Orienteering race (JWOC) 59:44  **** 7.7 km (7:45 / km)
spiked:14/18c slept:7.5 weight:153.6lbs shoes: Standard White O-Shoes
JWOC Spectator Races: Stage 5 - Druskininku Miskas, Lithuania. H21S (i.e. M21L) 33C, sunny.
The hottest day of all, this was a real fight against the heat - and a real sprint too. The JWOC competitors used this area in the morning and were running 10km races in under 50 minutes - so it was always going to be fast. The forest was pretty flat, and almost entirely white - you could reasonably go dead straight for all but one of the legs.
Good compass-work was important and unfortuantely I was hindered by using a Moscow Type 2 compass - I had bought it to replace my Silva Jet Spectra that I thought I had lost. The compass was maddening - every time I ran a step, it would jump around, making it impossible to use it on the run (I later replaced it with a more stable Type 3.)
However, my first mistake was not due to the compass, but to not focusing on the map at the beginning of the race. I was already feeling dehydrated in the intense heat, and ran down the wrong path, following the other people on my start block. Once I realised what I had done, the bad compass then made quickly correcting the mistake impossible, so I took a chance, ran to the wrong control and then quickly decided to do a full relocation, almost back to the start. A 2-3 minute leg had taken 8 minutes - my second worst mistake of the entire week.
Another mistake between 5 and 6 - I failed to spot a dead horizontal ride on the map, mistaking it for another path, and almost ran off the map - I knew what I had done but still wasted 3 minutes, having deviated substantially off the line.
Running around fast to try and correct these mistakes only exhausted me more, and the rest of the race was a fight against dehydration and passing out in the heat - running fast in open (i.e. sunny) forest in 33C temperatures, I was in no mood to orienteer properly, so got tows to a couple of controls, and walked in the more shaded parts. Luckily, it wasn't too technical, and I made no further significant mistakes. The end was a lovely run past the lakes in central Druskininkai, into the JWOC finish arena.
Despite this being my fastest mins/km race, it was the race I performed worst in, compared with my JOK contempories - most of whom are good runners - on a real runners' map. Still, I ended the week being the overall winner amongst us six - although I just missed out on being the best Brit to one of the British Army runners.