The rain stopped as we were eating breakfast on Saturday morning - which is just as well, as a rain might just have been the straw that broke the camels back and resulted in me not starting! I'd had an upset stomach all night and was feeling a little below par. It was just as well our hotel was close to the start as it meant I did not have to brave the portaloos!
I'd also forgotten just how hilly this race is! Over a thousand metres of elevation, with some steep downhill sections that required one to be very goat like to negotiate at anything faster than mincing pace! I ran on my own for much of the race, which was fine, occasionally chatting with other runners, but mostly just swearing under my breath at yet another hill and then admiring the view from the top. The wind seemed almost constant - and almost always it was a headwind! It was so noisy.
The Greyhound Inn, with a new landlord who took over last week, was our base for the weekend - they rose to the challenge of runners who wanted early breakfasts. We decided not to take part in the Bell Race on the Sunday, so had a long, leisurely breakfast instead.
Approaching the finish, down hill on a flinty track, I was thrilled to see a friend waiting at the final turn, that gave me just the boost I needed to pick up the pace for the final few metres. I'd been quite surprised by how, well not easy, let's say 'comfortable' I had found the race. I'd had no intention of running fast, or pushing myself and yet I managed to run my fastest Giant's Head Marathon and, alarm from a painful right leg, felt fine afterwards. I certainly wasn't doing the post marathon stagger that had been a feature of my Stockholm, Boston and London! On checking back through past results, it seems that this was a course PB by about 10 minutes!
I think, despite saying on my journey down to Dorset on Friday, that I would not do this race again, I will be back. The hotel is booked....