This was different this year as there was also a 7 mile event in conjunction with it and a slightly different new course in parts for the half. But what a killer this event was for my 327th half. Most rate it in the top 3 toughest UK halves and I agree. The trouble is when you are in the Chilterns there are only 2 ways to go, up and down. But far more ups than downs in that the “ups” are long 2 to 3 mile drags and the “downs” are steep descents of half a mile or so.
So we started at 0930 in the Sports Park to the sound of a huge rocket and then it was all uphill for 4+ miles to the top of the Chilterns-very tough indeed. Then the fast downhill to 5 but here the new course came in. Instead of carrying on down to the flat and then continuing to mile 8, we turned and went back vertically uphill to the top again – albeit a “new top”.
Again the scenery, sun and Autumn colours were spectacular and had it not been for the slight mist you could have seen for miles in every direction. Eventually it flattened out for a mile or so then the inevitable rush downhill to 9 only to find that it was all uphill to 11 for our 3rd ascent of the range. Sheer hell but eventually the end was in sight at the sports ground where drinks, medals, bananas, drink bottle in the goodie bag greeted us all. Plus everyone got one of those “hoodie head scarf things” that I never wear so I’ll bring it down on Wed.
I do this every year but only about 5 other Massey runners have dared do it but now there’s a 7 there are no excuses next year. OK?
Dave Phillips 2.32 (same as in 2015).
Race report by Dave Phillips.