Cats and dogs weather today. I kidded myself the overnight deluge was easing but the harsh reality hit home pretty hard in the 30 seconds it took me to reach Kenny and Niall cowering for shelter at the start.
Running Fource roared to full power with Dave’s arrival and without standing on formality and waiting for him to get out of his car we were off. Rebourn loop again today – although with the footpaths more like streams I was soon wishing I’d worn wellies. Initially held back with Kenny as we squelched our way along the Nicky Line but with Niall and Dave getting smaller (no they weren’t shrinking) I decided to pick the pace up and rejoin the A-team. With Kenny safely dropped, Running Fource "A" added a detour round Redbourn, confident we’d easily catch our lonesome colleague on the return leg. Yeah right – we never saw our light-footed friend again. Did he steal one of Niall’s magic gels and gain superman powers? Did he turn around and head home as soon as we were out of sight? Or did he simply phone home and get Mrs K to pick him up in the family limo? I guess we’ll never know.
So the crucial three continued their aquatic journey; next stop mount Beeson End Lane. With Dave deciding not to challenge for King Of The Mountain points it was down to just Niall and me to push onwards and upwards. Niall led the way and I just did my best to hang on. There were no crowds cheering us on and no great sprint finish – just the two of us pushing hard all the way. After that Niall kept us honest as he led the bunch over the common and up Crabtree Lane. Unfortunately that is where my story ends. The legs decided enough was enough and sent my brain a system shutdown message. I came to a halt and was within seconds was doubled over with a killer stitch. Luckily I was able to stretch it out quickly but by then it was too late. The will to run had gone. It was all over.