JK Long - M21E - 3rd
Very excited to run my first JK senior long beforehand, but really had to focus on starting a bit more relaxed than all the races I've been doing recently. Think I just about managed this, but couldn't help but feel quite unstable in the very rough terrain. Kept slipping and tripping over as soon as I left the path to 3 and so began to buckle down for a long race ahead...
Soon eased into it though and cruised round the first few interesting controls using as much path as possible. Big hesitation at 9 when I couldn't see the control and began to panic picturing Spongey pouncing on me inevitably soon. Head back into gear soon and headed up on the north lap to the cool hill at the top. Happy with my executions here but made a few slight wobbles losing more and more seconds.
Took a gel at potentially the worst possible moment fighting down to 17 and tore the packet in half, making me very sticky for the rest of the race. Soon perked up when I saw Jonny leaving 18 but then perked down(?) again when we fell into the trap of choosing a questionably existent path through the green to 20 which ceased to exist leaving us to battle through brambles for an extra 90s. Eventually emerged on the other side with half the forest having replaced half my blood supply and took the lead to the map exchange, with a minor splitting up on two identical RCs. Glimpsed an oncoming Spongey just before the control.
Exchanged the lead a bit with Jonny on the next few controls and was very happy to have him there to keep the intensity up. Began to plan the long leg and just as we were about to head off, Spongey finally got us. I exited north and noticed the other two had turned around. Committed to my decision though and glad I did. Took another gel on this nice 10min path run, pocketing the map and relaxing for a bit, battled off a stitch for a few minutes, and then rejoined the two guys almost precisely where I left them. Perfect.
Stuck in behind Spongey as best as I could but he seemed to be pulling away. He fumbled just before spec and so I took a casual lead before letting him through again soon after. Noticed a few cheeky micro routechoices to keep myself in with or ahead of him on the final few controls. Also noticed him (and the others (Ben M was here now too)) were all quite dead so power walked the hills quite happily. Small error on 37 getting stuck in the green but then had enough energy to drop the other two and make 5s on Spongey by the finish.
Epic experience and very happy/surprised to grab Bronze in the day and overall. Have Jonny and Spongey to thank for that for sure. Some room for improvement with stamina for sure and not sure how I would have coped with anything more technical.
S - http://obasen.orientering.se/winsplits/online/en/d...
RG - http://www.jk.routegadget.co.uk/rg2/#74&course=1