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The radio was playing “it’s raining men” and someone was...

Ricky Lightfoot, le texte de sa publication du 12-06-2019 18:21:20 :
The radio was playing “it’s raining men” and someone was a few rows back quietly singing along, I briefly forgot where a was for a minute, i was lost in the early morning mist which was rising above the trees below in the valley, that is until the bus braked sharply.

I snapped back into reality, it was 07.45 and I was on the bus to miranda dos corvo for the Trail World Championships which were being held in Portugal.
We left the dual carrageway and eventually turned into the small village where it was beginning to come alive with over 400 athletes from 52 countries, we (the team) headed down to the start area to dump our bags and begin to warm up, not that it would take much but it was still a bit chilly as the mist began to lift.
The usual last minute toilet break and a little run out to see the final road section, which was approximately two kilometres.
I ran back into the start and readied my self as I knew If I wanted a good position in the starting area I’d have to be there early, unfortunately by the time i had got through kit check I was already 20 or so deep from the start line.
I squeezed forward a little but it was obvious I would get any further, 5 minutes, 4 minutes, 3 minutes I decided to jump the fence and try squeeze on to the starting line, I did but was behind a pillar which hampered me a little bit but meant I could at least see some road to actually run.
I can’t actually recall how it started, I think I was concentrating so much on not falling that I just went as everyone else did.

A mad dash ensued trying not to trample anyone but trying to keep on my own feet and avoid the lamp posts, trees, bollards which litter the first kilometre. Still in the centre of the town we climbed a small hill by the church and descended some steps which I’m amazed everyone got down without breaking an ankle.
From here we negotiated bridges, river crossings and car parks until we eventually hit the trail, five out of 6 Brits were up in the first dozen or so, which I wasn’t quite sure was a good thing or bad - obviously knowing the results it was a good thing for most!
The first section of trail was tight and ran along side a small stream, there was low lying branches, and rocks strewn between the odd bit of bog now and again, the trees would come at you fast and at times it felt as though there was no if very little trail.
I was pleased to get through the first couple of kilometres, It was fast but not uncomfortable.
My cap got caught on a tree and I quickly stopped to grab it back as I feared I may need it to hide from the sun later on, what only took a few seconds meant I dropped about 8 places, which isn’t a problem so early on, I tried to get into a rhythm but I found my self being dragged along by others and by the first check point at 7 kilometres I already felt too warm, I was moving but not as fluidly as I wanted and I found my self being over taken.

I felt as though I was losing time but for a while stayed only four minutes or so behind the leaders, or so I could make out by the shouting.
Reaching the 16 km check I swapped a couple of bottles and picked up a couple of gels.
What came around the next corner was defining, a set of pitched steps led steeply up to the trail lined either side three or four deep were the spectators, precariously perched on the side of the trail shouting and cheering, the noise alone was enough to lift even the darkest of days.
Following the trail next to a steam we-steadily made our way up to the high point, as i passed one runner I was passed by another three, I just couldn’t get things going.

Through the 28km aid station and not much had changed, I was still moving, but slowly and often I’d ask my self why I was doing this, did I really enjoy it so much? By all means I wasn’t struggling, I felt ok inside, the descent became painful and slow, my knee was hurting - maybe through tightness in the quads? I stopped and stretched hoping it was nothing but no it did no good.
At the 34km aid station I knew that it’s a long run for the finish, mostly down hill following a small technical trail weaving in and out of a small stream, I persisted and kept moving.
At 2km to the finish we hit the road where I easily picked up the pace, no pain.
I crossed the line in 46th in somewhere around 4 hours for the 44km and 2000m +.

Disappointing but that’s just how it goes sometimes

Thanks as always for the continued support, on wards to the next

Salomon Running Lifesystems PRIME Snacks Suunto Mountain Fuel Sports Nutrition Stance

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rickylightfoot2Runner and lover of the outdoors, if not at home or work can be found on the fells
Media enquires: hello@iconicagency.co

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