EOC sprint final - 3rd!
I'm really happy, but also really relieved to get over the hurdle of nearly being in the medals.
I was really quite hot before the race and put this down to still being a bit overheated since the qualifier (despite sitting in a freezing cold river for a bit after the race). In quarantine, I spent a lot of time putting water on myself to try to get/stay cool. Did the same during the warm-up: run a bit, pour water on self, repeat.
I didn't really settle at the start of the race. I don't know if it was the heat or a different warm-up routine, but I felt rushed and uncomfortable. I kept noticing that my control description holder was a bit loose and shifting around, which bothered me more than it should have. I also ran into a wall whilst reading the map. This feeling continued until the long leg to 7 where I started to settle and get into a rhythm.
I actually got this route-choice to 7 wrong and lost ~10s, but I didn't realise this at the time. This was probably a good thing as I was just starting to feel comfortable. At the first TV split, at control 7, I was ~20s behind Kyburz and in 22nd place. From then on I was quite good, I felt like I could push a bit more and I was on top of the orienteering.
Going through the arena I heard that I was the current leader and I was a bit more hesitant around the last loop as a result of this. I finished in the lead but was quickly pushed down to 2nd and then 3rd. It even looked for a little while like I might be 4th, which was a bit nerve-racking.
It was a good run overall, with some really good bits and some not so good/middling bits. There are definite areas in which I can improve.