30 December 2007
Results and splits for MTBO here
Results and splits here
Every year Southdowns have a Christmas Score event, and I seem to run it every year. The forests down there are really nice and runnable, and although I am not a big fan of score events, this one is pretty good fun. I managed to get all the controls with about 5 mins to spare. Results here.
Yesterday I ran a regional event on Ash Ranges, which is basically home terrain for me, about 5 miles from home. I have run there quite a lot, but it is always nice to do a race there. It is mostly open, with lots of heather of various depths, so it can be quite rugged, but still very fast. The course was really really good, with a variety of leg lengths and some really technical parts. It would be easy to have some dead legs, but the planner did a good job and it was all technically interesting. We started with a control pick, and I missed 10 seconds on the 2nd, and 30 secs on the 3rd (didn't see the pit as I ran past, but saw another control). After that I had a good period through the open area. 12-13 I stopped for a moment to check another competitor was ok, and lost my direction slightly. Coming out of 13 I completely misread the wall as crossable, so I ended up taking a long way around to 14. Then another tricky part through the woods before a few longer legs through the open. The heather was up to waist deep in some parts here, but I felt really strong. I navigated from 21 back to 12 (muppet), but it turned out not to be too bad anyway. 23 was slightly tricky, I came off line a bit and was hesitant. After that was really good though. Results here. Splits here.
Tomorrow morning I fly to Johannesburg, and I will be spending the next 4 weeks in Dullstroom, about 2 hours east of Joburg. The altitude there is around 2000m. I will mostly just be training, but I am also going to spend a few days making a map for an o club down there.
17 December 2007
27 November 2007
Last week was the Stockholm Film Festival, so I took advantage of the fact that I had plenty of spare time and went to see quite a few films.
30 October 2007
Last weekend I took part in Smålandskavlen, the last big competition of the year. I ran the last leg, but the first two (night) runners didn't have a good day, and we were more than 15 minutes behind. Our 3 day runners did pretty well though, and I went out in 32nd place. I ran the whole race basically on my own, only seeing some other runners in the butterflies. I was happy with my race, I was about 3 minutes slower than the fastest on last leg, and I missed somewhere around 1-2 minutes, just a couple of small mistakes. My team finished 27th.
The girls won :) Results here
Only bad thing is I hurt my calf a little, and then running on it on Monday, I managed to tear something, so now I can't run.
Photo Torben Utzon
16 October 2007
15 October 2007
This weekend I headed back to the UK for my fell running club's national relays champs, and my orienteering club's national team competition champs. I flew in on friday, and they lost my bag.
2. Nottingham 2152
3. South Yorkshire 2130
09 October 2007
25 September 2007
OK so I haven't written anything for a few weeks, but I have been kind of busy. I spent a few days in Czech Republic training for WOC next year, then I went to run the Austrian relay and long champs, and then I moved to Stockholm. At the weekend I also went to the SM middle and relays in Halmstads.
This was a training cam with the GB team, but it was a very young group of athletes in general, with 7 athletes and 3 staff. We did a lot of training, ran up a lot of big hills and in general I did a bit much.
At the end of the few days in Olomoutc, we drove down to Vienna to take part in the Austrian champs. Saturday was the relay, and we had 2 even teams entered with 2 athletes and a coach in each (for a bit of fun). I ran 1st leg and felt surprisingly good considering all the training we did in Czech, and I came back first, just in front of Matthias Muller, which was nice. I did feel a bit of a strain in my right quad though, which meant I didnt run the long, and had a few days off running when I got back. After 2 legs, the two GB teams were 1st and 2nd with a fair lead, and then the coaches ran to form and dropped us to 2nd and 5th (?). We didn't really have time to run the long anyway, as we had to drive back to Brno to catch our flight.
On wednesday I moved to Stockholm! On Thursday I left Stockholm to go to Halmstads for the SM middle and relay. I wasn't allowed to run the middle as apparently I am not good enough. I ran round after everyone else had finished and my time would have put me 17th=, about 3 minutes behind Wingstedt.
Public results here, SM results here.
