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Ashby 20 – 2010

So I ran the Ashby 20 on the 21st March 2010 with Bunde.  After last years efforts when I was beaten by the Ashby Gorilla I was more than a little nervous as I lined up at the start.  The nerves weren’t eased any when I spotted the Gorilla hovering around in the background – it seemed a bit surreal to see this Gorilla (who has become my running Nemesis) drifting around in the crowd – how weird.

The gun went and we were off – the gorilla was behind me so all I had to do was stay ahead of him.  With 1,000 runners taking part the 1st mile is a bit crowded and I felt I wasn’t making progress – this was driven home when I heard a spectator say to her daughter “Oh look!  Here come’s the gorilla – lets cheer him”.  A quick look over my shoulder confirmed that the gorilla was close.  It seemed like one of those nightmares where you are being chased and can’t get away.

Through the 1st mile in 7:40 and the sun came out.  Miles 2,3 & 4 were completed in 7:30 each and a fifth mile (the toughest part of the course) in 7:40 made me think that I had lost him, surely he couldn’t maintain that pace in the gorilla suit?  I never looked back to check as I would have been gutted if he had still been there.

Every footstep that came near me, every shadow that appeared on my shoulder was a worry and I had a real scare when a guy dressed all in black with black hair overtook me!

On we ran and our pace began to slow down but we completed 10 mile in 76:32 & 13 mile in 1:40.  16 mile was up in 2:05 which beat my Kilomathon time the week before by 2 minutes and this is a much tougher course.

I had a quick look back for the gorilla at the 19 mile mark where I caught him up last year but he was nowhere to be seen.

We sprinted the finish, crossed the line with a time of 2:39:22 (27 minutes faster than 2009), I glanced over my shoulder and the gorilla was nowhere to be seen.

I collected the world famous Ashby 20 sweatshirt and goody bag with my mission will and truly accomplished.

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