The second in the series of 5km off road runs - and this one was in the Snow!
Yep - we still had snow on the ground and it was cold, bright and very slippery.
I set my watch to note what pace I was doing. I wanted to get inside 25 mins - so was looking for a pace of 5min/km on the watch.
The horn sounded and several hundred of us ran off in the snow into what became a very fast and hard fought race. I was very surprised to see so many people running in normal trainers - how they manager to stay standing I will never know. I managed to overtake many of these on the hills where my trail shoes had better traction, but by half way around - keeping this pace - my HR was at 170 and I was feeling worse for wear.
At the half way point - the course essentially heads back round to the start and what had been predominately uphill at this point became downhill. My HR went down (a little - it was still pretty high) and I started managing to keep my pace a little easier.
Overtaking at this point became very difficult - we were now running on almost singletrack as the field had spread out and had created a small trodden path through the drifts of snow. This was very different to the start that had wide compacted areas - see the photo of the author (left). This meant that whenever you wanted to overtake - you needed to run out into the thinker snow expending a lot more effort to overtake the person in front. I started to struggle - especially as the height started to increase again and decided to settle into my stride behind one individual who I essentially followed to the end of the race.
I managed a very respectable 24:03 - which I was very happy about in the conditions - and came 13th overall - which I was over the moon about.
This is the last of the 5km races I am running in - the next is a 10km and that actually feels like a pretty big step up to me at the moment. I'm certainly not looking forward to the up coming half marathon in March.....
More updates to follow...