First off, I really enjoyed being out on the plateau today. The orienteering experience up there was incredible - so runnable, so complex, so many challenges. When I got back I knew I had been rubbish on the descent, but it was only when I saw the results that I realised that I hadn't actually been racing up there at all. I'd been cruising, trying to make everything fit, lacking in confidence and stumbling along really quite slowly. By leg:
Start -1: Dreadful route. Tried to follow the trail, then realised the instructions were right ("don't try to follow trails"), went off the trail, tried to avoid the hill and ended up doing a wobbly banana either side of the line. With constant stopping to hesitate. Yes.
1-2: Big marsh, big marsh, in down the ridge was the plan. Executed middling to fair, with a large amount of stopping to place myself. The marsh was sodding huge and completely unmissable when I got there, so I didn't bother with the hesitating the second time. By then however, I had already lost a hideous amount of time to Speedy Sam.
2-3: Control pick, confident confident OH GOD I'M IN THE WRONG RE-ENTRANT No I'm not there's the control.
3-4: Spot on. With a bit of a hesitate leaving the trail.
4-5: Inching closer to the control. On the line the whole time, but never believed it. Actually stared at the control for a good ten seconds going "it should be there, oh, it is there. Oops."
5-6: Good. A bit less hesitaty.
6-7: Actually had a plan. Executed it poorly, faffed and stopped every two seconds resulting in dropping way too low on the broad spur, relocated badly twice, then realised my error and got the control. Was way too low down in the crappy stuff. Biggest mistake in a while.
7-8: Wavered about the side of the marsh to take and probably took the wrong one. Slightly confusing line in and guess what? Hesitated.
9-10: Eurgh. Had a plan, executed it perfectly, but yet again, hesitated every step of the way. Felt this bizarre need to be in ultra contact, which when you're hurtling down a loose super steep hillside with very little control is not the best idea.
10-11: Hesitate, hesitate, hesitate. No problem with route choice, just no confidence on the slope.
12-13: Dropped all the way down to trail. It was way more of a climb back up than I had anticipated. Bad choice maybe, but still not sure I'd have been faster going straight with my incredible faffing skills.
14-15: So busy faffing I forgot to read the map at all and dropped off the trail far too soon, was too high on a rocky bit and it took me ages to get to the control.
15-16: Thought I'd take a detour down and round the hill to end on a short sharp climb, rather than take the nice undulating trail that led directly to the control. Oh yes.
So actually, it was a pretty abysmal effort. But that area...stunning.
Routegadget here - Brits have a look!