|Winning the Open 5 in the Quantocks: A smile of relief running into the finish before the 5hour time limit!|
I sat still for the two days before the O5 and that seems to have done the trick! As we arrived in Crowcombe we passed the transition area and got a preview of the ride to the start....It was 190m of climb in less than a mile! Any illusions of a nice flat Southern area out the window :-).
I decided to bike first as that seemed to work best last year, however I had a plan to reduce my shocking transition/ run plan time. I marked the control points on the map on BOTH sides before heading off. My route choice was a bit rusty to start with and I could potentially have got another 15 pointer if I'd thought it through a bit more, but I got round with the major high pointers and few bonus controls. The riding was tough, with a good layer of mud covering my bike and me nicely! I particularly enjoyed the excitingly steep descents I found! I couldn't have riden for any longer though, after an hour I had got really hungry and had a couple of moments where I really thought I was about to bonk! I ate as much as I normally eat in an entire O5 in just the bike stage! Thankfully, with a bit of pushing of the bike/leaning on the bike for support on the ridiculously gentle last bit of climb, I got back to transition and my food stash.
Having marked the run side of the map I was much more economical with my transition, changing shoes and eating whilst planning. This saved me around 8 minutes I think (I have been truely shocking at this in the past).
I wasn't sure what my legs would do at this point, however they got into the swing of the run no problem and I cruised round the first 4 controls. Then I chose a maveric route choice which involved a big off road climb followed by a descent and a climb again. I could have done this in one climb....but this way was shorter :-P.
Now all was left was a small descent, gentle climb and the finish! Then I glanced at my watch.....I had 40minutes.....which was more than enough time to get my remaining 2 controls. And you never want more than enough time right?
Before I knew it my legs were taking me down the hill to the right, away from my safe last controls, towards another 10 pointer. I got there with 35minutes to go. Just in time for my legs to truely give up. I shuffled through the fields towards the penultimate control and a lot of pain and 15minutes later I arrived. 20minutes to go, and my legs were refusing to move. Thankfully the hill to the last control was not half as bad as I thought and I managed a run until legs stop, walk 10 steps, run again regime, bringing me into the finish in 4hrs58, Phew!
I'd been doing some mental maths on the way round and thought I'd got an alright score, however 480 points is more than I could have hoped for at the moment! It was also enough for my first Open 5 win! Really happy with that!
I'm so glad I've retained some of the fitness I had in October! The effort of getting out of the door when feeling rubbish well worth it! I'm also glad that I seem to be fairly well recovered, apart from the cold but I can deal with that! I'm looking forward to the rest of the series now and hope that next time it might feel a bit less like I was dragging my body around the course!