run race (Half Truth Trail HM) 1:47:35  21.41 km (5:01 / km) +615m 4:24 / km
shoes: x-talon 212
This was a fair leap into the unknown given my recent running history, but it was a smaller field than other races in the series with a fair few missing from the pointy end. I hoped that this would make it easier to not race too seriously and I made a concerted effort to start easy.
But unlike any road race I've ever been to, nobody wanted to be on the front row at the start line and when I jogged to the base of the first climb I was already in the lead. The first 5km were pretty brutal, so I was conservative, but it still hurt coz it was a lot of climb. Had Mike for company early, and a group caught us a few km in, but then disappeared again on the descent and the road run in and out of the dam. The first major descents were steep and rocky and I felt a bit like a pinball, but it seemed I handled it better than most. Made for less recovery on the downs than I hoped.
Had a nice road stretch from about 7km to 11km, but then another big climb and I deliberately slowed, but Mike stopped to grab some food and disappeared and there was nobody else with us there. From there to 15km I ran through the rest of the field of "slow runners" who started 15 minutes early.
Got into a good rhythm on the more gentle slopes from about 12-16km, but the hill at 17km was a killer. I took one look and decided to walk the steep part. About this time my stomach started complaining loudly about the second gel and drink I'd had 5 minutes earlier and it was pretty uncomfortable from there to the end.
Kept grinding away without totally toasting myself, but conscious that it wasn't quite the long slow run I signed up for (well duh!). The last few km were really twisty and turny and hard footing, so it was impossible to get back in a good rhythm, but the course twisted enough for me to be confident in the lead I had built up, so I wasn't too worried.
A load of people took a wrong turn at about 18km. Dunno how, it was a well marked course.
Great day, no achilles trouble (though I may not be able to walk tomorrow) and I picked up a free pair of x-talon 190's for the effort, so a win all round.