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Great race, had a really good day out, and thought it was a really good route. Loved the views and the hills and very runnable trail conditions, a good balance of terrain overall.
Thanks to the organisers and all the mega-friendly marshals out on the course. Good 'weighty' medal at the end .
Beautiful scenery, great weather, fantastically supportive marshals, lovely medal and T-shirt, but... what the hell was that last mile and a bit all about? Seriously, you're knackered after running 25 miles, you just want a decent stretch to put in a good, strong finish, but you hit this nasty, bumpy, rocky path that winds this way and that through the trees. Then, when you pass the 26 mile mark, instead of a clear run to the finish line and the chance for a sprint finish, it goes all up and down, you can't maintain any sort of rhythm and there's one particularly horrible climb up a steep rocky bank. Damn, that was cruel. I know it's a multi-terrain race, but my advice for future events would be to rethink that final stretch.
I was not bothered that the last mile was a bit "traily" through the trees- after all, it WAS a trail race, and I thought the last 0.2 miles being on a very tricky mountain bike trail just demonstrated a sick sense of humour! I saw the funny side later.
Don't get me wrong - I enjoyed the race immensely. It's just that every other race I've every done has a nice, flat bit at the end where you can really go for it (if you've anything left in the tank). My problem with the end of this particular marathon is that with having to watch my step with every twist, turn and climb, I was never able to step up the pace and so I never really felt I gave it everything.
I think their hands are probably tied with the finish area because of all the other activity stuff in the way, so they took us around the side of it to avoid any clashes with high wire courses / mobs of tourists / buses etc.
I had a big smile on my face at the finish as that 0.2m reminded me of the last bit of the Highland Fling and I just thought 'you b*ggers' - if we haven't knackered you enough on the trails, this last bit will definitely get you .