Next race up in the long list already for the year (seriously this was my fifth in 13 days) and it was the first running of the Cottisford 5k in, actually…the middle of nowhere. Oh and it just happened to be the evening when the weather decided to dump a month’s worth of rain in one night on us too.
I wasn’t expecting much but with a small field and not too many of the usual faces on show I reckoned I could be good for a top ten? And even considering how raced out I’d felt on Sunday 5km would be over in no time at all.
As we stood on the start line already drenched we all just wanted to get on with it. It being a vaguely undulating 4km loop with a final straight km to the finish, with wind, and rain.
As the hooter failed to hoot we kind of took it upon ourselves to all go anyway (the referee didn’t seem to mind)
Brucey and the Skip legged it from the off, leaving a group of myself with DC, BOC, Dickie G, John@ and a little chap from Witney taking up the chasing duties. As soon as that group got themselves some clear space from the main pack I felt happy to ease off as I figured we’d be good for the team win. Four in the top ten is frankly hard to better, and soon that would come true.
By 3k it was Brucey and the Skip miles ahead, chased by DC and Dickie G, then me, BOC, and the Little Guy dropping with one another, but Little G wasn’t going to stay with us and a quick bit of encouragement to BOC for us to put our foot down and drop him and we did exactly that.
It was beginning to hurt by now and the cold was starting to set in and despite my earlier happiness to ease off I suddenly changed tack and wanted to put a marker down, but more importantly to work on that final km kick that I’d been lacking of late. It wouldn’t be pleasant, it wouldn’t be pain-free but it had to be done sooner or later and by 3.5km I upped the effort.
4km seemed to take an eternity but I thought that I may just have done enough to drop BOC, but it was hurting even more now and with that last long km left I could still sense that I was being chased closely.
Concentrate, focus, cadence, staying upright, good full stride, don’t tighten up, it was really hurting now. Finally the finish tape was in view and with 25m left I final felt the chasing presence fall away to allow me to take 6th place and 3rd SM in a time of 17:23. Not the fastest I’ve ever gone but not too shabby considering the weather, quite happy with that.
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