JUKOLA - OK Ravinen 2 - 5th Leg - 61st on leg,
An ill Emil took a bit longer than expected to come in but I was still shaking with excitement at handover. Saw Scott come in after 5th leg just before I headed out, which wasn't the nicest sight but I knew I could still make up some places.
It was really weird once I finally got tagged. I opened my map pretty much straight away but I was focusing on smashing the 1km run out of the field to the start kite. Felt quite sleepy and unfocused once I began to look at the course. Got to the start kite eventually and I thought I was prepared. However, I hit a bit of green that I was not expecting to see, so I wiggled about for a bit climbing up the steep slope. Hit the next green but had no idea where I was so just went through. Then got to the marsh thinking it was the green and ended up climbing to slope too far right. Half a minute of relocating eventually made me realise this and I was in a bit of a shocked state when I found my first control. I realised Jukola is tough, even in this "easy" area.
Right time to focus. I headed down the spur and bonked off the big rock. Bang on line. Through the marsh and I began to climb the hill, picking off a few people I thought were probably on my leg. Got to the green and it wasn't too bad, so I headed through and then followed the hill. Came too low and had a bit to climb to the TV camera.
3 was very straightforward although I chose to go round the open, lost some time on the guys I had caught up here.
4 was another joke and I just pushed to overtake lots of leg 4 runners and perhaps a few leg 5s.
Straight out to the track going to 5 and it was quite a pretty sight in the sun with the morning dew. Veered off slightly going up the hill to overtake the endless line of people on a newly made footpath. Ended up landing on the control from on top of the cliff.
6 was a pretty bad control. The best route would have been to follow the top of the hill and then dip down. But the track went straight through the green and I followed it unfortunately. This led to a small miss and a bit of back tracking with 2 other leg 5 runners.
Began to drop them both heading up the hill to 7, after fighting through the green. Hardly looked at the map going to 8 and I was just focusing on heading to the corner of the hill and dropping my followers. Could have sworn I heard my name being whispered right behind me when there was no one there, creeped me out a bit, but then again it was 4 in the morning and I hadn't slept.
I was chuffed with 9, spotted that everyone was climbing too high and I nipped in front of a pack and I shot down the hill before I could be followed.
Nearly headed right like everyone else did to 10, but suddenly I noticed left was much better. This route was slightly deserted and I was worried that I was OOB but I wasn't... Must have been a coincidence/gaffling. Approaching the control, I got confused by the white splodges on the map and stopped too early. Found it soon enough.
Kept quite close to the line going to 11, caught up some other Ravinen kid and Ewan M just before the control - he was going well! Easy control.
Don't even remember number 12, scrambling down the crag was dodgy though.
Followed the tracks to 13 and ignored the drinks, but should have checked my compass. Headed to the wrong control and had to relocate quickly, wasting a few seconds.
Thought that going left of the green would surely be the fastest way to 14. But then I got there and there were no tracks and it looked pretty dirty so I headed right. This was a much trickier approach and I unintentionally veered off right. Had to relocate once more on a hunch which wasn't good and was relieved to find it.
Knew there would be tracks to 15 straight through the green. Caught up some other runner and began to push the pace with him. I found myself in the re-entrant but headed down it too far and had to make a 90 degree turn up the steep side. Big group of leg 5 runners came down just as I headed up.
Caught a few of them quite soon going down to 16, it was a pretty easy control too. Then began to really push to the end. Took a few more leg 5s but it was tricky to overtake them on such a narrow path. Avoided the mix up on the last control and then nailed it to the finish as hard as I could. Got out sprinted by some guy that didn't look too tired. Through map handover and done. Shattered.
Quite happy with that performance although I think there might have been as much as 5 minutes of hesitating and faffing. Had the best leg position in the team but then again leg 5 was probably one of the easiest. Still hope I turned some heads in the club. Brought us from 135 to 116 and a mere 10 minutes off Scott. Could have been lower though.....
DOMA map will come soon