i wouldn't be so hard on yourself. looking at the competition on H21L this year, you're up against some seriously good orienteers - you probably know that anyway, but in amongst them you have guys that were knocking on the door or have been in Swedish World Cup Squads, a few former JWOC medallists etc....
these guys have been running in this kind of terrain their whole lives. its only the truly exceptional brits who can really stand up and be counted when its so tough underfoot. british terrain levels the playing field without a doubt; but then having lived in the south of england for the past 7 years, i always find it really hard when i orienteer in scotland!
H21L at the Oringen is full on. I ran it when I was a first year 21, I was really running well that summer after a slow start - won British Students, and some good UK cup results; After an average first couple of days, I really pulled it together and raced to a fairly high level for the final 3 days - even then I only finished 38th and absolutely gutted myself doing it. this was pretty much the culmination of 7 consecutive extended summers (3-8 weeks) in scandinavia....
so yeah - what i'm basically getting at is that the scandis have a natural advantage in their home terrain. its what they're used to and have grown up with. its possible to match them, but it aint going to happen overnight! so don't get down about it, just enjoy the greatest event in the world!
Thanks Ben, I feel better after reading that. I did really enjoy racing on the second day, when I felt much better physically. Of course finding the controls exactly where you expected them to be feels really good too in such complex terrain.
Still a bit dissapointed not to be running as well in the Swedish terrain as I was last year or the year before but I have lots of good injury/illness excuses. So on to Scotland now, bring it on! See you there?
unfortunately not, i'm moving house this weekend and start my new job in london on monday morning! hectic times... not sure when my next o-race will be (apart from the richmond trail race and possibly the london city race) but i am joining SLOW - not sure but think they might still be in the compass sport cup.