Mittwoch, 31. August 2016

Hoher Kasten Berglauf

This is likely to be the only short distance mountain race I will do this year. It is located in a very scenic part of the Swiss alps. Not to take anything away of any of the other parts but the Alpstein is a little gem on its own. I participated already twice in 2012 and 2013 when I cam 1st and 4th respectively. Because the course was extended by not even 100 meters the organizers called out to set a new course record. The old one (41:37) by Andrea Erni was simply to good to get beaten.

Quite a few athletes also from neighbouring countries such as Austria, Liechtenstein, Germany or even Italy were attracted by the prize purse of 1000 Swiss Francs. The only thing was - the winner takes it all. But I knew that many other good runners were such as Fabe Downs but also the 3 time winner Aemisegger and also world class athlete David Schneider attended who won in 2008. Schneider told me a week before the race that he wouldn't be in a great shape and I already thought it was time to beat him finally!


The Hoher Kasten Berglauf is a relatively small race with a field of about 250 runners for the main event. The atmosphere is very familial and everything very uncomplicated - just as you would expect with a local mountain run. This time the quality in the field was much higher than it is usually.
The start is on tarmac which leads After the start we were a pack of about 8 athletes who all tried to set the pace and keep it high. Soon it was David Schneider and me who were the ones leading the pack as it got smaller and smaller when only Thomas Niederegger and a heavy breathing Arnold Aemisegger were able to follow. The legs felt somewhat heavy but we pushed quite hard so what would you expect to feel.
After two kilometers there was a relatively flat part where I tried to get away from everybody for the first time. Schneider stayed close and we stayed more or less together until we reached the halfway point from where it crosses a steep meadow. Now the legs were tired and burning and I had to walk because I wasn't able to maintain the rhythm of David Schneider and so it happened that Niederegger overtook me as well. In my head I was close to give up the race. But I knew as well that this was the passage where I would be weaker than David and once we reach the road again I should have the advantage. It was a real fight in my head because I was suffering with all the lactic acid in my legs. But then again I knew that this was the reason that I was here in the first place. So I pushed through this mini-crisis.
A few minutes later on the road I had a deficit of probably 15 seconds on Schneider and Niederegger was just in between. It was great to see Thomas Rusch with friends who helped out with a bottle of cold water which was much appreciated. I could feel that I gained a few centimeters with every step and that I was able to really push on this section. This is where my strength lies when it's flowing and I can use the long reach of my legs. I know that many runners dislike this part and describe it as mentally hard but for me it's exactly the opposite.

I finally closed the gap to David Schneider just before the last steep climb started with about 100 meters vertical. I tried to stay with him but the legs were heavy and everything was burning and to my disappointment I had to let him go again. As we reached the old finish line I had 42:27 - it would have been the third best time. There were a few more steps and stairs to the new finish line where I dragged myself somewhat disappointed and I crossed it in 42:59 and 20 seconds behind David.

Retrospectively I have to say it was a good performance and David had to push himself pretty hard too. And he came recently second on the Skaala opp race just behind vertical serial winner and world champion Angermund-Vik. We both did some very good times on this course and I am pleased to get in under 43 minutes. It shows me that I am still competitive on shorter distances and that I am ready for my next challenge: the Jungfrau-Marathon!

Gear used: 
Running shoes: Scott Kinabalu RC
Running top: Scott RC shirt
Glasses: Scott Spur

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Click for strava

Montag, 15. August 2016

Sierre-Zinal – my highlight of the year!

Have you ever heared of Sierre-Zinal before? That would be a shame but one thing is for sure – it is one of the most iconic races you can do as a mountain runner. If you look at who won the editions you will find that most of the finest runners will come back year after year to see who is the champion. It has also been called “the New York marathon of mountain running” which gives you a good idea of the status of this race.

This year the elite starting list included 80 runners from all over the world. There is a long tradition of Columbians making an appearance. But there were also runners from East Africa including Mamu and Toroitich, two of the biggest names in recent years of mountain running. Otherwise multiple world champions like Wyatt (2 wins and course record) or De Gasperi (3 wins) were not missing either.

It was always a goal of mine to do this race. But because there are always so many excellent runners at the starting line you might end up quickly outside of the top 30 if you are not in the best shape. Coming after a win at the K42 of the Swissalpine with a 34 minute lead I was probably a medium fish in a very tiny pond. It was not easy to estimate how I would perform on such a big platform. I knew the big barrier is always a time of under 2:40 hours. All runners who manage to get below this mark are mentioned on their homepage which would give you a feeling of being part of a somewhat exclusive circle. But as a first-timer it is hard to tell what my potential would be.

