Last weekend was the Otago champs and South Island Secondary schools champs. It has only been 5 or so months since the last Otago Champs but anyway the lack of Orienteering in Canterbury has meant that you have to make the most of whats on offer. I headed down on Friday night staying in Omarama overnight then on to Roxburgh for the Middle distance on a map that I used as planner for the NZ sprint orienteering champs last year. The map had been converted to standard symbols suitable for a longer race. The area is quite compact but there was more than enough terrain for a good course to be set. I enjoyed being able to run here, and kept good focus around the course. I made a couple of very small errors so I was reasonably happy with my run although Carsten was still faster than me! So there was definitely some room for improvement…such as making good route choice options.
Day 2 was a the long distance race on the same map as last years nationals. I had a good start and was running well until I caught Carsten up 3mins and took the lead. Once in the lead I made a mistake, Carsten got ahead, I panicked, eventually found the control and sprinted off….I was heading int eh right direction but then halfway to the control I decided I was going way out-of-the-way to get to control 14 so corrected and Carsten was back insight…then I realised I had gone straight past 13 and had to go back. crap. It was game over there and then. I tried to get back on the horse but by that stage I had already stuffed my chances and made more and more mistakes. The orienteering completely fell apart and I reverted back to the old style of orienteering I became really good at. What I really needed to do was to maintain focus and Orienteer myself around the course, the speed I was travelling was not relevant and I just needed to take those extra few seconds to sort my shit out and not rush things. A valuable lesson learned for next week and the National Champs!