Wednesday, 25 February 2009

WRE Middle and Long Distance - Spain

I said I would write about my WRE, but I don't really want to. It was a shocker of a run for me, and the most annoying part is that if I took off my 7mins of mistakes I would've got some pretty good WR points :) I have a sack full of excuses, but I can honestly only put it down to careless orienteering and possibly running a little too fast. The map was in a really cool area. I felt a bit shocked in the beginning of the course, it was a lot different to the coastal sand dune terrain I had been flying through all week. The ground was very hard and covered in loose rocks the whole way. I felt pretty good running, I can see my strength training is starting to have an effect. It was very tough on my ankles though, perhaps I should be doing some extra strenth stuff for them. My first big farkarp came on the second control, I planned to run down into the terraced area early and run up the erosion gully to the control, somehow I just missed it and continued right up the re-entrant. It was annoying, I knew I had missed the control but my insecurities made me continue 'just to make sure'. The 3rd control went well, I took a nice fast route choice. The 4th control - what a nightmare. I haven't made a mistake like this in years. I saw on the GPS routes on the website that this mistake wasn't made just by me. You can see on the map where I crossed my line out, that is where I planned to run, and where I thought I had run! Somehow I actually ran around the lower hill on that spur and when I hit the first track I thought I was at the second. I desperately tried to make everything match but then eventually admitted to myself that I was wrong, stood still for 20seconds, cursed heavily and sprinted to the control. Continuing to sprint through the 5th control and and down to the 6th could've paid off but I knew in the back of my mind that whatever shit was left was also about to hit the fan. I totally missed the control and realised where I was and then ran back up to the control, didn't see it behind a bush (sneaky spaniards) and missed it a second time! After this I decided to calm down and had a few smooth controls. I had a small mistake on the 10th where I was distracted by another runner who had passed me and I caught up again. Number 15 was a mess. I ran right to the middle of the control circle and didn't see the cliff, then ran around for a while thinking I was wrong before heading back into the green junk to find it right where it should be. I raced around the last loop with William Lind which was quite refreshing, after the shocker I had had I wish he had started 2mins behind me instead of 6!! It's a nice feeling now to know I can keep up with the best guys in the terrain. I've Just got to get the confidence and experience to do it by myself, then I'll be away laughing. I'm looking forward to some good relay 1st legs this year though :)

The long distance went much better. I made about 2mins of mistakes in the beginning, mostly from standing in the control circle and not seeing the control. But things were much better once I got into the longer route choice legs (#9 onwards). I was really happy with my route choice to number 16, it got me a pretty quick split which would've been much quicker if it wasn't such a wet day to be jumping down slippery rock faces. I embarked on the longish leg number 25 at the same time as Klaus Schgaguler from Italy, he went left along the tracks. I beat him easily to the control, but I lost time, I think close to a minute from not running straight at the beginning and not running hard. I was hesitant the whole way, worrying myself and checking his route choice to see if he would be faster. It's very easy for negative thoughts to take over in a long distance in the rain when you're beginning to get tired. I have to be more positive and confident. So, overall I lost about 4mins (19 was a bad route choice, dead straight was much better). I finished in 6th place, less than 4mins behind. A good run for me. I don't consider myself a long specialist, mostly because of my previous problems with cramp and fatigue. But hopefully I can sort them out, it looks like my weak discipline could become my strength :D
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