Sunday 28 August 2011

Ochil 2000s Hill Race

27th August 2011
Route on Garmin Connect
Ochil 2000s route
I entered the Ochil 2000s race more in hope than expectation. I tried to start slowly, and only lead for about the first 200 metres before throttling back and taking it easy on the climbs. I dropped a bunch of places on the first climb up Innerdownie before getting a bit more into my stride on the rolling hills towards King's Seat. I was exchanging places with Michael Geoghegan on a regular basis, and trying to keep up with Graham Kirby and trying to stay ahead of Cameron Burt. I think all 3 got away just before Ben Cleuch. I tried to shave a corner across to Ben Buck, but don't think it helped much.

On the out and back to Ben Ever I was caught by Craig Love. The next section to Blairdenon leads through horrific peat hags at first, which bunched things up a bit. From Blairdenon I elected this year to veer more to the left on the descent to stay on better ground, and I think this worked up to a point since I caught up again with Cameron Burt and Jasmin Paris, however I think I should have stayed ever further left since Andrea Priestley was running a bit higher and closing me down. I sort of ran with Cameron for a bit at the start of the descent to Jerad.

Just as we reached Jerad I had Andrea and Jasmin barreling down on me, so I made a stupid mistake when I saw Ellie with my replenishment drink and didn't take the time to stop and swap bottles. I quickly regretted this on the climb up Dumyat when I suddenly felt completely washed out. Funnily enough Cameron Burt did stop and swig my drink, and was now re-invigorated and closing me down fast.

I managed to keep ahead of Cameron at the summit of Dumyat, and started descending just waiting for him to pass. Ross McLennan was just ahead on the descent making it nice and easy having someone to follow. It wasn't until the bluebell woods that Cameron finally came past, just before the steep mud slide. I then followed Ross and Cameron down the steep tarmac hill before the sharp right turn up the track alongside the University boundary wall.  I knew I needed to attack now so increased the pace and passed Ross and then jumped in front of Cameron just before the hole in the wall.  I wasn't sure what Cameron's sprint finish was like, but with 500 metres to go I kicked and tried to make a decisive break.  I thought I'd dropped Cameron but as I reached the end of the finishing funnel there was no sign of any dibber box, so I had a bit of a mad panic trying to find it with Cameron hurtling down on me. I looked around the finishing tent and eventually found the box on the table beside the laptop, and managed to dib just before Cameron arrived.

My time of 3 hours 13 minutes was the slowest of my 4 outings on the route, but I was pleased to reach the end for once without getting cramp.

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