Run 1:46:00  *** 13.4 km (7:55 / km) +400m 6:53 / km
WA Long Championships at Spice Brook, a gully-spur area of the western variety (i.e. eroded small escarpments and lots of blandness in between, where you had to keep your wits about you to avoid coming unstuck). Had I noticed before entering that this was (a) the day before the middle and (b) not a National League race, I'd probably have run M40 instead, but the run did me good and will be useful for my confidence for next week after a couple of recent long-distance failures.
This was a wet race with rain for most of the day (although it was much more pleasant in the forest than it was in the windswept assembly area, which was consequently devoid of much of a crowd) - still preferable running conditions to the 35 degrees that it would have been this time last week. For the most part it was a reasonably smooth run. Started OK, apart from a stop to remove a number that didn't last 10 minutes; Bruce (2 minutes) and Mark (4) both went through me, Mark looking particularly strong, but nothing unexpected there. Quite a lot of track options in the second half of the course - wouldn't have used all of them on a different day (keeping a bit in reserve was part of the objective today, as it was for most of the field), but it may not have been such a bad thing, as on 15 David Brownridge (who'd just gone through me 6 minutes) left the track before I did and was behind me to the control. The one error of any size was 11, a hard-to-see rock in regrowth - was close to it but not confident enough of my position to pinpoint it, and dropped a couple of minutes.
Still running OK at the end, which I was happy with, although no more competitive time-wise than I've been at any other time this season (Simon was just under 80).