A Journey of a 1000 miles starts with a single step

Over The Hills - 2006 Over The Hills 2006

My aim was to try to beat my time of last year and get under 1 hour

Photo's by WRESL
I cycled the 10k there like last year, but this time on a road bike instead of the mountain bike that I used in 2005.
I changed out of my cycling gear into my running gear and locked my cycling gear in a fellow runners car, and we joined the milling people in the start area.
It could not have been a much better day compared to last years rain. Sunny, not too hot or cold and no wind.

Under the canal bridge at Avoncliff
The first couple of miles were flat alongside the canal and river before the first small rise near Sharpstone, then a drop down before crossing a road to the next climb which I remembered as being the hardest. This was still the case and I had to resort to walking on a section of this before reaching the top of the hill then dropping down through Friary Woods again, where my Inov8 shoes were providing very positive footing.
We left the woods for a flatter section before crossing the River Frome and the last hill up through Iford Manor.
The river provided an opportunity for me to pass some runners and splash some water over my head (it was very cold) before the runners I had passed then passed me on the hill.

Passing runners in the River Frome
After exiting the gates or the Manor, it was still generally gently uphill for almost a kilometer before we plunged down more steeply to Avoncliff and rejoined the outward route along the canal towpath.
I tried to catch the runners in front, but they were probably trying to catch the ones in front of them, so I think I only passed one but I did get passed by another runner.
I was pleased with my result, my aim had been to finish in under an hour, which I did taking off about 1.5 minutes off my previous time.
As it was such a nice day I took a longer route home via Westbury, Bratton and Great Cheverell, it was just over 30 miles. This took me just over 2hrs, and towards the end of the ride I was running out of energy. I don't think the 2 bits of cake I had at the end of the race replenished my energy supplies fully.

The is my early training for the 3 Peaks that I plan to do next year.

At the moment I am also planning to cycle to the Rough 'n' Tumble to run the race and cycle back. That just over 25 miles to the race, I might drive part way with the bike in the car and ride the last bit.