I had been waiting for this to fall on a weekend where there wasn’t any clashes with other event, and this year turned out to be the one! Sumner had a full Senior Men’s team, and our major competition was the fully stacked Sumner Masters men’s team. I ran leg two of the eight. It was quite a variable leg with a short climb and decent to begin with then the mega climb (only 300m but felt like way more) up and over Gebbies Pass, with a decent, and then some flat ground to follow.
I had a good target in my sights about 300m ahead at the hand over, apart from that I ran by myself in perfect conditions, if anything a little bit too hot! The gap between me and the next guy seemed get smaller and then bigger and then smaller again, it was just far enough in front that it was too hard to tell what was going on. I saved myself for the Pass a little anyway, and ground my way up, followed by flying down the pass still chasing the hare in front. I hung on to 3rd place for the team and made up a little time on guy in front. I managed the 3rd fastest time for the leg, 1.5 min down on the fastest, averaging 3.26min/k which I thought was ok for 10.4km and 300m climb. However lack of immediate results meant I wasn’t too sure how well I did after last weeks heavy training and doubt began to creep in. When I did see the results though, I was a bit more comfortable with my run! And I managed to go a little faster than Carsten (Masters men’s team) for an added bonus too!
We eventually dropped down to 4th overall, and then it was going to be close between us for the in-house Senior/Masters battle with us 30s up on leg 5… but the last three runners managed to open the gap up to 4min. Lucky for us! A really nice day out in the sun, and a really enjoyable team relay. Hopefully I will be free to race next year when it will be combined with the National Road race champs!