Back in the mainland this year it was good to have the Nationals essentially at home in the Nelson region. This was Nationals number 15 in a row (Tom stole my fun fact in his blog…. luckily I am able to out do him). Training wise since Coast to Coast and Absolute Wilderness I had had hardly any chance to get in any real training so I just had one target in mind and that was the Long.
The sprint went well as a warm up apart from one mistake midway through the race which cost me 30-40 seconds, but only really one place as it turned out. I was a bit upset initially until later I found out I ended up 5th.
The middle was a complete disaster, I didn’t go in with quite the right mindset and blew out big time on the first control. I tried to regather but again made a huge mistake and did some soul searching while trying to find the control. Eventually I did something I’m not proud of, something I’ve never done before, I gave up. I willed myself around the rest of the course for “training” then deliberately didn’t punch a control so I wouldn’t end up with a result. As it turned out I also “accidentally” mis-puched on another control right at the end too so a bad day all round. Some days it just doesn’t happen, other days you don’t make it happen either, this was a case of both I think….
Roll on the Long. This is a race I was ready for, I was focused calm and did the job. I had a navigationally mostly clean race on a course that suited me, rough with lots of climb. I lost a bit through route choice and then silly little errors at the end but it was enough to secure 3rd place behind Chris and Matt and just in front of Tom.
I worked my way back into the relay selectors favour and managed to claim the top spot in the #2 PAPO relay team. I had not a good nor bad race, after some set backs such as someone stepping on the back of my shoe, pulling it off during the race! I finished with a bit more control than when I started and managed to slip back into the top ten finishers on first leg. Unfortunately the second leg runner in my team got carried away in the heat of the moment and punched the wrong control meaning that we were disqualified, which was a bit sad as we finished up in 5th place timing wise.
After the relay it wastime to say goodbye and good luck to those heading to Godzone while I headed back to Christchurch for wrist surgery!