Wow that was tough! Not my best run at Seaton, not my most serious, definately my slowest, possibly my worst position, probably my toughest.
It started early as my alarm clock woke me up in order for me to get myself together and out to meet my chauffeur for the day (thanks Basher!).
We were soon in Seaton and mulling about, I'm not used to getting there early. With recent weather being damp to say the least I was wondering about my decision to wear road trainers for the race. It was to late now though so I got changed, put my bag in to be looked after and headed to the start.
Soon the gun went off and with a handful of gels and a handful of camera for some (hopefully) pretty pics we headed out onto the pebble beach. I was (as normal) perched neatly in the middle of the field to keep myself away from the lunatics at the front.
After a nice steady start and a cruise along the beach we started hitting the hills and my legs didn't feel good. Then we hit the off road hills (uphill and downhill) and immediately I knew the shoe decision was going to cost me a load of time. I'm known to launch myself down hills like a lunatic but today I was descending like a fairy, one false step would have me sliding around like Bambi on his frozen lake, it wasn't good and trying to climb muddy slippery hills was even worse. Still, that wasn't the idea for the day, I knew I wasn't in great shape hence the camera experiment, can I take pictures on the move (no is the answer).
Outside of slipping all over the place whenever I tried to climb/descend I didn't actually feel to bad. A few stops for photo's (mostly rubbish) will have lost me a couple of minutes and I think the trainers could have cost me up to 10mins, but outside of that I was actually quite enjoying a reasonably steady run in the country. Then I started pasing people that I knew and who should have been well ahead of me. Surely they couldn't ALL be having a bad day could they, maybe they could, or maybe I was running better than I thought. Only time will tell.
So I carried on bimbling along taking the odd place here and there. I had a few problems between 10 - 15 miles when I landed funny and wrecked my leg for a while. It appeared to work its way out (mostly) though and hopefully it'll cause no more problems.
There was nothing really exciting to tell you in the end. I hadn't secretly been flying, others had obviously just been suffering a lot more than I was. My finish result was just enough to enforce my theory that I can only run the Grizzly properly in an odd year, so roll on 2009, when there will be proper shoes and no camera.
Even years - bad
2008 - 68th - 2:50:24
2006 - DNF
2004 - 53rd - 2:13:13
2002 - 57th - 2:22:43
2000 - 60th - 2:49:36
Odd years - good
2007 - didn't race
2005 - 33rd - 2:32:46
2003 - 9th - 2:22:59
2001 - 15th - 2:31:26