02 August 2006

Happy to be ninth - or sad not to be on the podium?

Wow, what a day. 5 runners in the top 20 for Britain (probably a first). 4 PBs from British runners. Podium for Helen. 9th place for me. 12th place for Pippa in her first WOC.

So should I be happy that I have a 9th place at WOC? Or should I be sad that I threw away a podium position at the second last control? Hmmm. At the finish I was pissed off. Now I am ecstatic. 9th place was beyond all expectations for this year so I couldn't really be much happier.

My run was very good, and I made no mistakes before the spectator control. I may not have chosen the best route for the long route choice, but my split was pretty good. It was when I got to the spectator control that things started to go wrong. As I was approaching it, the commentator mentioned that I was approaching, and then he suddenly went wild, shouting about how I was about to take a big lead at that stage, and it sounded like he was going really wild. Now, I have done a few big races, but I have to admit, being announced in the lead at the spectator control with not all that many starters after me was a new experience. And it was one scenario that I had never prepared for. I don't think I panicked, but my concentration level definitely dipped. I was aware of it at the time but I couldn't control it. I made a small mistake at the 16th control (losing maybe 7 or 8 seconds), and I mentally slapped myself, but at the 20th control (of 21) I made a big mistake, taking the wrong path out of the control. It was a mistake that several other runners made as well, but it was still inexcusable and could have been avoided by taking a second to check position and compass. That mistake cost me 15 - 20 seconds and a likely 5th or 6th spot.

Never mind, still a very good day in the office. Maps to come (and maybe some more analysis).
Results here. Splits here


Brent said...

Great job Graham!! Thanks for the detailed write up of your race.

Anonymous said...

I was only watching on the net and the commentator's reaction to your arrival at the spectator control made me nervous heaven knows what you must have felt. I think you're going to have to get used to it, which augurs well for the future.
Great performance.

gg said...

Yeah nervous doesn't really cover it. At least I know what it feels like and that I can perform better in that situation next time,