Its a favourite with PRC and we have a good tradition of turning up in strength to this one. I really enjoy the varied course and the distance: at just under the ten miles it is not as taxing as a half. There was a fair bit of mud on some of the tracks but the fields were pretty smooth round their perimeters - in the past there has been all sorts of obstacles and more tussocky ground.
Very briefly in front of Nicola. Rest of the race I spent watching her gain ground ahead.
There was a right turn just beyond here and we hit a headwind. I had been dropping off the pace but picked it up to get what shelter I could from Nicola. (Not that much.)
I think trying to keep up for the first few miles made for a good fast start. I was a bit concerned I might have trouble later but think I eased back at the right time.
All the different trails make for an interesting and varied course. More fun than just flat roads.
This section is nearly vertical - much worse than it looks here. N is halfway up, and Gareth and Callum towards the top before the right turn
Then this hill and the sun came out a bit. You can see the top five here.
Then some tracks round the fields.
...onto this descent which I greatly enjoyed rolling down after all that uphill. (Hokas cruised over stones handsomely.)
Some more uphill and Nicola seems to be extending her lead.
Now this is Michael and Dougie behind me at the same point. I thought this was a large enough safety margin. I was wrong.
various finishers in various treatments...
Michelle from Helensburgh was second lady.
Mark was pleased to go much faster than he predicted.
Ann, wearing the porty-kini for the first time
Nicola had to dash and couldn't stay for prizegiving. She had finished just under a minute ahead of myself with the rather splendid time of 59.59. Gareth was a minute+ ahead of that. Andrew Crichton had won again - in fact the first few runners were all in much the same order as last year. Again, similarly, Porty won both team prizes: men - Gareth, me, Michael
ladies - Nicola, Ann H, Karen (who was delighted!)
Michael took first v40, I was first v50 (seventh time this year I have finished ahead of all the v40s.) and Janis was winner in her age group. (Although she was too busy putting on lip gloss in the showers to collect her prize!)