18 March 2010

Student Champs

It's that time of year again when the British domestic season really starts. Only 8 days until our first test race, 2 weeks until the Easter JK festival, and a month until the British Championships. The first major test was the University Championships, which were down in the Forest of Dean. A lot of the top British guys were there, including 3 of last years WOC team - so a decent field, and my first time running for Sheffield Hallam University.

My preparation was pretty mixed - while I wanted to do well and I was really motivated on the day, I didn't want to sacrifice my training for the upcoming season, so I didn't rest at all in the days before the race. I also decided to drive to the race on the day - almost 3 hours each way - not the best pre-race preparation!

I had last start, 2 minutes behind Fraser, so I set off pretty quick! I thought he might sweep up the runners in front of him, leaving me to have lonely race, but I caught and passed a couple of runners, and when I came to the spectator control I was about 30 seconds down on Scott in 2nd place. I ran pretty fast after that for a few controls, catching Matt Halliday. Then I started to get some pain in my stomach and some cramping, and the course became more physical. I also started to get some fatigue in the quads - too many squats in the gym! Anyway, the last 2km I lost 2 1/2 minutes to Scott - I was tired and stared making some stupid small mistakes, so I ended 2nd place, 3 minutes behind!

Results here
Routegadget here

Still, my best ever performance in this competition after 4th in 2003, 3rd in 2004 and 3rd in 2005. Must be time for a win next year then....

I didn't stick around for the relay (I didn't have a team) or party, back home to sort my stomach out and back into training the next day.

Tomorrow I am travelling up to Scotland for 10 days, taking in a SEDS weekend, then a camp with the national team leading up to our first test races and World Ranking Event in the Trossachs - should be fun! The Trossachs have almost a mythical quality in British orienteering - fantastically physical and technical - the contour interval seems to be 10m even though it is 5, and running under 10 minutes per km is a good achievement.

05 March 2010