Run race ((orienteering)) 19:16  *** 3.2 km (6:01 / km) +50m 5:35 / km
A couple of times in the last week I've been thinking that in my current form I was probably 1-2 minutes away from the qualifying cutoff in the World Masters sprint. That much was true, but what I wasn't expecting was that that was going to be 1-2 minutes (1.44 to be precise) on the right side of the cutoff - as it turned out, the first time I've qualified comfortably since 2011 (after scraping through with 10-15 seconds to spare in 2012, 2014 and 2015).
This was certainly a better run than either of my previous sprints on this trip. I feel as if my running has started to turn a bit of a corner in the last few days, and found the right pace for my current fitness level early on. The other aspect was to make sure I minimised my time loss, on a course which became very technical in the second half with many route-choice traps, and that mission was accomplished, with the only time losses being a few seconds where I wasn't absolutely sure a gap was legal and took the conservative option. Lots of runners around, and tried not to be too distracted by people on other courses, especially flying Kiwis (Alistair Cory-Wright in M50 went past me a few times); never saw anyone in my own class.
As an early starter, the next step was to see whether the run would be enough; it always looked like it would probably fall on the right side, but it took until the last quarter of the start list to be sure. Watching a marginal qualification situation involves looking at the number of remaining starters, knowing how many of them you need to beat and ticking off likely candidates; I wouldn't have put Carsten in that list, but he picked up the wrong map at the start and lost 3 minutes going back for the right one, finishing 10 seconds or so behind me. He'll set an early benchmark tomorrow.
The technical second half of the course definitely suited me more than the running race in Rotorua; I was 37th at control 13 (32nd is the cutoff), but 9th over the remainder of the course. Now to see what tomorrow brings. Having not expected to qualify I didn't bring any real expectations, but now that I have qualified, beating my qualifying result (20th) is the target.
Lots of good Australian results today, particularly but not only from the younger classes, and I think we can reasonably expect at least three or four gold medals tomorrow.