Orienteering race (Hawequas) 1:33:38  *** 11.0 km (8:31 / km) +400m 7:12 / km
26c shoes: Inov-8 Oroc 280 #2
SA Long Distance Champs
A complete turnaround from yesterday. Still trying to find out where my run came from, maybe more motivation from running on a tough, challenging new map.
Had a moderate start. Slow to #1 as I didn't like the map. Still getting into it to #2 and 3. Michael started 3 mins ahead, but I saw him coming into the control behind me here. This was big motivation and I promptly got a best split to #4 before he ran away from me up the hill to 5,6,7. Another fair leg to 8 (but don't know why no-one is faster?), then a struggle up to #9.
I had a good long leg, probably one of the nicest ones I've ever seen in SA. Got the route choice mostly right, but maybe should have attacked the control from below. Got a nice surpise when I saw Michael and Cobus leaving the control, and then a huge surprise when I saw Eugene (3m behind) entering the control as I was leaving. Super-motivated at this stage as 'race-on' flashed through my brain.
Ran with Cobus and Michael through 11 & 12, but then something went wrong to #13. We made a perfect parallel error, crossing a road 100m out of place on a wrong bend. (I blame Michael who was leading ;-) however I also wasn't following on the map well enough). Took about 4 mins to recover by which time I'd seen Eugene leaving the area.
I took a different route choice from the other out of 13 (back onto the road and around the rocky terrain) which allowed me to drop the other 2. Good to 14 and 15, where I caught Eugene. Ran behind him to 16 and 17, where Michael crossed the gap, then all 3 together to 18 & 19.
Tried to push hard on this long leg, as I knew I could medal. Eugene started to suffer and Michael was also weak for most of the leg, only pulling away towards the end. Was a bit lucky to have someone to guide me into 20, as once again the map didn't compute. Then okay to 21, 22, 23, where Eugene's elastic band on us finally snapped. I in turn lost sight of Michael going to 24, but he popped out of the bushes at #25. I thus attacked the control too early, loosing a bit more time before the finish.
Came in in 2nd place, just 3 mins down on Tim. Eugene lost lots of time in the last 1.3km and only finished 3.5 min after I did, so he took 3rd.
Nice to finally have a good Champs result this year.