16 June 2008

Good performances at Forssa and Jukola


Jukola! Once again I was running the first leg for Lidingö. This time the forest was a bit rougher though, and we watched the girls make mistake after mistake. Everybody went off hard as usual, and I hit the first control fine. Then I made my biggest mistake - instead of taking the nice track route round to the left with an easy way into the control, I ran straight with Peter Öberg through the green area. This was a bad idea, and we compounded it by missing the control quite badly. Luckily I relocated pretty quickly, and within a few controls running really fast, I was back at the front. I ran in the front pack for the next few kilometers, and slowly people dropped away until I was only aware of 3 other people. At 19, 2 of them forked off to a different gaffle, and then it was just me and Peter. We had some different gaffles, but I ran well and at the TV control with 800m to go I was just in the lead. He was seriously motivated to win the leg, though, and the came sprinting past me - I was too tired to respond, and so he took the leg victory and I was 2nd, but almost 2 minutes in front of 3rd. A good start. The rest of the team was a bit up and down, some guys ran really good, others lost a bit and we finished 11th. It is disappointing to be outside the top 10 in both Jukola and Tiomila this year when we showed so much promise.

First leg results here
Relay results here

You can see my full map with tracking here (select 1st leg and Lidingö)

Forssa Games

Thursday was the Forssa Games, a high quality short distance race in Finland which many runners use as preparation or just some fun before Jukola. I made a bad start when I didn't pick up control descriptions and got to the start wondering where they were - not on the map either so I was slightly cautious. Didn't get a great line to number 1, but ran well to number 2. Number 3 I missed maybe 30-40 seconds, and then Jörgen Wickholm caught me at number 4 running really fast. We took different routes to 6 and 8, but we came together at the controls, and we had a really good speed. He missed number 9, so I took that first. I was a bit confused at the last control (actually there were 3) - especially without codes. Really pleased with 8th place, 1.10 behind Pasi Ikonen. I won a gas barbecue!

Results here

11 June 2008

World Championships Test Races and Selections

Photo: Digisport

At the weekend it was back to the UK (Shropshire to be precise) for the WOC test races. I had a bit of an epic journey, with my flight so delayed I had to buy a new ticket at the airport on Friday night, and drive up from my parents house in Surrey on Saturday morning in time for a 9.20 start time in the sprint.

First off was the sprint around Shrewsbury - a really nice old town sprint, reminiscent of some races in Switzerland or Italy. I (along with about 25% of the field) ran down one dead end and lost 30 seconds, but apart from that I ran well and finished 2nd behind Scott.

In the afternoon was the middle distance on Weston Heath. That is a beautiful area, but not at this time of year with head high bracken. I was really tired and made lots of mistakes, and finished 6th, around 3 minutes behind Oli.

Sunday was the long. I was struggling with motivation at the start, felt low in energy and my achilles was a bit sore. I made quite a few mistakes, but then I had some energy gels and caught Speakey, and started to push quite hard. When JD caught us both, I ran really well racing with him, and I finished 4th, about 4 minutes down on Jamie.

Results for sprint and middle here

Long results here

I will put some maps up sometime soon

UK Cup final standings here

WOC selections here

I have been selected for Sprint, Middle and Relay which was my goal.

05 June 2008

Maps and pictures from European Champs

Well it wasn't my best championships, DNQ by 1 second in sprint, 27th in long (new PB in long), DNQ bye 30 seconds in middle, but ran well in the relay after a mistake early on to come in at the back of the 2nd to 5th place pack on 1st leg. Team finished 7th. Maps and pics below.

Long final
Long qualifier
Middle B final
Middle qualifier