Oceania sprint champs.http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20190928OSWomen/
Bit of a laugh, somehow ended up winning despite a shocker of a run. Just turned out I had the least cumulative mistakes on a day where no-one(?) in W21E had a clean run.
Lungs were feeling the long-haul travel during warm-up, but was ready enough to race after a looong wait in quarantine, as the last start of the day. having being kept separate from the public and the race for the last 3 hours, we were then led straight through the arena to the start. Lead being a very loose term, given there was no real marking and we had to push our way through a very packed arena to find the pre-start.
On the start line and I could see Tash take a long time getting to grips with the map before leaving the start triangle. As soon as i flipped my map I could understand her hesitation. The printing was horrific, with bright yellow and olive green merging in the bright light, and the mass of fluoro pink overprint incredibly hard to make out, let alone find the start and first control.
Got on my way, and was smooth through the first couple of controls. Surprised to see both Tash and Krystal as I headed into #2, and this should have maybe warned my brain into caution. But no.
Headed straight off to #3, which looked to be a turning control. Got there, no flag. Checked my description - "top of"...wtf? looked again...*top of stairs. Look at map closer - there's a tiny set of stairs going into the olive green at the bottom of the uncrossable wall. grrrr. set off back around the building to get to the bottom (have just seen another underpass that i could have used missed on the map - extra black lines made me think it was split level and unpassable). Get #3, grumbling, set off to #4 (again missing the underpass). Down the steps...no flag. Look around, nothing. Check descriptions "path, SE end" wtf? inspect map very closely - penny drops and i go all the way back up the stairs and into the dead end that runs parallel to them. Very angry by this point. 5-6-7 go smoothly, and i don't fall into the bridge trap on 7. I do, however, miss the small path through the olive green to #6, so drop another 20s on this leg. So already over 1min of mistakes by #6. Doing well!
Another 5s lost to #8, getting confused with OOB, and then through the arena and onto the rocky hillside.
I had no idea which way would be faster to 10, over the hill or around. Tash had said beforehand that around would surely be faster, but looking at the leg, it just seemed to far out of theway, so I bit the bullet and headed up and over. Went too far left on the way up, avoiding some climb, and very carefully headed diagonally through the detail toward teh control. Very lucky to nail it I think. Very surprised to see Tash at #11, as I knew she was ahead on time at the arena - so a 1min mistake from her there. We ran 12-13 parallel to each other, before I got my direction wrong to 14, and ended at a nice rock which was covered by the #9 on the map. Corrected, but dropped another(!) 20s here.
Through the arena on Tash's tail, fortunately as on the map it was impossible to read the run-through against all of the OOB hashing surrounding it. 16-17 I decided to duck through the buildings. A terrible route-choice compared to gunning it around the edge of the detail, which dropped me ANOTHER 17s. This one I can only blame myself for though ;)
The last loop was easier, although 20-21-22 was very hard to read in the clutter of controls. Tash stood still at 20 for a good 5s figuring it out, I stood still for 2s, chose my route, then ended up running 20-22... :/ Figured it out before I reached 22, but lost yet another 20s on it.
Very very surprised to hear I was winning as I came into the finish. Turned out everyone else made even bigger boo-boos today. Bridget was winning the entire way before avoiding the OOB compulsary run-through, while Tash lost it on the rocky hill.
Overall, just so many things not right with this event. Bit of a shame really, but also a nice rude jump into the deep end of sprint-o for me. Lots of work to be done before China!