Running - Offroad race (Manx Mountain Marathon) 6:19:52  48.26 km (7:52 / km) +2581m 6:13 / km
ahr:136 max:165 (injured) (sick) shoes: Inov-8 Roclite 290 (blue)
4.30am alarm to leave at 5.30 for the 5.45 bus to the start...was pretty nervous since I had no idea if my achilles was going to hold up or not. Actually, lashings of ibuprofen gel worked it's wonders and it was fine; main issue was just standard blisters which are hard to avoid when running for a long time in these temperatures... It was hot. At least 20. The high bits were ok because there was a slight breeze, but it was grim lower down.
Started steadily, maybe in about 25th for the first climb and along the ridge. First climb was the toughest; 565m from sea level. Then lovely ridge run for 4k; great views. Feeling good at this point. First Clif bar up to Snaefell, highest point on the island, as planned. Didn't stop at first drinks place.
Passed a couple more on the climb to CP4 and some people who couldn't be to get their map out followed my line to 5, which was ok. Descent to second drinks was tough going, deep heather/grass the whole way. One glass of water at Injebreck. Then climb to Colden was off-path; anyone who recced had a big advantage there as there were trods if you knew where to look - I didn't. So that was another tough climb. Few people got that right though; guess not a lot of the mainland Brits had recced. 2 Clif bar going up there as planned.
Then my mistake, between 6 and 7 decided to contour to avoid crossing 2 contours, terrible decision as the terrain was so un-runnable, ended up descending before it became reasonable enough to get up again, but then it was off-path. Lost a few minutes, which would cost me a position at the end :(
Horrible descent through spiky plants and deep heather from Greeba. (Was this Emma's first word in Friends? Turns out not, I've just googled it, it was Gleeba). Stopped for a while to drink a couple of glasses and refill both bottles. Then a dull hot flat section on railway path to get to the next mountains. There was a massive aid station at St John's with loads of food that wasn't marked on the map, so that was a bit annoying. Otherwise would've stopped there rather than the previous. Lots did; I think I caught the last of a group of 6 is gradually been catching for ages here. As it was just had a glass of coke then kept going. Climb up through trees was nice and cool. Had Clif bar #3 again as planned. Could see a guy ahead of me but he was really far ahead, never expected to catch him. He was still ahead 3kand another glass of water down the road, by about the same amount. But I caught him on the climb up to South Barrule; he looked pretty dead.
Didn't take water at Round Table as I thought I could hold out to the next one. Fairly easy run and ascent to 11 but everything was feeling hard now. Scenic running on the coast path, though. Filled one bottle at 2nd to last water point and had a glass as well, then a steep but short climb up to CP12. Decided against the last planned Clue as feels it was too near the end. Finished second pack of shot bloks instead, mainly for the salt.
Steep descent to Fleshwick really hard on tired legs (amazing views here; if you come to IOM, go to that bit), but finally saw someone ahead of me, partway up the last climb (hadn't seen anyone for at least an hour). This gave me a bit of motivation for the last climb but I was starting to feel like death at this point due to the heat. The gap was probably down to a minute at the top of the climb, and he maintained that for the mile down to the finish.
10th/106 starters. Pretty pleased with that. Would've been 9th without that one bad call, so not too annoying. 28 mins down on 2nd... An hour down on first. Tom Gibbs is pretty good. Good food at the cafe at the finish, and felt ok once I'd cooled down. Great way to see the whole island!