Sunday morning (27th June) was my second time of entering the Downlander 10 challenge. 10.2 miles on the Garmin, not yet worked out the total climb.
I never would have thought it could have been hotter than last year's event but how wrong could I be? Hottest day of the year so far, not sure of the temperature but well into the high 20's!!
It became apparent at the start that the number of competitors was down on last year (178 in 2009 but only 135 this year) and maybe the weather was a bit of a deterrent. Anyway, strict pacing and water stops was on the cards.
01:35:25 was last year's time to beat. It's not a fast course due to the 'undulations' so my aim was to dip under 01:30, any quicker and I'd risk writing off a good part of the day recovering. The first few miles were kept sub-8min/miles and from then on (funnily enough coinciding with the long dragging hills) gradually slowed to around 8:30 and 8:45ish. The heat was pretty intense and I became involved in a sprint finish with a club runner (I lost!) but I eventually came in at 01:29:59 for the course. Really pleased with a finish in the top third of the field (42/135) and enough in the tank for a frantic bit of gardening/tidying up for friends coming round to watch the football!
Same time, same place next year. Highly recommended.