Race no.31 of the year. They're stacking up! We did question why we were going to do this race but remembered how sublime it was in January when we last did this. The world was made of mud, low sun and ice. Fantastic winter skies. Thick slicks of mud.
So after making the same navigation errors we made in January we arrived just about in time at Queen Ann High School and made our way over tothe cross country field.
We were expecting mud and were not let down. Even the grass in the school grounds was muddy and squelchy. Our feet took their first proper plunge in icy water on the path to the course.
There were no other Porties anywhere to be seen other than Gert who was already making his way home with a host of small children, so it was clear we wouldn't have a male or female team.
Still we've been going to the country long enough now so we know or at least know the faces of a fair few people and it was not a lonely experience. I had the usual difficulty taking off my coat, hat and gloves in readiness for the race to come. I started right at the back as not feeling in anyway like pointless fights. I don't think this did me any harm and it meant I went past quite a few people throughout the course which is always good for morale. I can honestly say I enjoyed the 1st part of the race round the smaller loop. It was tricky underfoot but not impossible so presented an interesting challenge in terms of trying to take the best line etc. There was plenty of room for passing when needed so never felt boxed in or harrassed. In the 2nd lap the fatigue of having to high step through all that mud set in and I felt I wasn't making much headway. Still it was okay. I had to concede a few places in the ploughed field, but also gained a few going back up the hill. Pretty soon I was finished and I was on camera duty.
The men went off astonishingly fast and I had to keep moving on from one vantage point to the next to make sure and get as many different shots as I could. The ambient light was great and there were lovely vistas of greens and browns and blue trees in the distance. My face and hands froze up however despite having put on many thermal layers after my race so I was glad when the men went round a third time and finished. I still have the mud on my legs trapped under my thermal stretch tights so I guess I better go and deal with that.
Tomorrow; we're both off, so a long slow run in the Pentlands is on the cards. Hope it's dry.