Run 56:03  *** 9.1 km (6:10 / km) +250m 5:25 / km
Last day of Easter. Didn't put a foot wrong technically in fairly simple terrain (also very fast except for a few hills at the southern end), but not fast enough or strong enough for this terrain - it says something for my consistency that my placing was between 26th and 29th on 11 of the first 14 splits. Continuing to struggle even on fairly gentle hills, such as the longish leg to 6.
Started the day thinking a good battle was in prospect with 18th to 24th separated by about four minutes. It wasn't a huge surprise, though, that my lack of running speed would work against me in this terrain. Patrik had almost caught me by 3 and was through me by 4, but had enough wobbles that I was able to stay just about in touch for the remainder of the course. Geoff Stacey also went through us at the end; the only person I caught was Andre Morkel, who was with me for most of the second half. Ended up dropping one place to 21st overall, a long way from being competitive.
(Craig must be going backwards at a similar rate to me - although he has a better excuse. In the last six years our Easter battled have included margins of one second (to me) and two seconds (to him); it wasn't quite that close this time, but he closed to just under a minute behind me).
With my work done for the day (and, for the first time in 17 years, without a JWOC selection meeting to go to), it was time to relax - and the organisers were even starting to seem a bit more relaxed (they've well and truly earned it). Not terribly confident that I'm up to 26km next Saturday, but I guess we'll find that out in five days' time.