Orienteering 2:07:30  13.9 km (9:10 / km) +420m 7:58 / km
ahr:159 max:185 shoes: 2013 VJ Supra
Portugal O Meeting - Day 4 - Long Distance
In the mass start after (unsurprisingly) being well down on Thierry over the 3 previous days. Not feeling with it at all beforehand, had to get back in a decent time to get back to the airport so set myself a cut-off around 90 minutes at the spectator.
Pack shot off at the beginning and I just let them go. The train helped into the first control, but after that I was generally on my own - which was in part the intention, but it did me good. No-one to rely on or distract. The longer legs allowed routes to be taken on better running and without as much navigational worry, so in places could read ahead. Using the magnifier on the 1:15 was a lot of help too. Kept the pace steady, which the HR seems to suggest for once.
Saw Ruth and a pack looking confused just after my #3, but got round the first few relatively unscathed, bar misreading descriptions and a couple of misses in the circle. No real problems until #13, where the print had rubbed off the map - fortunately I had caught someone here and he popped out of the control to reveal its location. Simple path route to 15 allowed a bit of a look ahead and identifying the route choices to 19 and 21.
Through the spectator in just under 90 - judging from the Elite course, it was about 2/3 round, so on for 2h15. Carry on then. Confused Ruth (theme emerging here?) as I 'ran' along the road on the route choice into the phi loop, which used the tricky area at the start of Day 3. Went ok except for #22 (90"), where drifted too far right, but into the open so easy to relocate. Hesitant just above #27 across the road, but was directly above it; high route choice to #28 went well. Thought I'd ballsed up the route to the penultimate but turned out to work perfectly - and got ahead of the same guy I saw at #13 before the energy-sapping 60m climb to the arena and finish.
Loop after the spectator in 38 mins for a 2'07 (Thierry just sub 80) - very happy with that given the past few days, the steady pace and lack of pack. Format and terrain familiarity no doubt helped, but mind just seemed to be a bit more on the ball (although by no means perfect). Good to finish the week on a high.
And as for mission wooden spoon - I think I failed on that one...
GPS distance - 17.8k