Thursday, 16 April 2009

JK 2009

Blockhead
Last weekend Maja and I headed to the UK for the Jan Kjellström International Orienteering Festival. It was the first time I had been to the UK. It wasn't as bad as I expected. I think everytime I've seen Britain on TV it has been overcast, but the weather was great! Perhaps I've been watching too much Coronation street! It was a nice trip. We flew over Wednesday evening to Birmingham and drove to Sheffield. We stayed there with our good buddies Bryn and Piret. Thursday we went for a run in the Peak district, it seemed like a great training area. Friday morning we left Sheffield super early to travel up to Newcastle. It wasn't such a long trip, but we heard that the traffic could be really nasty at easter. We arrived about 6 hours before the sprint race... oops. On the up side we got to do some sightseeing. We saw a cool castle and I got to eat my first meat pie since I left NZ (steak and kidney). It wasn't the same :( The hours finally wore down and it was time for the sprint. I wasn't feeling super fresh before the start. I had been training pretty hard during the week. Once I started running I was fine though. I was really focused on the orienteering side of things. I wanted a good run as it was only 2 weeks untill DM sprint. I only lost a little time on the 13th and the 17th due to bad route choice. I made 1 mistake on the 25th where I was too busy figuring out the route choice for the next leg and ran right past the control. That was only 10 seconds though. I heard the commentators as I was running into the finish saying that I had won. I was stoked, and a little surprised. There were some fast guys in M21E that I would've thought I needed a perfect run to beat. Alright! My first gold of the season!
That evening I got to see my Dad and my little brother for the first time in  a year. They were in London on their way to the world schools championships in Spain and decided to drive several hours for 1 days competition and to see me!
Saturday was a world ranking middle distance race at Kyloe Hills. I felt ok warming up but as soon as I got into the terrain I felt really tired. I tried to push myself but had to walk a little uphill by only the 5th control! The terrain was really rough though, so I guess I had a little
The old man
bit of an excuse. It was really green and there were alot of fallen branches and thinnings everywhere. I made a small mistake on the 4th control. My biggest mistake was on the 7th. I thought the control was in a re-entrant. I went right by the control and ran down into a valley and saw the gigantic cliff and was totally confused. I lost over 2mins. I had seen Matt Crane pass me at that point so I pushed to catch him up and got really tired on the way to the 15th and sort of gave up on the chase. It turns out I passed him again when he mucked up the 9th control. At the 15th I saw Oli Johnson coming up behind me so I pushed through the last controls and got a little bit away from him. I got a 7th place. I was ok with that. I was aiming for top 10, but I think on another day I could have won.
Sunday (WRE long distance) wasn't the best. I think I was just too tired from pushing hard the last 2 days. I made alot of mistakes. I started to get cramps jumping downhill through the heather on the way to the 15th control. I got to the 19th control and was tempted to DNF. But I managed to cruise around the rest trying not to totally cramp up by having a couple of dirty waters at the drinks station. I was miles slower than the winners. I lost much more time from being slow than from mistakes so it was hard to compare. I got some pretty good splits after I had slowed down though, so I guess my navigation was still ok.
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