I was allowed to run the relay though, and with Petter Haraldsson, Casper Giding and Emil Lauri IFK Lidingö finished 8th. I ran 3rd leg, and when I came in we were in 3rd place, within reach of 2nd, but Emil had a bad day and dropped a bit on last. 8th is still a damn good result though, and only 3 minutes from a medal after 4 x 70 minute legs isn't bad. Results here.
Back in Stockholm again now, and this week it is Lidingöloppet, which is 'the world's largest cross-country race'. The men's is 30km, women's 15km, and my club organise it, so all week we will be helping set up.
I have started putting my training on Attackpoint again, so if anyone is interested in seeing what training I do, you can see here.
10 September 2007
Selections here .
Over the weekend I represented both British Orienteering and the GB Squad at the British Athletes Commission annual conference in London. The BAC is the 'voice of Great Britain's elite athletes', and offers a unified front for athletes accross all sports. It was a very interesting weekend, very Olympic sport orientated, and even based in the London 2012 offices, but it gave a good insight into a lot of other sports, what things they do or don't do that we should take notice of, and it was fun to meet representatives of loads of sports I hadn't even heard of.
04 September 2007
WOC Sprint Qualifier
I am always most nervous before the first race of a major championships, and this time it was the sprint qualifier first. I was also confident in my ability to produce a good race and qualify comfortably though. My warm up was quite interesting as I got stung by a wasp, and then taking some time to sort myself out, I almost missed my start and had to sprint to the start line.
Despite that I composed myself and ran pretty well. I was cautious to take my time and pick out good routes, not taking any risks. I got my feet wet a couple of times by not being aggresive, but that was about the worst thing in the first half of the course. Right after the spectator control, I ran straight into a branch of a tree, almost impaling myself and knocking all the wind out of me. After a few seconds wondering if I was still alive, I carried on a little sluggishly. I managed to complete the course but I was in a fair bit of pain. Luckily no lasting damage and I was fine by the next morning. I finished 6th in my heat, which is my best WOC qualification.
Results and splits are all available here.
My only real disappointment of the championships is the fact that I failed so badly in the middle distance. I missed the first control, and failed to relocate. When eventually I found the first control, I had lost 4 minutes and had no chance of making the final. I moved out of qualifier mode, and into panic must run as fast as possible mode for the rest of the course and proceeded to make a lot more mistakes. I also got quite a few fastest splits on the controls I did spike, but I finished well outside the top 15. I was pretty gutted with my performance, and to prove to myself that I could do it, I re-ran the course the next day 5 minutes quicker without pushing it - just goes to show that you just need a clean steady run in the qualifiers, and I will be better next year.
After the middle disappointment, I had plenty of time to recover and prepare for the relay. I have been running a few first legs over the last year, and I was really keen to make the GB relay team. I stood on the start line feeling confident in my ability, and the ability of Jon and Jamie after me to get a top result. I started steadily, and was completely stupid at the first control, mis-reading my code and running off, before coming back again. Despite that, I managed to be in the lead at the 3rd control (thanks to a short early gaffle). I led through my 4 - 8, where I saw a large pack of runners just behind me. On the long leg to 9 most of them caught me, and I took what was probably a stupid route into the control (down along the marshy gully rather than up and round), and I dropped into the middle of the pack (but most had had a longer gaffle earlier on - seems in a relay its a real disadvantage to have short early gaffle, especially on first leg, and more so if you have a longer gaffle later on). Through 10, 11, 12 I was running with a large group, although people were splitting to go to different controls. I missed 11 slightly, just overshooting in the circle, but it seemed like everyone on my gaffle did the same, and we were all running together up the hill to 12. After that, I just ran in a pack through 12 - 15. I had a longer gaffle to 16 and lost Oberg and Gonon who were just in front of me. Then disaster just before 19, my SI card flicked off my hand and I had to go hunt for it. Luckily the forest was open and I found it fairly easily. Then I was so tired for the last few hundred metres. I handed over to JD in 15th, about 2.50 down on the leaders. Actually my worst performance result-wise all year on first leg, but I felt like my speed was good and my technique was good. I lost a little time in the gullies, and I was really tired from all the climbing, but I didn't lose more than minute. I must have lost some time on running speed in the last loop, and also some seconds looking for my SI card. Anyway, Jon and Jamie ran pretty good and we finished 7th, some 2 minutes off the podium. A creditable result, but we were all hoping (and maybe expecting) something even better.
