Sunday morning in balmy 2 degree temperatures I arrived at Stover School in South Devon to take part in the Templar Ten for the second time.
Want to read about attempt one? Then click here
It was a chilly wait till the 11 am start and if truth be told I was not feeling the love.
The course was pretty much the same as last year, tough first 2 miles of undulations round the school grounds before heading out and down in to the Devon countryside where it flattens out for 6 miles, before returning up to the same tough loop of the school for the last two miles, this time on tired legs.
I went out fast (is there any other way?) I struggled at midway point till consumption of a gel picked me up for the second half. As it was so cold I did not feel the need to take on much water which was just was well really as water stations featured plastic cups, the first one I grabbed I promptly squeezed too hard squirting the cold contents in to my eye. Thanks goodness for waterproof mascara I say!
I kept a good pace, for the most part, this was thrown off target a bit by a road blocked by a tractor, (love Devon) the whole width of the lane was taken up by the vehicle and this meant we had to creep past on the verge, thank goodness the farmer was kind enough to sit and wait for us, or it would have been quite dangerous. Poor man was probably stuck there for half an hour, should have taken his lunch with him.
As we headed through the woods it was tricky following the path and spotting the marshals, having dreamt the night before that I got lost this was a scary moment, not helped by not being able to see any runners in front of me and those that were behind went quiet or got lost, I was very much running on my own. There was no actual defined path at this point just a question of finding a marshal and aiming for the next one. The next marshal directed me to run through the stream and despite my insistence that I would prefer to run over the bridge just beyond she demanded I went through the water. The photo that was being taken at this point will be interesting, my face will be full of attitude, (learnt from the teenager I live with) not a happy camper and I could not see the point with a bridge being so close, we should at least have the choice.
Not going to lie the last two miles were a slog.
I was very pleased to cross the finish line though not so sure that the comparison made by the commentator that my sprint finish looked like something my namesake Alan Wells would have done, exaggeration at its finest. Little did he know that my eye was firmly on the clock and I was desperate to get a better time by 5 minutes and I did but it was close.
Note to self, up your game for next year if you want a cake at the finish; sadly there were few and far between by the time I got there! #gutted