Orienteering race 2:01:06 *** 17.97 km (6:44 / km) +382m 6:06 / km
ahr:175 max:210 shoes: Inov-8 X-Talon 212
NOL Long Hagaby at Collins Creek.
Heart crap from the start yet again but I was determined to plod around and finish anyway.
On my own by half way to number 1 so I was able to relax and jog along quite comfortably at a pace my heart could tolerate. Matt McGuire and then a few others passed me on the climb to 3 but they all seemed to disappear after 4 so I kept cruising around on my own for the rest of the first loop without any real time loss.
Had a couple of juniors come past me early on the second loop which lured me into rushing things a little. Got away with it without losing any time navigationally but I think it pushed me out of my comfort zone and I had to start walking more often to try to keep the heart rate under control. Bryan Keely came past a couple of times after 8 and then seemed to be heading off the wrong way approaching 9. Got sucked into going a bit too fast for my heart again here.
Third loop was a longer loop for me and I had Bruce come past into the first control having done the longer loop earlier. Bruce seemed to be making enough mistakes or poor route choices for me to keep catching up to him at controls which again sucked me into going a bit too fast until he tore his calf half way to 6. He assured me he was ok so I kept going and tried to settle back into a more sensible pace now that I was on my own again.
Caught Mikko at 8 and was struggling to control the competitive urges again so I tried to walk more frequently hoping he would get away and let me relax but he must have been tired because any time I walked he would walk too. I was feeling pretty good apart from my heart so I tried push a couple of the downhills to see if I could get ahead instead but to no avail.
Starting the final loop I was feeling a little frustrated at being unable to race so when Oscar appeared behind me at the first control I couldn't resist trying to go with him and use him to get clear of Mikko. I thought I would try to help make sure Oscar got the tricky 3rd control by taking a safe low route I went a bit too low and lost 30 seconds dropping behind Mikko again. I went hard down the hill to 4 hoping to see them and Oscar lost some time so I was back in touch. Stayed with Oscar across to 5 and got a small gap on Mikko then went as fast as I dared up the hill to the last control trying to make the climb as gentle as possible. I had been thinking mostly of the team result but when I popped out on top of the ridge just ahead of oscar i didn't want to waste what might be my last opportunity to beat him so I ignored my heart and ran as hard as I could to the last. Punched the last 2 seconds ahead and sprinted hoping to hold enough of a gap for long enough that he wouldn't bother straining to get past a team mate for 7th place. I'm not sure if he let me have it but I hung on by 1 second and we were 5 seconds faster than anyone else in the finish. On the last 4 splits I was 2nd, 4th, 2nd, 2nd. Probably not very smart as it took several hours for my heart to calm down but I enjoyed it.