I was fairly happy with the way things went in 2011…
Running wise I definitely showed some improvement, going from 16:20 for 5km to around the 16:00 mark. I have also moved myself from just an also ran to one of the fastest in Canterbury…all be it towards the bottom end a bit.
Favorite Running race would have to be Avalanche Peak, I was feeling a little undercooked on the long distance stuff, but improved my time up to the summit by over 1min, and improved my time from the previous year but 3 measly seconds!
Biggest race was the National Cross Country Champs. I perhaps didn’t do as well as I thought however I still ran 2mins faster than 2 weeks prior in the Canterbury Champs, but the competition was just so fast! It was an exciting experience and I was obviously very proud to be representing Canterbury. I finished in 25th place.
Orienteering wise 2011 was an odd one…. as 2010 rolled out I felt I was in a good place with my orienteering so I thought why not give WOC another crack with the attitude that I wasn’t targeting WOC specifically, but if I managed to cement my place in the team I would go along and treat the races as more experience for 2012.
As it turned out the Earthquake on February 22nd was fairly devastating, killing people, buildings, the hills and any orienteering events in the foreseeable future…. Training all but stopped for about a week, then while everyone stayed inside and at home I got out and ran around a bit. I felt guilty for not being able to help but running helped me get back to reality. And instead of relying on events in Christchurch I had to diversify and get out of town a bit to get in some orienteering.
Come Nationals I was a definite underdog, completely discounted by just about all the North Islanders…but I showed them and took out second place in the middle distance race, and then with Carsten and Selena we won the Club relay champs for the first time in many years. I hit the bottom with my orienteering about Qbday last year failing to be selected for the Pinestars….and it was probably justified as I finished consistently just inside the top 10 each day.
Switzerland was an eye opener and then training in France was excited yet daunting and at the same time very educational. My WOC races were very good technically but lacking a bit in the speed mainly due to confidence….bring on the second half of 2011.
Once back in NZ and over the depression of coming back into winter, it was time to get back into orienteering. My attitude and approach completely changed, and my results completely changed too. I became very consistent and without really trying gained some good results. It took the Canterbury Champs to work out exactly how I had done it but I ended 2011 on a high note with possible my best run of the year at Acheron, taking out Chris by 5mins. It wasn’t so much the win that I enjoyed but the fact I had a really solid and fun race.
Favorite and best race of the year: Canterbury Champs at Acheron!
So to round out 2011 there was time for one last rogaine, the Christmas Twilight Rogaine, on the Port Hills out towards Tai Tapu. A new and interesting area with a new and interesting team mate 😉
December the 23rd was a good day to get out of Christchurch and We headed down to Dunedin for Christmas. I took my mountain bike out on some of the single track around the hills, explored a few new places. The most important competition however was the Boxing day family Optimist races on lake Waihola. I think Joel probably took the best of 5 but there was some tight and intense racing at times 🙂
New Years eve was celebrated in Wanaka on the Nolex 25, interluded by running and Waterskiing. Then it was a short trip down further south for the NZ trailer Yacht Champs on Lake Te Anau. Day 1 of the champs was a hard day out on the water. The wind was strong and it was hard physical racing. Day 2 was much calmer but just as intense. A win in the last race put us into 2nd place overall which was a very satisfying outcome!