Run 3:06:30  27.4 km (6:48 / km) +800m 5:56 / km
The objective today was to finish, and whether or not it was achieved depends a bit by what you define as "finished" - on the one hand, I did indeed get to the finish line, on the other hand, at times this could barely be described as a run.
The start was promising enough - felt OK in the warm-up, and unlike last year ran all of the Ravenswood hill. After that, congestion means you can't run much on the climb up Arthurs Seat, and what I was watching out for was how I felt on the descent off it at around 6k. The shin (which was hardly heard from all day) was fine on this, the quads weren't great - no real hill running in recent weeks may explain that - but I was still feeling at least passably settled at 8.5k when the Achilles flared up again.
Walking up that hill seemed to settle it again for a bit, but it started hurting again soon afterwards, and from there I had two options - either bail out (a logistically challenging option) or keep going and try to manage it as best I could. The plan from there was to walk all hills and jog level/downhills. A decent time was out the window at that stage, but I hoped to at least salvage a sub-3 hour. That gradually slipped away, and the last part made me think that even if the Achilles hadn't pulled me up, other issues would have done; despite the lower intensity, my quads were pretty shot by the last 3k, and calves were threatening to cramp at the end too.
I guess it's a positive to make it to the finish line, but this was a pretty terrible time. Obviously under-prepared but I didn't expect to fall off the back quite so badly. There was tangible evidence of a hard day's work in that my calves cramped while I was driving back (a freeway interchange isn't really the place you want this to happen; fortunately not much traffic the way I was going).
Story of the day was that the organisers enforced the rule that competitors had to carry a container capable of holding at least 500ml of water and disqualified a number of violators (Tash being one of them, whilst on the other side of the coin, Will inherited the win after the first runner across the line also fell foul of this). Peter was third and Pat was just over 2 hours; other orienteers I know of were something in the 2.20s for Liis, 2.43 for Nicola (about where I was hoping to be), 2.52 for Dion and just under 3 for Kirsten, who I was in sight of for most of the middle part of the run.