Hello chaps, I need you to draw on your collective experience of all things phiz because I´ve talked myself into a bit of a corner. I spent Easter in a small mountain village in central Spain. Every year in mid April, they stage a hill run for all comers, 13.5 km total with a 600m climb. I drove it on Sunday and it´s STEEP! Having put on a bit of the usual ex army bravado, my wife challenged me to do it and of course I accepted. But here is the problem. I am 45 years old, keep myself trim (not necessarily fit), I run about 5km four days per week, but all flat, with a bit of hill work at weekends. I´ve never been a very strong runner, best half marathon time was 1´40 and that was about 15 years ago.

The race is in 3 weeks (April 13). I would really appreciate any tips on short order preparation, eg how many distance runs to do, how much hill work, how much rest, what to eat 24 hours before the race etc. I really want to do this in under 1´40. Thanks all.
The thing I learned trying to run uphill is that nobody can run uphill - I mean real uphill, 10% plus for a long period. Even elite fell runners do the really fast walk hands on the knees, so you might want to practise that. Running is all about conservation of momentum - above a certain level of steepness there is no conservation, so walking is better. Nothing for it but to work out the total effort/climb, break that into intervals, and then go ballistic on those intervals, lengthening the intervals and eroding the recoveries as you get fit.

If it starts and finishes at the same point you might want to get some practise coming downhill fast and safely, and think carefully about footwear. Years ago I had a pair of Ron Hill fell running shoes which had ridiculously soft rubbber soles, but semi-circle forward facing "hooks" as well, so they really gripped downhill. Reebok did a "Fjell Runner" with big rubber studs, good on grass and f*****g lethal on smooth rock. Do a good recce if I were you.

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