The course can be divided into three parts. It starts in Sierre (585 masl) with a long and steep uphill to Chandolin (2000 masl). From there the race leads you on the undulating alpine trails past Hotel Weisshorn to the highest point with 2424 masl. The last 5 kilometers drop down into the town of Zinal (1675 masl). It takes a complete mountain runner to do well on this course.

Being on the bus from Zinal to Sierre I realised that I forgot my Garmin. My initial reaction was “oh shit, what’s not on strava never happened” and “I need my Garmin, I won’t know how far I am and what altitude I am at and how long it’s probably gonna take me”. It just showed me what control freaks we are so I dealt with it in my head fairly quick and had a laugh about it with my mate Daniel Green.

Waiting and warming up in the starting area I realised 20 minutes before the start that I had to do something about the heat and dry conditions. I decided to look for a fountain or a stream – anything liquid really to cool myself down. There was nothing close so I decided to go to the Rhone which was a few minutes away to fill my bottle. Even though I couldn’t drink this water it was the best thing I could have done to prevent my body to heat up more than it would anyway.

I went back into probably the fourth starting row to not get run over because most runners will overpace themselves anyway. The first kilometre was on the road and I kept myself back and found myself on the heels of Jonathan Wyatt so I thought he must know how to pace this race. After the first few bends I found my rhythm and started the pursuit of the guys who were in front of me. On the first 5 kilometres it climbs 1000 meters. Most of the steep climbs I speed-hiked up there and was just as fast as those running except the first few who started to disappear in the distance. I felt pretty good and knew the race wouldn’t start before Chandolin. It just so happened that I ran a lot with the former triathlete Cedric Fleureton. I think he tried to get away from me quite a few times but we were always within 50 meters of each other. It was not until at least half way when I learned that we were in 6th and 7th position. 

We had also two African runners around us. We passed them way before Chandolin and I almost forgot about them. When they passed us they seemed to take off on the undulating trails towards Hotel Weisshorn. But then again they were struggling too and we caught one of them and for some time I was in 5th position not far behind 4th place. I couldn’t believe that I was running in the middle of world class athletes I was really surprised – and this was only about 5 weeks after my graduation!
Well I got caught again and as I knew there must be better downhill runners around I knew I had to fight off the other competitors who were not far behind. 

I feared the worst that I would end up outside of the top 10. But somehow I managed to stay strong on the steep part downhill into Zinal. Thanks to my Scott Kinabalu shoes I had always perfect grip. My final sprint to catch Cedric ended prematurely as cramps kicked in immediately. And as I slowed down towards the finish line I realised on the last few meters that the last 5 seconds were ticking away to get a sub 2:40 time! I threw myself over the finish line in 2:39:58. I am now the 65th runner in 43 years of the race who managed to stay under 2:40! I was quite surprised by this amazing achievement! It is hard to compare this race with what I have done in the past (especially Duathlon) but I would expect this to be one of my finest results.

My target wasn’t to race for a certain place but to optimise my end time which would probably give me the best end-position. If I passed someone it had to feel natural. If you pass someone for the sake of passing him because you feel like it, you usually regret that rather sooner than later.

What did I see of the scenery? I got to tell you: absolutely nothing! What a shame that was, passing five stunning 4000+ meter peaks with glaciers and I didn’t notice anything. All my senses were just focused on how I felt, where my next foot would make contact with the ground and so on. And my missing strava upload..: I might have stayed beyond the 2:40 mark considering the distractions it would have given me and the additional weight (as the watch makes half my body weight it is quite significant! lol).

What surprised me was that I reached Ponchette in 6th position and still felt really fresh. I would have estimated that I would lose a lot more time on the top guys and would be further down in the ranks. Looking at the splits it was even my strongest section!

I am so looking forward to come back to Sierre-Zinal! If you like mountain running you absolutely have to do this one! 

Gear used: 
Running shoes: Scott Kinabalu RC
Running top: Scott RC shirt
Glasses: Scott Spur

Click here for results
Video: click here for a video from or here more personalised (only temporary)

Sonntag, 31. Juli 2016

Can I defend my title at the K42 Swissalpine in Davos?

