28 February 2007

Inter-Counties XC, First National event

Saturday I ran for Warwickshire for the first time in the Inter-Counties Cross Country. Having come second in the trial, and with the guy who came first absent, I was the 'team leader' and first out of the start pen (ie. I got to stand furthest forward on the start grid). The course was about 3km around Wollaton Park in Nottingham, and we had to complete 4 laps. As the senior men traditionally go off last, the course was already completely cut up by the other 9 races of the day, and by the last loop it was pretty much churned up mud the whole way.

From the gun I felt pretty heavy legged, and it felt like for the first 2 km that people who started behind me kept on overtaking me. I think that a combination of a hard weeks training and the gig the night before really took away any real speed that I had felt the week before when I ran pretty well.

I had a real battle with two other Warwickshire guys for the first 2 and a half laps, and then in the last lap, one just got away, and the other dropped off a bit. I ended up in 77th, about 4 minutes behind the winner, Frank Tickner. He ran 39.25 for the 12km, I ran 43.28. I was pretty disappointed, and to hammer that home, Murray Strain was the top orienteer in 49th place, 45 seconds in front of me. Results here .

I am going to run the national champs in 2 weeks, and I am going to have an easy week that week and hopefully run a bit better there (and no gigs the night before either). Assuming a similar strength field, I hope to finish around 40-50th.

First 'Big' Orienteering Competitions

photo: Brooner

While I was running round a muddy field, Liis and the guys from my club were running in the JOK Chasing Sprint. In the end both she and our new training buddy Linus Kaisajuntti won the elite classes comfortably. Results here. So now we have a nice Flying Pig Trophy on our mantelpiece. Some more nice pics here.

Sunday was the first national event of the year, held close to my parents house in Surrey. It was in White Downs, a forest I used to run in a lot as a junior for training runs, but I haven't run there in about 5 years. The forest was pretty nice - fast running with a few steep climbs, and really a interesting course. I ran just under 66 mins for 12km, beating Duncan Archer by about 90 seconds. I made no real mistakes, just a few small wobbles. Results here. Splits here. Routegadget here.

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