I had been back in the country 4 weeks and after a bit of a rest I was keen for some more Orienteering to test out my new-found, highly tuned orienteering skills. A short trip in the plane up to Wellington and then a short drive up the rainy coast and it was straight into orienteering again. I went in with the attitude that I could win every race, as I knew that I could it was just a matter of focusing on the nav and the rest would look after itself.
The sprint I missed a few route choices that were probably optimal and faster than the routes I took and as a result I was 10sec or so off the lead in Second place. I needed to plan ahead better, but all the same it was a good reintroduction to orienteering in NZ.
The middle I was slow to the first control, then made a route choice error to the second control however I got the control ok. Then I made a mistake on the 5th control as I didn’t read the map as closely as I should have and got a bit stuck in some thick vegetation. I did however pick the right route on the long leg and avoided the deep swamp! Later I lost anther 45 seconds on one control that might not have been quite in the right place however I was in the right place and I should have known I was right. Couple of mistakes cost me a little over 2mins which was the margin to 1st, so Second place again for the middle.
After watching the All Blacks take charge that night and win the match by going out and attacking I thought I would try the same approach for the Long distance. So I went out hard right from the beginning, and by running hard I ran in a controlled manner, keeping contact with the map, keeping focused, picking good route choices, keeping confident. I lost about 4min in total so still room for improvement, but as I ran confidently I allowed myself to take control and take the win! I had about 3mins over second place so I was pretty happy with this start to my 2012 campaign!
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