The Swissalpine is one of the oldest ultra distance mountain race and did a lot of pioneer work at the time. If somebody did the full distance of the Swissalpine (78km - at the time it was "just" 67km) they were perceived as not normal.

I was able to win this race last year so it is always a challenge to reclaim the title. Looking through the starting list I wasn't able to find someone who should be able to beat me but with so many international athletes at the starting line it's hard to tell about their potentials. I thought I did quite well last year so I was hoping for a similar time this year.

We have been invited by the organizer to spend the night before the race in the Intercontinental Hotel in Davos which was a nice treat! We really loved it and appreciated it. After a good breakfast I packed everything and left Davos and my love by train towards Bergün where I would start my race. Before such a long race I only get my heart rate up a little bit and make sure my muscles would be ready, but otherwise don't waist to much energy and make sure you're cooled down as good as you can.

As usual on these occasions I started determined the first few hundred meters on the road. I had already a little gap between me and the next runners so I expected to get not to much of a competition. But I was motivated to do well on this course as I wanted to beat my time from last year (3:33:52) or maybe even the course record of Bundi (3:30:06) which seemed to be quite far away. After the initial lap back to Bergün (1383 masl) our course merged with the full distance runners and I was already ahead of last years pace and I used the momentum up this slight uphill of Val Tuors which leads eventually up to the Keschhütte (2632 masl).

Because it was such a hot day I was carrying a sponge with me most of the course. I used every fountain to cool myself down as much as I could and really appreciated the support I got along the course. It was great to have the runners of the full distance because you never feel alone that way and I was able to overtake one after another. This was great for my own motivation but probably not always easy for them but I tried to encourage every runner. I met also a few old friends on the steep uphill part which gave me every time a good boost.

To my surprise I reached the "king of the mountain" point already four minutes faster than the year before. This KOM was again presented by #perskindol on the Keschhütte. This was quite a difference to last year and I felt still really good especially mentally because I knew most of the climbing was done. When you cross over towards the Sertigpass you get to the aid station Sartiv where they had a shower installed only a few meters off the direct path of the course. The volunteers guided me towards it but instead I grabbed a couple of cups filled with water which I threw over my had to cool down a bit more and said "kä Ziit" - meaning "no time". I overheared one of them saying - he seems to be on a mission.

Indeed I was on a mission with the course record in front of my eyes. I climbed the last couple of hundred meters to the Sertig Pass which is the highest point of the course. From there it goes downhill over rocky paths, afterwards more lose gravel single trails until you reach the gravel road. I throw myself down there and I felt that I was much more under control than the year before at this point. Everything seemed to be easier, even though I was going stronger. From the Sertig Dörfli on I had a biker who would lead me to the finish line and warn other runners when I was coming from behind so I could pass them without any problem. This was a great help because I didn't get any delay or would use to many resources to pass someone.

On the trail towards Davos are many bends and turns with roots so I had to be very careful where to step but the biker always motivated and I had something in front of me I could follow. I was more than happy to reach Davos without any major problems (ok I have currently 3 black toenails but appart from that no aches or pain). I crossed the finish line after 3:26:23 which is 7:30 minutes fast than last year. I am really happy with this result. The second runner had a deficit of more than 33 minutes - I think I should have received their price money too!


It was an amazing race day with hot but perfect and sunny conditions. Now we will head to the Val Bregaglia for a few days where I can hopefully get some good recovery and prepare for probably the most competitive race in the world - Sierre to Zinal. There I will see what my shape is really worth and it is very hard to make any predictions.

Gear used: 
Running shoes: Scott Kinabalu RC
Running shorts: Scott Trail Run Split shorts
Running top: Scott RC shirt
Glasses: Scott Spur

Click for results
Click for strava
Videos at Sertig Dörfli and finish line

Donnerstag, 28. Juli 2016

What an amazing day at the Eigerultratrail E35

It was my first competition as a qualified Osteopath! It took me a long time to realize that I have now actually finished my studies and that I can leave this now behind me and it's time for a new chapter.

I was finally able to train again and plan what is left of the year. The first race was the Eigerultratrail. After my disastrous run at the Skymarathon in Livigno I had to make up for it. So I decided to start over the new designed distance of the E35 with 35km and 2500m of ascent and descent.

It was the first time I had to carry a bag with me during a competition with all sorts of luggage like an emergency blanket, a phone or a whistle. Well at least it didn't weigh to much and I had the opportunity to use my Scott bag and carry my own drinks.

