The 7 Sins is fast becoming a bit of a annual tradition as some Wye Valley Runners try and work off 1 particular sin, that being Gluttony of course. This year however only myself and Jeremy Jehan decided to burn off the extra mince pies and chocolate from the Christmas festivities.
For those of you who haven't partaken in this event. The 7 sins is set in the darkest depths of the Forest of Dean where you can be greeted with a friendly high 6. It consists of 7 miles and 7 hills adding up to over 1300 feet of climbing. This year we had the added benefit of thawing snow which turned it into a mud bath which put even the likes of Muddy Woody to shame. Time to raise the bar in February I think.
As a bonus if you manage to complete this course in under 60 minutes you get a Sub 60 t shirt as a reward. Such was our confidence at achieving this, neither of relied on this as a change of warm clothing.
There is very little time to get into stride here, After running 400 metres on the trail you get to hit Hill 1 which will keep going until you pretty much hit the first mile pointer. There was no taking it easy here as after the embarrassment of getting beaten by Jeremy at Monkhall I wasn't going to finish the year on that particular low, but after reaching the top of Hill 1 I risked a glance back and the old goat was right behind me. At the top of Hill 2 I new there was a technical descent but rest assured that if I fell there was plenty of mud around to cushion ones ass, so I threw caution to the wind and Mr Glass ankles himself managed to get a bit of breathing room, this was the particular over the next miles and climb, run hard over the top and gamble on the descent to try and get out of sight and out of mind.
After a while it was strung out enough that you relax and enjoy the race apart from the fact that in the back of your mind was wanting to make sure you were under 60 minutes and banking enough for the dreaded water tunnel which this year was particularly cold. I cant tell you how high the water was because everything went numb and blue, but it left my trainers sparklingly clean ready for the next race.
In the end I was comfortably under the 60 minute barrier with 57:15 and picking up Andy Moxons favourite position of 4th. The old goat then came in just over a minute behind in 5th and bagging himself a trophy as first old git.