The Race for Wildlife...MTRS race number 5 and my last MTRS race for some time, maybe ever...(cue disappointed sighs)...
Nonetheless, one of my favourites in the MTRS, this race takes runners on a ~7.5 mile loop up onto the bleak moor situated high on the Land's End granite above Penzance. Mount's Bay Harriers proudly state in their race information that the route includes "breath-taking views of Mounts Bay and St Michael’s Mount", and whilst it hasn't failed to disappoint over the past couple of years, unfortunately the mild and moist westerly airflow today ensured that the top of the moor was shrouded in a thick fog. Indeed, as we assembled on the start line, a penetrating Cornish mizzle was already blowing in on the breeze, the sort of drizzle that looks fairly harmless from inside but has the potential to soak you through in a matter of minutes.
Although a multi-terrain race, well over half of the route involves tarmac and it therefore typically attracts a small crowd of die hard road runners every year. Whilst initially flat, much of the first half of the race is spent climbing, initially on road before heading off onto some welcome muddy trails interspersed with Cornish granite stiles. The latter part of this ascent, across moist grassy fields into the thickening gloom and buffeting wind, was particularly tough going. The moor section is particularly fun, initially on road then on rough tracks, water filling every available pothole and disused engine houses looming eerily out of the mist.
Thankfully, what goes up, must come down. Heading off the moor, we soon joined the road again and enjoyed a fast 3 mile high speed tempo sprint back to the college, with just a final kick uphill right at the end to test the screaming quads.
With this being my last race of the year, I'm now looking forward to the Christmas break and getting in some quality training in readiness for the start of the new season in January and my last few races in Cornwall before pastures new. Merry Christmas everyone and happy running!