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

3 comments:

Brent said...

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

Anonymous said...

Graham
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...

Thanks
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,