Not one of my better runs. My past 2 Carnethys had both been 56 minutes something, so I was kind of assuming I would get under the hour without trying too hard. However I think the routes up the first hill and off the last hill went through more heather than previously, plus the ground was pretty soft, plus I've done no hill running in ages, so in fact I missed the hour and did 1:00:57.
It probably didn't help much that I'd done a 14 mile tempo run the previous afternoon, and that I ran the 5km to the start of the race.
I started as slowly as possible and immediately found myself way down the field as folk sprinted off through the bog. I picked my way around the edge of the field over the opening 600 metres to the gate, and was probably in about 15th position as I went through the gate with Mark Harris and Al Hart. The pace seemed incredibly pedestrian compared with cross country, until I hit the climb up Scald Law, and suddenly remembered I hadn't done any hill racing in ages.
The climb was therefore a constant procession of people overtaking, until I topped out at the summit of Scald Law one place ahead of Steven Fallon. Steven promptly overtook me, and then I re-overtook on the way to South Black. On the way to West Kip I was caught by Des Crowe. And then coming off West Kip I was caught by Clare Whitehead. I rallied a bit on the descent to The Howe and caught and passed Steven Fallon and Clare before the climb to the gully.
I made my last effort to run into the gully before my legs gave up altogther. I then lost around 10 or 15 places on the climb to Carnethy as I realised my legs were powerless at running uphill.
By the time the descent arrived, I'd lost interest in the race, and just stumbled slowly through the rough unrunnable heather arriving back at the gate just as Adrian Davis and Adam Ward hurtled past. I looked at my watch knowing that a bare minute of 2 minutes would be needed to get to the end, and saw the time was 58:40, so I knew there was no possibility of breaking the hour.
I managed to nip back in front of Adam and Adrian before the finish, who both ran as badly as myself. It was a bit of a shock to the system to realise that my legs don't work on hills, but a useful reminder that I might need to incorporate some hill running into my training.