My 10th Greenmantle Dash in a row, and only 2 seconds off my best time of 18:03.
Given that conditions were pretty much perfect, my target time was to go sub 18 minutes for the first time, so I started as fast as possible and was first over the wall and fence, and reached the river level with Michael Reid of Moorfoots. After 2 minutes or so I was feeling pretty wrecked, so backed off a fraction going up the fields until Cameron Burt caught me, at which point I sped up a fraction and climbed alongside Craig Mattocks, with Grant Stewart trotting away up the steep hill just in front.
The climb always goes on a little longer than I remember, and I lost concentration at the turn when I should really have been focussed on the descent. So I just dawdled down waiting for people to pass, when I should have been attempting to accelerate at every footstep.
Strangely nobody passed me until just before the fields when Cameron Burt nipped past in his ladies Westies vest. I thought I could easily just track Cameron and pass him on the road.
What I hadn't expected though was a runner in red catching me. I thought this was Michael McGovern at first, but on closer inspection when I turned my head I realised it was Bruce Smith, so I quickly responded and pulled away, but then Bruce drew close again, so I responded again, and then Bruce pulled right alongside at which point my resolve suddenly broke and I stupidly backed off, thus missing out on a PB and first M40.
It was a bit disappointing to give up like that at the end, but encouraging that I was so close to my best time for the course (18:03) by running 18:05.