Orienteering 1:42:00  14.1 km (7:14 / km)
shoes: VJ Bold
Jukola 2016, Team Ottawa
What a crazy weekend. Where to start...
Maybe rewind to November when it seemed it might be possible for the club to send a team. A real challenge to get a team together with runners from across the pond. Fantastic that we were able to pull it off, even if we had to loan a runner.
It felt like everything was stacked against us leading up to the race too. Airline strike, missed trains, mosquitos, no sleep, crazy weather, and two broken headlamps. Makes the final result all that much sweeter.
Waking up at 12:30 in a dark cold tent felt terrible. Thankfully I'd bought a redbull ;) Got organized with the help of my phone light to try not to wake the others. The worst by far though was having to put on the pants, socks and shoes that were left out in the rain (weren't gonna dry in the tent anyways). Got excited when I got out into the night and started moving a bit though.
Even more excitement when I made it into the arena and checked how the team was doing. Fantastic runs by the Kemps! Such a cool feeling to see how good the teams around me were at the start, and me there with Ottawa on my back. There must have been some double-takes. :)
The first leg was a bit tough, and I lacked focus. Took a dumb risky direct route in from the road and went too far right in the diffuse area. Lost at least 2min here. Disheartening to see all the lamps pass me as I ran back. It was a big wave of teams behind me, those which Eric had worked so hard to get ahead of. Got passed by 21 teams by the first radio. :( Lost another 2min on #4 where I made a similar mistake in a vague area. Couldn't see where the marsh boundary was in the dark and floundered around.
Got it together after that though! Ran well on my own to the second radio and then together with some others from 7-11. Felt strong on the long road run to 12 and passed a bunch of guys there. Was running in a good train through to 14 and just tucked in. It split up on the route choice to 15. I went left with two others, which was faster, but we didn't execute it very well. We caught another group at 16, and I finally got back to the same position I started at.
Struggled on the last loop. Legs started cramping up and my stomach got really bad. Had to just coast in to the finish. Was satisfied with my race though. Can't really say I was well prepared, and I would have been really happy with the time without the two mistakes in the beginning.
Crashed in the tent afterwards with a really sore stomach. Was great to hear about the good runs from the guys as they strolled back in though. Then it was back out to the mudbath arena to cheer in Steffan. Really impressed with how he did. The first big O event he's been to and we gave him the task of doing the super tough last leg. He was calm though and knocked out a solid run, holding off a storming Ross.
Still can't believe how well we all ran, what a bonus to the whole experience! It felt like something would go wrong the way it was going with everything else.
NA Jukola Champs!! So nice to beat the loud Americans ;)
Let's do this again...