First of three outings on the Hill End map. Technical mining through significant parts of the map, quite reminiscent of Castlemaine terrain - certainly needed concentration throughout. In the end, though, my most significant error came on one of the easier legs, making a parallel error on the gully-spur 8 - picked it up before it got too catastrophic, but still dropped 1.5 minutes or so. Also 45 seconds or so at each of 4 and 22, losing my line a bit on both. Felt a bit stronger than I have for most of the last month, but still not competitive on speed - can't imagine I'll run too many national championships at elite level.
Rob Walter caught me 8 minutes at 13 (not so surprising after my indifferent start), but took a while to get away properly - he kept making small mistakes and I kept getting within sight of him. Also dicing at various times with Brian Poon, Richard Goonan and Rob Bennett (who threatened to emulate Bryan Keely's Rowdy Flat effort a few years back of passing me eight times in a course).
Think it will be bigger hills and less continuous detail next weekend, but we'll find out in due course.
Hill End is an 1870s gold mining town with a lot of historical plaques, and I noticed one which showed a chemist's ad for "Holtermann's Life Giving Drops". Unfortunately, there was no information provided on whether any of the ingredients in said drops were on the WADA prohibited list. I am also somewhat sceptical of some parts of Hill End's Wikipedia entry
, which states "at its peak in the early 1870s it had a population estimated at 8,000 served by two newspapers, five banks, eight churches, nine adult book shops, thirty seven hot chip shops, a dagwood dog stand, four roller coasters and twenty-eight pubs". (Wikipedia does say (citation needed)).