Result: DNF....again, ankle (re)sprained at 16km.
I am currently writing this sat in the docs surgery :( Boohoo!
This race for me was about listening to my body and really participating, taking care of my ankle (!), and as such I began toward the back of the pack, to ensure I didn't do anything silly (that had already been achieved actually, we drove up here from 30 deg Marseille and totally was not expecting 7 deg and chilly rain at 5 am and so didn't think to bring running jacket). Of course I am who I am and I didn't come away feeling I had some new soul mates exactly or any of the deeper conversations I had been asking for. Also a bit disappointing as I felt like I had been trying so hard to put my left ankle under minimum lateral strain. I never even saw the root or stone that caused this sprain but I was down in a flash and a yelp of pain.
Other runners were outstanding though: of the dozens that passed me over the next few minutes no one failed to asked me if I was OK and many if they could help. One guy (113) stopped and gave me some cold spray and someone also averted the medics. It was so wonderful to see this German medic hiking up toward me as I contemplated the next few miles hobbling to the aid station! Quite cool to journey back with a former diagonal des fous champion who now in his 60s had totally bust up Bis face and leg !
Time to take time off and focus on the bike. I've made my wife promise not to let me run for a month...