After the race I got some really bad stomach cramps, some diarrhoea and really struggled to eat or drink anything. It was about 6 hours before I could really eat anything, and that went straight through me. At that point the sprint final was looking a bit dubious.
I actually woke up feeling a lot better, nervous and empty, but generally pretty good. I still had some diarrhoea, and warming up I felt like I didn't have a huge amount of energy. Still, I felt good and confident in my technique at least. As I was on the call up, I heard Wingstedt finishing and answering a few questions, so I knew a little of what to expect. I started steadily and noticed the first couple of controls looked a little tricky. I navigated carefully to the 1st, and didn't really understand the 2nd. The green 'hedges' turned out to be vines or something, and they werent very distinct. It was only after I had run past and looking back and around that I saw the control. 3 was an interested route choice, and I tried to minimise the climb and find the easiest way into the control. Perhaps I should have run north of the building along the path, but the forest floor was fairly level and easy running. After a slightly slow start, I got a really good split here. 4 was straightforwards, although looking ahead, I knew there were a couple of key route choices coming up. I had decided to try and conserve height as much as possible, and chose a route to 5 that looked to have a good way into the control as well as not having too much climb. It turned out that a lot of the small paths were really overgrown, and there was no chance to run and read the map. My route was a little slow compared to the route to the west and I lost around 15 seconds. 6 was potentially quite tricky, and I was careful with my direction through the bushy forest. 7 seemed to be another crux route choice, and again faced with a 50-50 decision, I opted for the slightly longer but flatter route to the west of the large building. It also offered some better surfaces for running and looking ahead at the course. I think it was a good decision for me and I got a really good split time (4th). Number 8 I didn't really see a route to the north out of 7, so I was looking at over or round the hill to the right. Again, feeling weak on the hill, I chose round, but this time I think it was a poor decision, and I lost arund 10 seconds here. My route was just too far off the line. I saw my 1 minute man, Leif Bader, here, and I ran 9 and 10 really hard to catch him. I passed him on the hill down to 12, and I knew I was having a good race. Control 13 seems to have caught out more people than any other, including me. I came out of 12 too far right and ended up 20-30m NE of the control. As soon as I hit the small path I stopped, relocated, and ended up losing only around 5-10 seconds. Martin Johansson did the same but lost around 30 seconds and a gold medal. 14 was easy, and 15 offered an interesting last route choice. I was obviously getting tired as I lost a couple of seconds on the climb. I ran hard into the finish though, and overtook Nordberg by less than a second on the line. As I finished, I was 3rd, and I knew that it was good enough for top 20 for sure, and maybe around 10th if I was lucky. I am really happy with 12th place, and while I can find 2 route choice errors (25 seconds maybe), and 2 small mistake (10-15 seconds), I am really happy with my race technically. Physically I felt weak on the hills, and I will work on that for next year.
I am back in England now after a weeks holiday in Odessa on the Black Sea. This weekend I am attending the British Athletes Commission annual conference in London, the on Tuesday I am going for my second WOC 2008 training camp in Czech Republic with the British team. When I get back from that, I will spend a last few days with my parents before moving permanently to Stockholm on the 19th.
28 August 2007
18 August 2007
Good start to the week, room for improvement but job done.
15 August 2007
Middle race map, results here
Day 5 I spent stretching and relaxing. Day 6 was on another truly awesome area - Anagach. Unfortunately for me, as I wasn't running all the days, I had to start first (ish), about 3 hours before all the elite boys. I suspect that there will have been some advantage to running later due to tracking, but that is not to say I think I would have beaten Oli, who ran an awesome time. I had a pretty good run, with no big mistakes, a few poor lines through the terrain, and I missed the penultimate control in the green. Results here