Orienteering race (Sprint Race: Heat) 18:34  *** 2.99 km (6:13 / km) +30m 5:55 / km
spiked:13/19c slept:8.0 weight:147.4lbs shoes: Standard White O-Shoes
Heat for the British Sprint Championships in Milton Keynes. Overcast and damp, but not raining. The heats were to the south of the park - the first half was through a housing estate with numerous alleyways and tiny parks.
Unfortunately the first few controls were a catalogue of mistakes: On the way to No. 1 I misread the map and overshot badly, costing me 45 seconds - a big mistake for a sprint. I was still misreading the map on the way to No. 2 - another 10 seconds. I left No. 3 at the wrong angle, wasting another 20 seconds. No. 4 to 5 was also bad - I was confused by a playground and swung too far to the left - another 20 seconds.
From 5 onwards I was OK - the legs got longer and less technical, and the course moved away from the housing estate and into rougher land, and then into ornamental woodland. I was overtaken by a few fast people, and latched onto them for a couple of legs, which was useful - although I had great problems punching at some of the controls - Wasting 10s in some of the 30s legs is not good! But, the remainder of the race was generally fault-free and fast.
Noticed after the race that the inner side of my right O-shoe got ripped during the race, resulting in a large hole. Should still be OK for a few more races though.
Orienteering (Sprint Race: Final) 18:47  *** 3.07 km (6:07 / km) +90m 5:20 / km
shoes: Standard White O-Shoes
"C" Final for the British Sprint Championships in Milton Keynes. Damp, raining hard before the race. The finals were very spectator friendly and were in the main, ornamental part of the park. A specator viewpoint on a spur meant the first half of the course was very visible, including a hill-climb leg right through the viewing area.
I still managed to make quite a few mistakes on this race. It was only the "C" final but I had a good reason to keep up a good base - Simon from SLOW was starting two minutes behind me.
To No. 1 was a short uphill leg which I tackled at a fast pace, feeling the pain when I got to the top. 2-3 was only a 30m leg but i still managed to head in the wrong direction. I was having some problems with the intensity and shortness of the legs - 6-7 was a 10 metre leg (!) but I still hestitated, not believing it was so close! The split was 12 seconds, almost certainly my shortest intra-race split. I wasn't sure of the direction leaving 7, such was the pace. 9-10 was the infamous hill leg, but I wimped out and went around. Then, the course took us away from the specator arena and through rougher ground - past roads built for houses that weren't there yet - very MK! The last section was back through the ornamental woodland - I started to tire here unfortuantely, and made a poor route choice from 19-20, not noticing a good path. 21-22 was another poor route.
Overall, not as scrappy as the heats though, and my pace was slightly faster. I finished a respectable 12th out of 42 - but then, it was only the C final.