|Heading up the first ski hill.|
The first 7.5km went well and I led a pack of 5 (including myself) guys around the 7.5km loop. I was working hard and it was going well. I think there were only one or two 7.5km guys ahead of us.
Onto the 10km loop and my legs started to slacken off, and I lost that 'punch'. The cadence dropped and it quickly became a slog fest to hold onto the back of the guys. Eventually, after sliding my way through puddles and bogs, the experienced trail running guys dropped me and my 5lb water-logged shoes. The 'It-was-a-good-idea-at-the-time-long-run' on Friday evening was catching up to me pretty quick.
|A little later on...|
I kept on slogging along and dropped the pace off as I was running solo and thought I was no longer in contention for the podium. I headed onto what I thought was an out-and-back section of the 10km race loop. Lots of 10km folks were coming back along the trail, and I kept my right accordingly. Little did I know it wasn't an out and back but a 'lollipop' which went onto a single-track section to loop back. Yeah, I missed that turn. My bad. It's a racer's responsibility to know the course. I ran into a couple of volunteers and they stopped me to tell me the news. We chatted briefly and I turned around to chug it back into the race site. I ended up crossing the line 1st from the 17.5km racers. Those studs who dropped me like a sack of potatoes were running the 25km (i.e. one short painful loop + one longer and slippery loop in the mud + another short painful loop).
JP crossed the line a few minutes later and it turns out he did the exact same thing as me. We went and saw Sportstats and DQ'd ourselves. Turns out we ran the same distance, just missed climbing a ridge on that loop section. A shame as I had a good lead over 2nd place.
It was fun all the same and I had plenty of mud to show for my efforts!
Unfortunately, Audrey found herself in a similar position (leading, or close to it) but fell and hurt her knee. She had to stop for ~5minutes then got back up and limped on, to finish 5th in a gutsy race.