On Thursday night Christine, then Emma, then I, had been sick. Although Emma bounced back very quickly, Christine and I had spent Friday recovering and it was therefore with some trepidation that we set off for today’s Test Way Relay. Christine was running first leg for the Southampton Orienteering Club team, starting at Inkpen Beacon. As they had only two women in the team they didn’t qualify as a mixed team and hence she set off with around 15 men (the womens and mixed teams starting an hour earlier). It therefore wasn’t particularly surprising that she came in to the changeover in last place.
I was running for Southampton Athletic Club doing the same leg from Middleton to Wherwell that I had run last year. As with last time, I set off in first place in the mens race. As I slid along the first path I began to think I’d made the wrong choice wearing road shoes but as I hit the tarmac I realised that, not only was this a reasonable decision, I also wasn’t actually feeling too bad. I had set my Garmin up to race against myself from last year. It’s not a function that I use very often and, when I looked at it at about the half way mark, I thought I was around 100 metres behind where I had been last year. This seemed pretty good and I pushed myself a little harder after that. It was only when I had finished and was asked for my time, I realised that I’d actually taken over half a minute less than last year!
Apparently the SOC team finished in 6th place which is pretty respectable. I’ve no idea where my team finished although we were around 4 minutes in the lead when I handed over.