Skipped Parkrun as couldn’t be arsed with the early start and then being outside all morning with no access to toilets. And had a 60 min shift on parking duty where the car park could only fit 15 cars. Took some imagination but managed to get everyone parked in the end.
After last year’s disaster (started fast then had an extreme coughing fit just before the top of first hill then barely able to breathe at all rest of the way, eventually ending up in hospital...) mentally not able to push this one hard so it became a very carefully paced race.
From the start let everyone get away in front, which meant I was queuing on the steps and walking a big chunk to the top - in practice only 10s or so slower than last year. Reasonably quick on the down but nothing near balls out. Right at the start if telegraph hill dropped pace right down to crawl, and kept crawling all the way up - and gained several paces. It was here that my race was completely over last year. But even now was holding some back in reserve.
Mentally got easier once in the fields and away from the bracken (Assume bracken has pollen?) and limiter became legs from lack of a *decent* warm up with stretches after week of tight legs.
Descent was poor. Very wet and muddy underfoot, and by now had a big blister on my right little toe. Well out of practice and never a good descender anyway... Once along river maintained gap in front and behind but quickly caught on the last hill and stuck in a queue of 6 or so on the muddy single track (30-45s hold up?) - just about managed to pass 4 by the road.
Around 1 min quicker than last year, and that’s with long hold ups for traffic, and ground conditions that really don’t suit me for descending. Fairly happy with that as it’s all I aimed for, and stuck to pacing plan. Not sure I’ll ever be in the right mindset to seriously race this one again, but with the steep start it might be a good thing pacing it slower. https://www.strava.com/activities/2626802291