forward.