Big Cross Country race this Saturday along with and OY on Sunday too .
The South Island Cross Country Champs, incorporating the Kennett Cup Steeples was held out at QEII park amongst the cracks and liquefaction of one of the worst hit areas in Christchurch as a result of several large earthquakes! I rode my bike through the war zone like east side of Christchurch avoiding as much liquefaction dust/mud as possible to get out to the race. It was good warm up and got me there in plenty of time to check out the course before the race.
I got away to a good start, pulling out into the front pack with all the top runners. They were going at a good pace and I stuck with them really closely…almost too closely when I almost missed seeing the first steeple. As with my plan I allowed myself to maintain a good pace and the top group eventually pulled away during the pass through the arena. I had Marty Lukes right behind me so close I could hear and feel him breathing down my neck!
Through the middle of the race I was able to pull away from Marty and it became evident that someone in the lead group of 4 or 5 had pulled out. So on the second last lap I managed to slot into 3rd. I gained a bit of a boost from this knowledge and had a good second last lap, maintaining the gap if not gain some of it back on the leaders and pushing Marty a bit further back. The last lap was hard work. I knew if I maintained my current tempo I would come out with 3rd place, but it was hard work keeping it up! I think I may have done quite a good job of that and think I might have gained a slight bit back on the other too!
I finished strongly as always into third place, about a minute faster around the circuit than last year too! I earned myself a medal and got to stand up on the podium which was pretty cool. I good race for me, I think the toughness of Cross Country combined with a longer distance worked quite nicely in my favour. Looking forward to running in the Canterbury Cross Country Champs in two weeks time now!
Orienteering on Sunday was held out at Leithfield Beach. It was an interesting course and I got a lot out of it even though I didn’t have the greatest of runs. Might have been a little bit tired from yesterday’s Cross Country!