Away down to Galashiels yesterday for another leg of the Borders Cross Country Series.
One or two slight changes to the course from the previous couple of years, but still a good un.
A couple of laps of a woodland walkway before heading out for a few hill climbs and a short spell up a muddy banking and through the woods before a short dash back along the path you set on.
During my, woefully inadequate, warm up I’d noticed that during the first couple of laps we had to cross a few duck-board type pathways and bridges. Quite narrow and they gave the place a bit of a sanitised “First World War Experience Theme Park” type feel. In reality I think these are placed there so that dog walkers don’t get their feet too dirty while they allow their lovely charges to be-spoil the woodland.
Anyway, from a runners point of view I saw them as potential bottlenecks and decided that the best way to avoid any jams was to try and get near the front early on…
All good in theory, but I think my early burst of effort cost me a bit in the later stages of the race.
Got in a wee group early on and just tried to hang in. Some of the climbs were real lung-busters and by the time we got to the home straight I was all in. Absolutely exhausted and sporting a frothy beard over my mouth and chin that consisted of the three “S”s – Sweat, Snot and Saliva!!
The route, apparently, clocked in at exactly five miles and I was fairly happy with my time of 34:22.
Strangely though this only gave me sixth place in my category. I say strange as I’ve only done three races so far in this series and in every one I’ve been sixth!
Perhaps I’ve just found my natural level.