SILVER for Jamie Stevenson
Jamie came away from the European Champs Sprint race with a silver medal today, closely behind Emil Wingstedt. The race was fantastically close - every second really did count. There were 36 men within one minute of the lead so small mistakes were really punished. Jon Duncan managed 38th place, and I was 43rd. Jon was losing a little bit of time on every control and I blew numbers 2 and 4 to lose the best part of a minute. After 4 I had a really good race but the damage was done.
Girls did well too, Sarah was 18th, Jenny 37th, Rachel 39th and Helen 44th. Sarah was really happy with her run - no mistakes, just a little off the pace, and the others lost some time in places. Pippa won the b final comfortably.
The non - runners enjoyed the sunshine, the opening ceremony and some ice creams.
Quick summary of my race. Took it steady to number 1, looking ahead for the route choice to 2. See the OOB area, think to myself, OK left or right - right looks nicer way in to control. Start running right. BALLS ! no way through where I thought there was. Panic - mustn't stop running - OK take left route - haven't planned that route - aaah where am I ok relocated on the road, have to climb up to control. Lose 20-25 seconds. Number 3 fine - OK 50-50 route choice again left or right of the building. Choose left. DAMN NO GAP THROUGH FENCE - panic (should stop realise route still viable, go down to road, under bridge etc...) - ok keep running, every second counts - up the massive bank, ok i'm on the bridges - want to be down there, back down massive bank, across the parkland and into the control. Lose 20 - 25 seconds. Leave number 4, see my 1 minute man running towards control. Have almost been caught - ARSE. OK get it together. Spike 5, 6 (route to the left better in retrospect?), 7, big climb to 8, Latvian Sirmais right behind me. Clean through 8, 9, 10, 11. Number 12 Sirmais takes route through the church and just gets ahead of me for the first time. Punch 12 just behind him. 13 he runs down to the road, under the bridge and round to the left. I chose a straighter route and get to the control with him. Race across to the spectator control but am tired and lacking motivation. Try to stay with him round last easy section of course but don't quite have the legs or motivation. Cross the line 80ish seconds down.
Could have been very good. From 4 onwards was very happy - comes down to 2 critical bad decisions leaving 1 and leaving 3. This could be down to rushing - built up pressure, expectation, nerves - or maybe not looking closely enough at the map and making assumptions and taking risks. Essentially though I didn't deal with the mistakes well enough - i should have remained calm, taken my time and stopped to look at the map and analyse my options instead of headless-chicken mode.
Lot of positives despite this. Two poor decisions - 50-50 calls which didnt pay off. Apart from that a really good race technically and was strong physically, even if I was struggling on the climbs. Was 46 seconds down on Emil Wingstedt at number 4, and finished 76 seconds behind, so was only 30 seconds down over the rest of the course which I am happy with.
Middle qualifiers tomorrow - and there is a lot of confidence in the team. Hopefully all 12 to do well.