Monday, 21 May 2012

Whitebrook Wind-Up

We were visiting friends last weekend in Abergavenny. My mate does a bit of running and is very good, although not as driven to do races as I am. He had planned that we could coincide our visit with a local race, and suggested the Whitebrook Wind-Up. This is a trail half-marathon with a reasonable amount of hills in it, so sounded like something I'd really enjoy.

In the weeks running up to our visit, my friend picked up an achilles injury and Mrs Noel decided she is nursing her ankle, so it was only me who entered.

The race went pretty well. There was one guy there who was clearly in a class of his own and set off pretty quickly. I quickly clocked that I wasn't in the same league, so let him go. However, there were about 5 others who I think got dragged along with him for the first 2 or 3 miles. These lads didn't look great, but were clearly running more quickly than I was so I let them go too.

When that happens, half of you says "they're just better than you - get used to it" and half of you says "they've paced it wrong - you'll get them later". Luckily, I think some of them had set off too quickly. Over the next 8 miles, I passed all but the very good bloke and was cruising in second.

"Pride before a fall" and all that. Just when I was thinking I'd done all the hard work, someone shot past me with about a mile to go. Luckily I had the leg speed on the flat and won by a few seconds. I'm a bit sore today. Perhaps I should have built in a cycle warm-down after the race. That's what the winner did, after packing up his stuff into his Iron Man rucksack - he'd clearly cycled to the race too. I have a lot of respect for good triathletes.

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