Arrived just over an hour before race start to absolutely nothing going on. All races held back after a girl tripped and injured her head, and waiting for an ambulance to pick her up. They may have undersold the injury as the air ambulance came by and was parked for about 30 minutes - I hope it was more out of convenience than necessity.
The delay meant that races of the same distance were merged so we didn't know when our race was going to start. We were expecting a 10 minute warning to give us time to warm up as per previous delayed races but this was missed for ours so had no time at all to get legs going (it was far too cold and windy to speculatively undress and warm up...). I sympathise with the organisers a lot as they clearly had more important things on their mind, and it's to their credit that the last races actually went ahead at all.
Legs weren't ready, and I didn't need to race hard, so started pretty much at the back (only 2 behind me) and used the first couple of laps to get the legs turning. Downside to this is that I didn't know the course and how narrow it is, so was stuck in a traffic jam for first 4k.
Downhill was very slippery and really needed bigger spikes as couldn't take the corners faster than walking pace. The meadow was pretty much impossible - so sat back on lap 1 and loop, stuck to the middle "lumpy" bit of the path on other laps and was able to grip better. Woods were rooty so needed to see what I could trip over, and the up was narrow so lap 1's pace was determined by the speed of the man 10 in front of me.
Able to do some overtakes in the grassy car park at top of climb, but the slow guy sped up a lot too and was right with me. After this was a long gravel track section where spikes weren't a good idea at all, before a very slow going boggy field back to the start.
From lap 2 had a stitch, or something stomach related developing - which I think is combination of fighting the wind and not having a warm up. On all the laps I was knackered from mud at the bottom of the descent so just plodded back up, and the boggy field got at least 200m longer each time.
Lapped by the winner at the bottom of last lap climb, and by 2nd place at the finish line - so was fastest person lapped by 2 or more people. Was doing mental calcs with the watch and by the end of the first "short" lap worked out we were on for 10k rather than the advertised 9, think some of the less good runners in front of me struggled with that extra k. Pretty knackered from the effort despite not giving it totally everything, now see why people don't like this course!
Be interesting to see what it's like in the dry - should be many minutes faster!https://www.strava.com/activities/2932466014