In case you haven’t already, be sure to check out the report for day 1 here.
Winning day 1 of the Wildcoast Wildrun had ruined my race plans. Intending to run an easy race I would now need to defend my lead, because there was no way I was simply going to concede it. But I guess there are worse problems that can be had on day 2 of a 3-day stage race.
Setting off from the start line Andy (who had finished almost four minutes back on day 1) once again took off out of the blocks like a sprinter, quickly starting to move ahead. I ran with Clinton (who had finished third) briefly and he confirmed that he was not going to make the mistake from the previous day of setting out too fast. I could see a replay of day 1 occurring so I did not try to stay with Andy but instead let him pull ahead.
I had been feeling strong running off-trail the previous day so while Andy stuck to the jeep track that would take us from our start at Kob Inn towards the beach I elected to run the most direct route over the uneven, grassy terrain. This maintained the distance between us quite close as we hit the beach.
As we reached an early headland I decided to take a more aggressive inland route, climbing over some large rocks to find the cow trail that I had hoped would be there. By the time Andy headed inland to join me he was forced to fall in just behind me on the trail. I did not want to lead just yet so I slowed the pace slightly until Andy overtook and started to push the pace once more.
For day 2 the runners were released in separate batches, with the fastest runners from day 1 setting out in the last batch. Therefore we started to overtake slower runners as we made our way down the beach. I spotted some friends climbing a slight dune to reach an inland trail, and once again veered away from Andy as he continued down the beach. I spotted him again as he climbed off the beach and pulled right alongside me on the trail, but this time I directly slotted into place behind him. I wondered whether he was getting frustrated yet that I was running slower than him yet was no further behind.
He pulled ahead once again and we reached the beach for a long stretch on the sand. As I followed behind I watched him slow to a walk, and then sit down on the sand to stretch. As I passed I checked that nothing serious was the matter, and he responded that he was just feeling tight. I continued on and realised that it would be a great opportunity to build a solid lead.
In the race briefing the previous night Owen, the race director had mentioned a lighthouse that would challenge our sleep that night. So when I glimpsed a lighthouse ahead I knew that I was approaching the finish. I ran to the final river crossing of the day, and Owen was there himself guiding me on the best place to swim across. Swimming is very clearly not my strongest activity, and Owen mentioned afterwards that as he watched me make my way across he was trying to decide whether he would need to jump in to save me.
But I did make it across safely, regained the beach and climbed the final couple of kilometres to the finish line. I added 10 minutes to my lead over Andy, meaning that I would start day 3 with a lead of almost 14 minutes.
You can check out further details and maps of my second day at the Wildcoast Wildrun on MovesCount.com here.