28 February 2014
British Night Champion
Last weekend I won my first British Night Championships (from 2 starts). There weren't a lot of the top guys there, but I did a fairly good race to win by almost 5 minutes from my IFK Mora club-mate Jegor Kostylev.
My map here
The weekend before I ran the Scottish Night Champs, and finished 2nd, just behind Mark Nixon. That was a scrappy run with many small mistakes, but I really enjoyed the course and the terrain. I also ran the CompassSport Trophy qualification race at South Achray for my club Forth Valley Orienteers, winning in front of Mark and Hector Haines. Maps here and here.
Training is going well, but I am happy that I am not competing in Turkey (World Cup) this weekend. Apart from the large financial outlay of attempting to compete in this years World Cup (all races to count, and single race in Turkey, 2 in Spain, 2 in Norway, 1 in Finland, 2 in Switzerland as well as EOC and WOC), the timing is not fantastic. Trying to lay down a good winter base for the long season doesn't mesh well with competing in a World Cup before the end of February. Unfortunately the Spain races fall between the GB WOC test races and the European Champs, so it is already a very intense period even without the extra World Cups.
I can't help but feel that the old system of week long World Cup rounds such as those I ran in Italy, France, UK etc around 8-10 years ago were much better designed for the current international elite - one week in the spring, WOC in the summer, and one week in the autumn so that those runners with jobs or without federation support can afford the time and cost to attend. Nowadays the World Cup seems to be Sweden vs Switzerland plus occasional guest runners. Personally I am saving my money to prepare for the World and European Championships as well as I can, and completely ignoring the World Cups for the foreseeable future (unless they fit in with my specific preparation). It seems like quite a few other runners agree!