The conditions were a touch Autumnal for the John 'Tommo' Thompson Memorial Ride today. e.g. it was well chilly and it looked like it was going to bucket it down any moment. I think the aim by most people, us included, was to get up to the start at Carsington Water and get on with asap before the heavens opened.
As it happened they opened almost immediately after we had started but thankfully only lightly. It then fined up and stayed dry until we were safely in the car heading home afterwards. I hear some of the folk on the longest route weren't so lucky.
The route, around the Peak District and the Staffordshire Moorlands, consisted of hills, hills and more hills. Bloody hard it was. I got the distinct impression that the organisers did not attempt to avoid any climbs whatsoever and even went out of their way to find the most fearsome ones.
The route took us over part of the Ashbourne Half Marathon course that I did last year. I couldn't believe I managed to run up those hills.
I attempted the 76k route, L did the 45k. Both had a feed station at Thorpe but by differing routes. I beat L there by ten minutes over a slightly longer route but then her shorter route home beat me back to the finish.
In between I had an altercation with a wasp, that kindly embedded itself in my face by it's sting as I bombed downhill at something approaching 40mph. There it hung there laughing as I attempted to either shake it off or to slow down and stop. Eventually I managed the later putting my leg down on a verge resplendent in deep nettles in the process. Double ouch. I nearly hit the tarmac but managed to stay upright, just or else that would have been a triple ouch.
The sting wasn’t pleasant and started to swell up pretty quickly, I always get a reaction to stings but it didn’t get really bad until much later. After I had valiantly completed the course and got back to Carsington where there was plenty of very welcome tea and cake.
(Sunday 15th September)