Tuesday, 6 April 2010


What a weekend. Where to start? My aims for the weekend were to progress from my solid start in Scotland. I wanted to take a few scalps, beat a few more people, improve my performances and above all, not have any howlers.

I was very pleased with the sprint race. It was a bit of a cross country race, so suited me well. No major time loss apart from a small bit at number 4, but just not fluent reading the map at speed. I finished with the commentators saying my time was "respectable". I thought it was a bit more than that, as I was about 45 seconds down on the winner and well packed in amongst the top British athletes (results).

My Day 2 map. It was muddy.

Day 2 was a mud bath. But same conditions for all, so it was just about getting the head down and focusing. The map didn't look difficult, but as I ran to number 1, I realised that my idea of what yellow, white and green were did not match what I was seeing. I therefore ran pretty conservatively at the start, making small mistakes, but avoiding a crisis. I picked things up throughout the course, and attacked more confidently. By the end, my map was covered in mud and with no map bag, there was nothing I could do. I just set my compass and ran, crossing the line about 2 mins down on the winner (results). I was pleased with that.

Day 3 was anything but mud. Sand in fact. It was the first race where I was in set off in the seeded lot but I was determined to still focus on myself. The 1:15000 scale map was almost impossible to read, even though I had change my compass last minute to take a magnifier out with me. I was running between circles very well, but no matter how long I stood still for and tried to work out where I was going, I couldn't pin point where the control would be in the fine detail. It seemed everyone had this problem and I ended up a very surprising 4th place and taking 5th overall, being the 3rd British runner.

My Day 3 map. No joke. It's a miracle I found anything.

I was very pleased with the result. There were a few mixed feelings about my performance, but I quickly forgot them as I realised what an achievement this was for me. It is definitely my best set of domestic results ever.

The relay day was only important in my mind but I want to get selected for the NTNUI second team at Tio Mila, so I was aware that a performance here would be advantageous. I was on first leg for Harlequins Womens Open team. After being the only runner to go to the start kite, I ran hard through the first controls to catch up places. I was probably then running a bit too fast and I wasted time on some middle controls. I settled back into a good controlled pace and did the second half pretty well. I finished about 30 secs down on Helen Bridle, second place. Happy enough.

Now its just a wait for the selections. I wonder what will happen.

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