This year there was no rain…well none until about 1 hour after the last finisher! I was a bit sceptical about this mass start for the first race and was not really looking too forward to it. I started off conservatively joining in on the fight at the first 3 controls!I waited until the long leg to pull myself up to the front, by the time I hit the butterfly I was in the lead by myself! Tom and I ran around the loops, but then I took a better route choice and was hot on the heels of Tim. I wasnt sure of where exactly we were in terms of placing but I knew we had to run hard. I slipped into first place at the top of the hill before the finish, then Tim slipped past me with a better route on the 3rd last control. I remained conservative til the end checking the codes and finished at the same time as Tim who had trouble with the Finish punch! First over the line was the winner however and I had to settle for second.
That afternoon we headed out to Napier for quite a cool race around the main city centre. I made a couple of errors which cost me a small amount of time, enough to slot me back a few places. Apart from that I had the speed and managed 4th equal place.
Sunday morning I was feeling good, I was wearing my yellow Jamaica singlet, and once I flipped the map over my legs just exploded, I carried that speed right around the course navigating an almost perfect race. I lost about 10-15 seconds on one hestitation but it was good enough for me to finish with the fastest time….so far. Tim came flying in to finish also in the same time! Twice in the same weekend! This time there was no doubt and it was a clear cut equal 1st place.
That afternoon the pressure began to build and I started to get a little bit nervous. I had a good start to the race at Frimley, but got a little ahead of myself and a little into oxygen debt and forgot how to navigate cleanly. I missed a crucial route choice which I should have stopped and figured out properly before panicking and running off…whoops, the last few controls I fell to pieces and was a bit messy. I still managed to carry myself through to 11th place. I was pretty disappointed with that considering the last few races…so I was keen to resurrect things on Monday morning at Te Mata Peak….
So around came Monday morning…and the pressure built. I felt I was on top of it but it got the better of me. I once again got ahead of myself, lost focus and made a mistake, once I made the mistake I panicked. I lost 5mins and was left feeling deeply disappointed, angry and frustrated. I still finished strong but it was all a bit pointless in the end.
It was a long depressing wait that afternoon until it was time to run in the final race. I came out of the starting gates going fairly quick and fairly accurately. I knew Carsten had a bit of a jump on me and I ran super fast across the paddock to try to make it up a bit. In the process I again got ahead of myself, lost my way on the navigation front and made another big mistake. 1min down in that terrain, which was fast and flat was impossible to get back, but I gave it my best, and ran hard down to the wire.
Overall I was left really quite disappointed by the weekend, even with some good results. But as Carsten and Chris said the most important thing is to learn from the mistake and not to make it again…so I have something to work on and somewhere to go from here now!