Kingston Urban race, Mens Vets/Women's Open course.
I hesitated a lot to come here or the Galoppen near Gloucester. In the end I decided to have a bit of fun, haven't run an Urban race in a while even though they tend to do good for my ranking, at least more so than forest events. I do enjoy the forest more regardless! But having done 8 straight weekends of forest races I thought it would be good to mix it up. Plus it did not hurt that my clubmates could give me a ride so did not have to drive!
Decent run except for a few niggles, suboptimal route choices and one stupid mistake, lost about 2:30 or so on those mistakes all together. 34:08 with the exclusion of the timed out control, I reckoned this could be done in under half hour - and checking the printed out interim results I was bang on, Paul C won with 29:30.
I was contemplating entering the Mens Open beforehand, in the end opted for my age group, in hindsight I probably should have gone for the Open, as I found the course on the short side. I did fade towards the end, mind you, but regardless I felt this to be too short.
There were a few tricky areas on the map, probably not as many as some of the more quirky areas elsewhere in the UK. The course setter did try and use these areas - the problem of course having a race Sunday midday, especially in as good a weather as it was, is that there will be lots of shoppers etc, especially in the trickier, more intricate areas, so clearly they tried to avoid, having too many controls/legs near the river.
I did find it odd that whilst there was a timed out crossing of a busy road midway through the course, there wasn't a similarly timed out crossing of the same busy road about 2/3rd on the way coming back (just before control 19)... so you were relying on some luck getting there when the lights were green (I may have lost some seconds there). You then had to cross the same road again with no timed out bit on the way to the last bit, but it wasn't as much down to luck as before, simply because one had to run the length of the road for a while so you could choose your crossing time when there was a gap in the cars. Nevertheless, I did hear my clubmates talking about seeing someone running the length of that section in the middle of the road in between the traffic flowing both ways.
Trialled the SIAC system on this race, I must say I liked it, a lot easier to get a flow not having to fiddle with finding the exact point for the dibber, just tap the box and go. Won't invest in a SIAC card just yet though, not enough races having them yet for me to be worth replacing my unit that I bought about a year and a half ago only.
Time losses noted on the course splits.
Looking at the results, 12th again (out of 66 on the course), this has been my position in the last 4 races in England... should I play the lottery with this number?
Deep in thoughts (photo by Mark Howell, SN):