Orienteering 37:10  8.52 km (4:22 / km) +1m 4:22 / km
shoes: Icebug acceleritas4 - June 16
JWOC Relay - 7th
This was the race I was most excited about. I really wanted to get on the podium with my mates, and my sprint medal hadn’t changed anything. We had a strong stable team, all of us knowing our jobs. I was nervous about last leg (we’d wanted to switch me and Alex but got overruled) because I didn’t think I would be able to outrun the best guys at the end, but I was very confident I’d be solid throughout and I knew that I can’t do anything about anyone else.
I left the other guys to it beforehand and we didn’t really discuss much about tactics, and I focused on myself. I was relaxed and calm in quarantine (apart from when Chloe outsprinted Simona and the Swede!!!), and I think I would have been fine going out at the front or the back.
As it turned out I went out in 13th, 4:30 off the lead, 3:15 to 3rd, and 2 mins to podium (not that I was checking much at the time), and just behind Finland. As the time passed in the box I accepted that it was probably too far to get to the podium in this easy rapid terrain, but I still had to give everything and see what happened.
As soon as I picked up my map I thought it looked easier than expected, and just about getting the right gaffle. The navigation was easy. The gap to Finland stayed as it was through the first section but Austria had pushed hard to catch me. We all split into the 2nd gaffle and I saw lots of guys messing around, but I just concentrated on myself and came out just ahead of the other 2 guys and now behind Switzerland.
The next few weren’t very gaffled and we all stayed together until 14, myself sitting comfortably in the pack and happy to do my own thing and lead when needed. I caught sight of Poland on their own up ahead who I thought was Norway, so I knew we could catch them. Through the final gaffled section Austria and Switzerland dropped away, so it was now just Finland, with Poland and France in sight. Going through the arena the Fin accelerated and I couldn’t go with him. I kept navigating properly hoping for a gaffle or a mistake ahead that would allow me back on, but it didn’t come and I finished off the back.
I hadn’t realised how many guys I’d gone past so when the commentator announced we were 7th I felt destroyed. To be so close but not be able to get there is so hard. Especially as the Fin got past them to take 4th.
Looking back now I am incredibly proud of my race and so happy that I feel totally at ease racing at the top level. There will be many more opportunities for relay success.