Sunday, 10 August 2014

Tour of Fife day 3

Up Hell Time Trial.
It's a couple of years since I did the Tour and somehow I had forgotten the misery of this Friday evening time trial. Maybe the weekly hill reps (for the last year) on Arthur's Seat took some of the worry away but they didn't cause any massive improvement posting a time midway between my 2 best and 2 worst. Here is what I reported in 2012 and I'm just pasting it in here because nothing has changed.

July 2012
Its an unfortunate choice to have this race every year. Some people like it but I do not. It does not play to my strengths and gives me the same kind of joy as being picked last for the football team. Not that I play football. But it has the feeling of doom that few other races have. In a hill race at least I get the chance to exact revenge on the uphillers after the summit is reached, but here we do not race down again. A long grim unrelenting steep up-hill for 1.5 miles and then stop. Surely its the same for everyone? No. Because some people are uphillers and some are downhillers. Ask any regular hill runner and they will tell you instantly what angle they prefer. So this is an uphillers race. It favours them. Have I made myself clear?

I am not going to explain the race. If you want to know what it was like hold your breath for 12.07 while ironing your calves. It was nice not to have Willie J bound past in the last 50 yards but not as nice as, say, shutting the car door on your fingers.

And the rainy weather did nothing to improve my outlook. I hate sustained hill-climbs and I hate running in the gloom and rain. Michael was pretty chipper as he is an up-hiller and hoped to match his good performance here before. We parked up at the top of the road then ran up the grassy path to the hill summit as a warm up. Then MG went to the start line and I loitered with intent (and camera and cowbell) at the top. This was a genuine yak bell from Nepal and I was glad I had taken it along as it adds a european vibe and there wasn't much of a crowd (in the steadily worsening rain) at the finish until the runners themselves formed the finishing funnel of applause and abuse. In fact the only celebration was Davie B and son Oscar making an excellent racket on a (tin?) drum

things deteriorated rapidly and soon there was no view anywhere.

Baza enjoys this one, or he used to.

a small reminder of Brian C's previously devilish incarnation

Michael actually wondered if he was pushing hard enough until he saw this photo below...

(excellent) photo: Paul Roarty
Michael did exactly the same time as last time he ran this, an excellent 11.12

Martin had a great run, cementing his third place overall in the tour

I felt I paced the attempt this year better than any prior. I was 5.54 I think at half way and about twice that exactly at the top. (11.48) However as this was considerably slower than those around me in the leaderboard I, as usual, felt short changed, hard done by and generally gutted. I would fare much better at a downhill time trial or an up-and-down hill race but for some reason them-in-charge seem to like this brutal ordeal, the sadists!

This photo (thanks Paul Roarty) does not show that I was completely wrung out and gasping by the top, utterly spent.

Steve did a fine job and even got 1 sec ahead of Michael.

Guest runner and local hero Andrew Lemoncello in a Fife vest sets a record of 9.29 beating his own record. (It would be churlish to point out he did this outwith the tour ie he didn't do the first 2 races and so might have been a bit fresher as a result.) Great to see him supporting this local event before jetting back to the US.

Paul demonstrating why they gave us a hat in the goody bag.
(I wore mine under my waterproof while warming up.)

Alastair furthest right had a cracking run (on NO hill training) putting him into the top spot.
So not my best day at the Tour. Dropping from 3rd on the leader board to 5th. I got home tired and cranky and realised trying to continue blogging every day the same night was keeping me up till 2am and not helping. I needed a proper night's sleep if I was to stop the descent down the leader board. Hence the lack of blog till now. Day 4 and 5 to follow.

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