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May Hill Massacre 20122012/02/21 at 16:37PM by Steve
Gloucester Sports was retailing at the re-arranged May Hill Massacre on Sunday, and as this is one of my favourite races I thought I would enter on the day. It's an 8.5 mile multi-terrain race with two big climbs, the first of which takes you up over the top of May Hill. As we were selling at the event, I don't get to have a great warm-up usually, but I toed the start line with about 200 others. We start off with about 800m of road before we start the climb up to the top of May Hill and the guy who won the Dursley Dozen the week set off like a scared rabbit! I hung back slightly, knowing what was to come but as soon as we started going up on the gravel trails I went past him and into the lead. I carried on working hard up the hill to the 1 mile mark, got a slight breather as the route levelled out before going hard up the road section. Into the wooded area and a left turn up the muddy section towards the top, had a sneaky glnace to see I was now 40-50m clear.
I worked really hard up the hill, pumping the arms like fury to establish a strong lead, finally went through the gap in the trees onto the common at the top, a sharp right towards the summit. The legs felt heavy but I knew I could start striding out, touched the trigg point where there was a supportive crowd to cheer us on. The long downhill started and I was now 150-200m clear and feeling good. Back into the forest and making sure I follow the arrows as there are lots of other paths I could take! A hairpin turn at just before 4 miles onto some slightly more solid terrain and a long downhill to the road. I kept looking behind me to see if I could see anyone but it was now just me and the course!
Onto the road section which was a new part of the course, up the hill and then back onto a muddy path. Lots of undulating terrain and then onto a soggy, boggy section which had a slight uphill incline. I found this the hardest part of the course as I knew I was getting tired, then over the stile, across the field and back onto the road. I hadn't seen anyone for a couple of miles so it was nice to see a few familiar faces cheering me on before I started the second climb. This climb is muddier but shorter, desperately trying to keep moving in the mud. Slowly made my way towards the top of the final climb and worked furiously up the last bit, knowing it was pretty much all downhill to the finish. Back onto the road for a section, trying to let my legs go with the road, a quick right then left and back onto the trails through the last section of woods. It felt nice to really stride out and I was ticking along quite nicely until I got to the road section and the final 800m. I knew I was clear so I eased off slightly but managed to cross the line in 52.33, which broke my course record by about 2 minutes although the course has changed slightly from previous years.
Really happy with how I ran, pleased that I was able to stamp my authority on the race quite early on. Eventually found out that the guys in 2nd and 3rd had taken a wrong turning at about 5 miles so didn't claim their rightful places on the podium. The prizes were generous but certainly unusual, an ornamental axe and a voucher for a pair of Dubarry boots worth £300!
A great race, would recommend it to everyone. Shoe of choice was the Mizuno Wave Harrier 3
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