Right from the start in Burglauenen I started determined but with respect of the whole course. Quickly I was a few steps ahead of the first persuer - Adrian Brennwald. The first uphill towards Wengen was quite long through a forest followed by a downhill into the lovely town of Wengen. From there it went quite steep and straight up to the Männlichen (1000 meters up). Because the distance between athletes was relatively short I could see Adrian and knew how far I was in front. But there was no other contender in sight.


The course went on and crossed the Kleine Scheidegg. A few kilometers were even on the same trail as the Jungfrau marathon when we climbed the moraine of the Eigergletscher. From the Eigergletscher we took a trail that led us underneath the famous north face of the Eiger. On this trail there was still some snow which fell a couple of days earlier. It was actually quite icy why I had to stay quite cautious and didn't risk to much on this segment. From there was a long downhill segment back down towards Grindelwald. But the organizers thought it would be more interesting if we had to conquer another "little" climb to a marble quarry. From there it was only 2 kilometers downhill and after a last short but steep climb (it is a killer climb really!) to the finish. I had a lead of exactly 6 minutes in Grindelwald and crossed the finish line after 3:33 hours.

When I was on top of the Männlichen I had a comfortable lead and I knew I should win this race if nothing happens like a bad move or I would run out of energy. I took all the PowerBar Gels I had with me and refilled the bottles during the aid stations so I stayed hydrated and cooled myself down with cold water. I enjoyed every moment - maybe sometimes a bit to much because I thought when I had to carry a phone all the way I could take a "few" pictures on the way of all those stunning views.

And it was a good test for my prototype shoes from Scott to see if the grip was good and I have to say in all those conditions from running on tarmac (also downhill), snow & ice on the trails to gravel and rocks I was always comfortable and able to push on. There are quite a few interesting amendments so stay tuned for next years editions!!

My next race is the K42 of the Swissalpine Marathon where I won last year. This is another great race with a lot of tradition. 

Gear used:
Shoes: Scott Supertrac RC (2017)
Backbag: Scott Trail Summit 16
Sunglasses: Scott Spur

Click here for results
Click here for strava

Mittwoch, 27. April 2016

Swiss Duathlon Champion!

That was well unexpected! I still can't quite believe it to have won my very first national title. So often I have been the runner-up. And it is more of a coincident that I was at the starting line in the first place. I have not finished a Duathlon in Switzerland for four years. In the end it was really my love Sandra who persuaded me to get on a plane home and start at this race as a bonus - you never know what happens.
So I arrived on Thursday in Switzerland, spent Friday in the Alpstein (quite a gem in the Alps) and had a wonderful time. For Sunday we looked at the starting list and we saw that there was a good chance for me to reach a good position in this field as some of the possible rivals just competed at the Ironman in South Africa and would be missing.

Sunday came and the weather got colder and colder and in St.Gallen there was even some snow. Luckily the weather forecast predicted no precipitation for the time of the race - be this rain or snow. It was great to see so many familiar faces and it felt as if I was never away. It was still dry when I installed my bike in the transition area but all of a sudden and about 20 minutes before the start another cloud passed and the wind and snow was everything else than what I wanted. I was hoping it was as quickly over as it came but you never know. I didn't change any of my clothing choices and if you take a closer look at the starting line its the fat bloke with most layers on - or the other way round ;)

Everybody was wearing at least something more than I did. At least I was wearing a short sleave shirt, gloves and a headband which saved me a little bit. Other than that I thought its the same for everybody and its over in less than an hour - what could possibly go wrong?

The race consisted of a 4km run/ 17km bike/ 4km run. Once the gun went Felix Köhler started the first few hundred meters rather quick trying to put some distance right away between him and everybody else. After the first kilometer we were on our own and we both did some work to get away from the rest. This was in the best of my interests as I knew I wouldn't be the fastest cyclist. I had to realize this again this year in the training camp that I have quite a disadvantage in the flat. However when it comes to hills, that's where my strengths lie. Unfortunately the whole course including the runs had probably under 50 meters of incline so it was flat as a pancake. 

