You breathing gets pretty ragged after this uphill and it never really gets back to normal. This race is all about being able to run at your VO2 max (which is hard). The race is over varied surfaces as well, with clay, grass, tree roots, pine needles and road to navigate! I did 25.20 (7th open women) over this course in 2006 and was passed on the final short uphill just before the finish line by Natalie Smith. I have been running better this year so hoped to have a good improvement on that time!
The track was nice and dry this year after some mild early winter weather and I did 24.20 (yay) so exactly a minute faster than in 2006. I came in 4th open women and managed to hold off Kendal on the line (soooo pleased not to be passed on the line this year)! This was a 12 sec per kilometer improvement!
I have mixed feelings about the race though, I am pleased with the improvement but I didn't feel that I had a great race in general. I was probably experiencing some residual tiredness from the two races (university relays and triple peaks) from the previous weekend and my hamstring tightened a bit in the first downhill so I couldn't really push as hard as I wanted to.