Sunday, 23 February 2014

FALKIRK

Mud, mud, glorious mud.......
Loads of the stuff. Thick, gloopy, claggy, cloying mud.

The National XC's at Falkirk yesterday. And for the first time very (I believe) Dunbar men had scrapped together enough names to get a mention in the team results.
So..despite my earlier protestations (see last post) I joined the rest of us "happy few..." on the muddy fields of combat.

I'm sure I heard at one point that there was a record entry this year and certainly the place was packed like a can o' worms.

Spot the hypocrite enjoying himself.....
Five sixths of "Team Dunbar" (Andy was temporarily decamped in the HBT area when the photo was taken).

A recce of the route, with Nick, confirmed that it was going to be tough. Even at that stage, with a few races to go, the route was well churned up and it could only get worse.
Three lap races are strange. I don't really like them - they play with my mind. I always find the middle lap the worst. First time it's "new" and your trying to find your pace and get into position. On the last your just pleased to think "this is the last time I have to climb this..." etc. But the one in the middle? Every bit of hurt just seems to yell out "see you again soon.."

Anyhoo. After our recce we still had time to see the women's race and managed to jog between sections to catch Rhona and Anne a few times.



The men's race started with the customary mass charge up the hill, a sweeping bend and a short descent before heading off around a pond. The first mile or so of a race like this is very difficult to negotiate and your pretty much boxed in.

Spent most of the race shoulder to shoulder with Ian R. Now I know Ian has always got a strong finish and the only way I can ever beat him is to try to make time at the start of a race....and I certainly wasn't happening yesterday. So it was inevitable that towards the middle of the last lap he started to slowly pull away from me. I felt I was just struggling to hang on and get round while he starts to look fresher towards the end of a race!

Happy enough with my time (48:59 by my watch) and happy enough to be  apart of it.
And my foot? Well it did hurt a bit towards the end of the race, but luckily the route was so bloody soft there was little chance of injuring it by landing on something hard.

Team Dunbar did quite well, but I don't think many of the bigger clubs will be worrying too much about us getting a team together for next year!

Today I went out for about 17 miles LSD. And god was the wind bloody awful. The fact that my mile "splits" range from about 6:30 to 11:00 (head on up an exposed climb near Cocklaw) gives an indication of how bad the wind was.

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