I had a couple of seconds advantage before the transition area and was the first out. I positioned my bike slightly different than everybody else which gave me a bit of an advantage (professional secret). In the meantime the snow stopped but the roads were really wet. Out on the bike I thought Köhler would be right with me but I never looked back and just pedaled. After a few kilometers he passed me and it was clear he wanted to make a move so I had to shift a few gears up. I was hanging in there but I felt it would be hard. He pushed around the tight corners and because of the wet conditions and the fact that I was riding this bike for the second time this year I decided not to risk to much. If he would have been a Swiss athlete I would have given everything to stay with him but then again if I would have stayed with him I was taking the risk of hitting the wall. On the second bike lap of two I was still on my own and I knew that I should be able to close a potential handicap from now on if somebody comes from behind. I tried not to get irritated by the fact that one of the brakes was actually touching the wheel more or less constantly..

It was my teammate Martin Bader who first appeared next to me but then again he was another foreigner and as I was looking back I saw a whole bunch of athletes coming which were potentially drafting. Towards the end of the bike split Andy Sutz overtook us and tried to break away. It was clearly not his day because he should have been with Köhler and me after the first run. However, he didn't get away from the group and as the pace got higher we came closer on Köhler. 

Just before we entered the transition area I took a zip of my drink but was unable to put the bottle back because my fingers were numb. So I threw it away and I started to realize that it would be difficult to open my helmet in the transition area. I entered it on 5th position, placed my bike in the rack and tried to undo my helmet - without success. Alright i got into my running shoes and tried it again - again no luck I just didn't had the right control over my fingers and the gloves made it even worse to feel for button to undo the helmet. Instead of losing more time (this only took a few seconds but it feels like eternity) I decided to run out with my helmet still on taking the risk of finishing with it. I soon managed to get rid of it and a volunteer was kind enough to look after it. 

I was now in 3rd position overall with Köhler about 20 seconds ahead and Bader right in front of me. While I was passing Bader quite soon I wasn't able to make any ground on Köhler. All I wanted was to finish with a solid run and not getting into trouble with a potential sprint finish. On the last kilometer I realized that I was just about the be Swiss Champion for the first time. I have thought about the title throughout the whole race and all went according to my plans.
I have won medals at Swiss Championships in Duathlon, Half Marathon, Marathon and mountain running but never Gold. And here it was! I have to add that I am well aware that it hasn't been that easy for a very long time to gain this gold medal. However, it's not my fault other athletes weren't present and I am super happy to take the title. 

Now remains the question, am I going to do other Duathlons? As the national champion that's what you would expect. Unfortunately I will be very busy finishing my studies in June - just when the world championships are so this is not really an option. And after I finish my Osteopathy studies it is time to hit the mountains!

Gear used: 
Running Shoes: Scott Palani RC
Cycling shoes: Scott Tri Carbon Shoe
Cycling helmet: Scott Vanish
Sunglasses: Scott Spur

Click here for results
Click for Videos1 & Video2 of the event  

Montag, 18. April 2016

Kent 10 mile champion!

It is now already 3 weeks since this event but nevertheless worth to mention here!

It was Folkestone 10 mile race on Good Friday, the day before I flew to my training camp in beautiful Giverola, Spain. I then spent a good two weeks at the Costa Brava and was able to train about 1400 kilometers on the bike. It was my target to train a lot on the bike because that has been my base training for many years. It is almost like coming home if I approach the road along the coast to reach the hotel. It is now the 13th time I have been to Giverola in 14 years!

But now back to the Folkestone 10. My previous PB from Canterbury was 54:13 so my goal was to stay under 54 minutes. On one had Canterbury a few hills in it and I should be slightly faster in general. The preparation went also well but I was lacking a bit of running miles because I spent more time on the bike. That aside I was very motivated for this race too because it was the Kent Championship and quite often I am missing the top spot on any championship races. My last runner-up position was only last October at the Swiss marathon championships. It was also about the last of my Winter/Spring races where the intention was to get back to where I sort of have been over shorter distances.

The course is super flat. First you have to do about a kilometer loop on grass around the starting area before you head out to the sea side. It is an out and back course along the coast. The turning point goes has actually got a few meters of ascent in it but I guess after nearly 5 miles of dead flat terrain this is just what you want.

A factor at the coast is always the wind and that could not be discounted on the day. It weren't any strong cross winds but it starts to eat on you as they just wouldn't get any easier. On the way out the wind was slightly with us but that would change once we turn around. And from there it was pretty brutal as there is just no shelter at all.

