Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Did it.

It's still not Triumph ... totally non-technical, and all about me. But if I didn't blog it, then anyone who saw the last post might think I'd chickened out or that I didn't make it all the way to the top.

It went off without a hitch: I decided my tactics well before the race, and after having tried the course in two halves over the previous two weekends: Start at the back, run steady and probably finish at the back. I had a feeling that I’d be able to run the full distance and was hoping to make it in 2hrs 30mins – 2hrs 45mins. I wasn’t racing, I just wanted to get to the top.

Although it was cloudy at the start, and the top of the mountain was shrouded in mist, we ran through the cloud, as you can see from the photos Ella took as she walked up.

Views on the way up (by Ella)
It's cloudy below the moutain

I made the halfway mark a little ahead of my target time, but, seeing as the course went up the side of a mountain, getting steeper and steeper, I knew I was going to slow down eventually. I had planned on conserving enough energy, such that at the final drink stop (at 19km) I could try and pick up the pace and get to the line in a bit of style (amidst the sweat and tears!). As it was, at 19km I was pretty much blown out, so I walked for a couple of hundred metres, before struggling to run at speed. I managed to do ok, but with 1km to go I slowed to a walk to summon up some more grunt. I fixed my eyes on a guy walking in front and caught up with him, told him that he was going to cross the line running with me, and proceeded to bully him over the line! I’m not quite sure where that came from, but he seemed appreciative. In this photo that Ella took he at least seemed to be talking to me!

Nearly there!

I crossed the line at 2.42.06 placed 268 out of 358 finishers. Respectable enough for an unaccomplished runner that hasn’t run a half marathon before, let alone 1200 metres up a mountain. I think this photo shows how high up it is:

This is pretty high

I think that all the food and water I consumed did me good, as I haven’t had any serious aches and pains apart from a bit of pain in my knee, which I’m sure will get better soon. It was great fun, and I’d certainly do it again.

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