The wheels come off…
I was keen to continue my run of good results in the third race of King of the Hills. If I could do as well as I did in the Lantau race I’d be well on track to get into the overall series top ten. But after my vomit-stricken struggle over the finish line at 9 Dragons the previous weekend I was feeling very much sub-prime come race day.
Nevertheless, I started well at a sensible pace. It was a beautiful morning to be out, there were some really tough remote trails. By halfway I was not the only runner bloodied from falls and scratched up from pushing through thick undergrowth.
The big climbs were in the second half of the race. This is where the tiredness from the previous weekend caught up with me. I hadn’t been eating properly either; after making myself sick the week before, my stomach still wasn’t feeling quite right. It all began to fall apart, I had no energy and runners started to effortlessly overtake. Then, with about 10km left to run I missed a turning. By the time I realised my mistake I was way off-course. I wasn’t totally lost. I knew there was a road nearby that would lead me directly to the finish..
I walked back along the road to the finish line and got there before the first finishers arrived. The timing chip I was wearing set off the sensor at the finish, and for a moment my name appeared at the top of the results. When I got my bag back and turned my phone on I had a congratulatory message from a friend who was watching the results online and thought I had won (he had made the wise choice not to race and to recover properly from 9 Dragons instead). I had to disappoint him with the truth that, far from winning, I had earned another DNF.
But the following week I was due some R&R, heading to a friend’s wedding in Thailand. The words ‘stag night on a Thai island‘ filled me with anticipation… Unfortunately, I had made myself pretty sick with the previous two weeks of exertion.
I was ill from the moment I got on the plane. To make matters worse, our direct flight to the south of Thailand was cancelled, meaning we had to leave Hong Kong just before 1am, arrive in Bangkok at 3am, wait in the airport for a connecting flight at 7am, get to our destination and then rush to catch a 10am ferry connection for a 2 hour boat ride. With my digestive system going ballistic, it was a very long journey.
Still, it was nice to arrive here:
Needless to say, I was a bit lacklustre on the Thai stag night. The rest of the week was a little more relaxed, although a diet of curry, fried seafood and alcohol didn’t really help speed up my recovery.
But by the end of the trip I was getting back to normal.
And now, after three weeks rest, the final King of the Hills race is coming this weekend. I feel like I need a confidence boost after the previous race, just finishing will be enough.