After the start there were 2 runners going out fast but you could see that this was way beyond their 10 mile pace. So I hang in there in 3rd position and made my move after on the second kilometer. Soon I was on my own and thought - ha, that went well all I have to do is to get the pace all the way around. And as I was running along the shore I spotted Charles Bruford - the Principal of our school. After about mile two I heard that I wasn't alone. Footsteps were coming closer and closer so I was soon in company of Howard Bristow. I gave him the lead and just aimed to go with his pace. It was only a few seconds per kilometer faster than mine but I had to realize after another good mile that it was to much for me as I could feel that my heart rate was getting higher and higher. Ever so slowly he pulled away from me which was really frustrating! But on a positive note it was really nice as all the people who were just having a nice day at the beach cheered us on.

I spotted that he didn't wear the extra number you get when you are running for the Kent Champion. Even though I couldn't keep up with him I thought I still have a chance to win this title.
After 5 miles you get to the park with the bit of ascending. I could see that I got closer again but as we were back down at the seafront he pulled away again. With every step I tried to keep the balance between going hard enough but not to fast to blow closer to the finish. The pace dropped around 10-15 seconds per kilometer which was due to the wind.
I reached the finish after 53:28 in 2nd position exactly 30 seconds behind Howard Bristow. I was well clear of 3rd place - David Hattersley who was on the course shouted he would estimate two minutes by the looks of it and he was pretty accurate.

It was a good way to finish the early year road races. I didn't quite get to the pace I wanted to by the end of it but on the positive note I have not been injured or anything in this period. And this was before the training camp so hopefully this will give me a bit of a boost in the right direction!

Homepage Folkestone 10 mile
Link to strava
Shoes: Scott Palani RC

Sonntag, 21. Februar 2016

2nd place at Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon

I have been a bit limited in the last few weeks by my hip muscles which are really sore. As I have mentioned in a previous post, I have tried to break up the fibrous tissue of the ITB with a foam roller to enhance the development of the muscle tissue. I think it has had a real good effect, but at the same time the area got somewhat destabilized and the insertions of the gluteal muscles (bum cheek) are struggling with the additional load. 

Because I had an exam on Friday I was not able to put in the same training effort than I would have wished - but then again it's more important I bring my osteopathic studies to a good end. So I did a training run Saturday morning including the Maidstone Park run to get a few miles in and a positive running feeling. Thanks for the company all around Tom! Just after the run I had a massage where I had to realize how bad the state of my quads and gluteals actually were. They need a lot of work and I was a bit unsure how that would influence my performance for the TW Half. 

The conditions were relatively good running weather - if only there wouldn't have been this wind which made it feel pretty cold. Gathering at the starting line of the 2000 men and women strong field I saw a few familiar faces from the Tonbridge AC including Julian Rendall. I had quite a battle against him in Canterbury and was wondering if I was able to convert the improvement on the road which I have felt during the Cross Countries. Among other runners there was with James Laing (24th Ally Pally) a familiar face from the MET League as well as the winner of Ally Pally - Paul Martelletti.

As a bonus local star and double Olympic champion Dame Kelly Holmes gave the starting signal and did the race herself as a preparation for her Marathon debut in London. So off we were and Paul set the pace right from the beginning. Only a few meters back a whole bunch of athletes were following. I tried to hide myself in there somewhere as I did not want to lead in the wind. The group was still relatively big after three kilometers which I was surprised because the pace sure wasn't slow (~3:15min/km). I closed the gap to Paul and he was pulling me along for the next two kilometers which allowed me to get some space between me and the next runner. I felt that his pace wouldn't be very healthy for me as I would hit the wall at some point. So I let him go and the gap would just grow very slowly. But on a more important notice I was able to drop all other runners at this early stage of the race - if this only would not get back to me I thought. 

As I approached the half way point Paul was only half a minute ahead with the big hill just waiting for us so the 34:30 split was not reliable. I had no idea how far back the other runners were because I did not look back once. I thought it was important to keep the focus to myself and keep myself within a zone where I was comfortable but then again not too comfortable. My plan was to pick up the pace again when I reached the top of the hill and to sustain the pace on the last 5 kilometers. I was able to convert my targets and crossed the line in exactly 1:11:00. 

In secret I was hoping for a slightly better time but considering the course with about 220 meters uphill it was quite undulating. I really enjoyed the course and can truly recommend this race to anyone. Well organized, nice course route and great hospitality. To my surprise the leg didn't play up really except for a little niggle which reminded me of my limits. It was once more a positive outcome and I am looking forward to set hopefully a new PB at the Folkestone 10 mile race.