2013 has started really well. I gave up my old full time+ job and have started working part time at a local outdoors shop. The luxurious lifestyle of training in the daylight and recovering well means that I'm running better than ever before.
The orienteering season has also started well and I've managed to secure myself spots in the GB world championships and the world games teams. In addition to this flag-chasing, I'm going to continue to race some of the world's steepest races for the Arc'teryx skyrunning team. In short: this year is looking pretty awesome.
So here is the provisional schedule of big competitions:
|Photo credit: Ian Corless|
May 18th: Cara Amon Vertical KM, Barruera, Pyrenees.
The first skyrace revisits the 2012 SkyGames course so familiar but painful territory. They seem to have interpreted the kilometre description generously and are boasting a massive 1380m of ascent and a summit finish at 2450m. There better be a damn good view at the top...
|Competing in the 2011 Nordic Tour|
June 1st-8th: Nordic Orienteering Tour, Norway, Sweden, Finland
(subject to selection)
The next few rounds of the orienteering World Cup are a bit of an expensive procession through Scandinavia, sticking mainly to the tarmac around towns while waving at the quality forest terrain. Still, that should suit me given my recent focus on sprint orienteering and I'll hope to continue a promising start to the 2013 world cup.
|From the race website|
June 28th: Mont Blanc Vertical KM, Chamonix, France
The second VK of the year and a new course. As a 'warm up' event to the Mont Blanc marathon I expect the place will be buzzing.
|Photo from the event website.|
July 6-14th: World Orienteering Championships, Vuokatti, Finland
The World Orienteering Championships are the main focus for the year and are being held in the far north of Finland. I've made the British team for the sprint distance and looking to improve on my 11th place from last year.
|Photo from the event website|
July 19th-21st: European Skyrunning championships, Dolomites, Italy
Although I will be sad not to defend my Snowdon race title, I am already ridiculously excited about racing in the Dolomites. I will definitely run the vertical KM, which, given it starts at 1400m, will rank amongst the hardest things I've ever done. I am really hoping to run the skyrace (22km, 1750m ascent/descent) but I am going to make a decision on that at the time as it may just all be too much in a busy month.
August 1st-5th: The World Games, Cali, Columbia
We've got a small but strong British team for the World Games this summer and I'm very proud to be part of it. It will be the closest thing I'll ever get to the Olympics and a great chance to go to South America. But it's not just a holiday as with both a sprint and sprint relay on the programme, the races will be as important to me as the world championships.
And after that, a well needed break I expect! I've got a few other races in mind, particularly another skyrunning race in Italy in October but I hope to spend the end of the year putting in the miles that will set me up for 2014.
Writing all these races up has made me feel very lucky and spoilt so I do have to say a big thank you to Arc'teryx for giving me these crazy opportunities and the Skyrunning Federation for sorting a lot of logistics for me. It would also be rude to leave out British Orienteering who also do a lot to help me throughout the year.