Sunday, 23 September 2007
One day a rooster next a feather duster.
The 7AM group today consisted of only 5 runners (us 3 from yesterday and 2 day runners) that worried me a bit. My fears were well founded as Hiroko & Trond streaked away and the day runners fell back leaving me alone in the middle (never a particulary fast starter as i use the first 10k's to warm the muscles). This was fine the first 15k's but then my navigational "skills?" kicked in. Managed to misread a rightfacing as left and spent the next few minutes heading that way until i found a distinct intersection with no markings, i then thought i must have headed left a road early (there were two very close), was thankful i turned back as the other 2 runners had now turned up and pointed to the arrow on the other side of the road (which i hadn't seen!) at least all i'd wasted was 15 minutes. Aid station at the 1,000K mark (23k's) meant i'd gone approx 15k's with nothing other than water, at least now i had the chance to discard jacket and beanie and remove gloves. Into the large city of Herrenberg via bikepath (even had a chat - in English - with a cyclist) and finally passed one of the 6AM group, from then on regularly picked up runners but towards the end my right hamstring was "gone", almost thankful for the uphills toward the end as it meant i could stretch the muscle the other way. Horb Am Neckar being Ingo's hometown meant we got a rousing welcome just before the end with a brass band and a carnival (and i could not resist a delicious slice of cake). Finished, virtually lame, in 6:49 well behind Hiroko's 6:10 but still good enough for 3rd today (and more importantly slipping into 4th overall). Was in very ordinary shape when i finished (not helped by distances between aid stations either being too long or too short). Possibly dehydrated was given a litre of water and another of alcohol free beer (seriously it's a sportsdrink here!) to consume. Just back from my massage and i know tomorrow will be slow, as my right leg is as fixed as possible but still very "proppy" - shades of Trans Gaule.