2,700 feet (8,000 feet descent)
Having started working weekends in October, I now struggle to get to many races. So this being part of a long time planned holiday with a race in it, meant I got to finally do a race. This time I decided on the shorter course of the Marathon. It is the last 1/3 of the full Trans Gran Canaria route. Starting at the major CP for the TGC race and following the same route. That is from the centre of the island at 5,600 feet, to climb 600 feet to the highest point at Pico de las Nieves and mainly descending to the south end of the island at Maspalomas. 2 climbs of about 1,200 feet each are the only exception to this mainly 8,000 feet of descent and 26 miles. My preparations had been hindered by an injury to my little toe. 5 weeks prior to the race I caught it on a very heavy pouffe and possibly broke it. I couldn't walk very well, let alone run, for over a week. When I got back to running it was too late to achieve the top end of fitness that I am used to.
An early morning start and a long bus ride into the hills, so us at the very cold (maybe 6c and drizzling) start area. With only the very light kit requirements with me, I made the best I could of them to keep warm. Unfortunately we had a 45 minute wait for the start. I had a long slow warm up, then it was time for the off. It was cramped and chaotic for the first scamper on the flattish forest tracks, then a steep climb up to the highest point on the Island. The pack thinned out, and by the top my hands regained there feeling, after the numbness gained by waiting around.
I descended well and felt powerful, on the long descent to Tunte, I climbed well out of Tunte. I felt good on the descent to Ayagauras but on the road into the CP I felt the first signs of tiredness. It was also starting to feel warm, maybe a coincidence, maybe not? I climbed the very runnable track at more of a jog and felt ok on the first bit of the descent. Then came my nemesis, that of the dried up riverbed. I suddenly felt very tired. I was desperate for easier ground, but knew this went on a bit. I walk / ran part of it, and no doubt wasted a bit of time at a makeshift CP, as well as some more time at the last CP at Park sur. The race was fading for me. I tried to rally on the easy paths and roads near the finish. But didn't Quite make my sub 4 hours target. Finishing 52nd out of 800, in 4 hours 2 mins. I did however get a sub 5 hour wrist band.