I don’t think I’ve ever seen quite so many brambles as were at Selhurst Park. “North-sloping hill” must the planner’s code word for brambles. If there weren’t brambles, there were fallen branches to trip the unwary. My legs are a complete mess, it looks like I’ve been running through a field of barbed wire, and it certainly feels that way.
But there were some very pleasant sections too, and despite the area being non-technical (I only made one significant mistake, at 18, due to lack of concentration) picking a good route choice was key for many of the long legs – particularly as going straight was often not the best way, due to the five parallel deep valleys that stretch across the map and indeed define its style. I had some good fast stretches, and only really started to fade near the end, for the last third of the course. Until that point, it was probably my fastest race of the year. As it happens, I finished in under 8 mins/km, which is a personal target for as many races as possible this year, so is quite pleaing.
Frustratingly (and I know I’ve said this before) I had a good, relatively clean run and yet finished near the bottom of the M21L, results list – and almost everyone had beaten me by less than 10 minutes. If I had run the same pace in M21S, I would have had a top-3 place. Such is life.
The event was rather poorly attended, probably either because of a large number of other fixtures this week, or because the others knew about the brambles… it felt very much like a small district event – not that that detracts at all from the event itself. The event centre was in a sheltered courtyard, out of the biting wind, with tables to change at. Much better than the usual exposed car park.
4. Poor mapping
18. Poor navigation
20. Poor route choice
23. Poor navigation