A couple of silly blunders near the end marred an otherwise very good HH District race at Northaw Great Wood, near Cuffley. I ran the Brown course, as it had just stopped raining. The forest was still damp, but this was actually rather nice as it kept me cool.
Legs 1-3 were long but straightforward. I took a bit of a lazy route choice to 4, and drifted off for 5. One characteristic of this race were lovely long, downhill legs. 7-8 was one of these, and was very nice. I had another poor route choice on a very short leg (11-12), mainly to avoid some nasty undergrowth – but on the whole, the area was suprisingly free of undergrowth, and very nice to run in. 15-16 was another lovely long (1km+) leg downhill. I ran fast, but got clogged up in some unmarked light green, so started to make mistakes. I exited 16 very badly, but the worst mistakes of the race were made after I stopped paying attention to my compass and was generally very tired. They were 18-19 (too far to the right and too high) and 19-20 (too far to the left and too low.)
If I hadn’t made these final mistakes I would have finished 3rd – a best ever result on Brown – still, my time was fast and I am very pleased with the result – finishing 8th out of 38 runners, and just 5.5 mins down on the winner.
This was possibly my latest ever start – I didn’t get out of bed until 1015 – a real luxury lie in! And yet I was running by 1230.
I was trying out my new birthday present today – a top-of-the-range fast setting thumb compass. It certainly was fast setting, but I need to get used to the way thumb compasses work (everything’s kind of backwards.) After trying to use it properly for the first couple of legs, I ended up using it as a simple compass for the remainder. It requires diligence to rotate the map correctly – not something I normally do.
Felt a bit bad on uphill sections in the early part of the race, but was fine later – and didn’t experience the “power surge” feeling after the race, as I warmed down properly. Pretty knackered now though!
Looking forward to the British Middle Distance champs next Saturday.
Leg 5: Poor concentration
Leg 7: Unanticpated hazard
Leg 9: Poor navigation
Leg 12: Poor route choice
Leg 17: Poor route choice
Leg 19: Poor concentration
Leg 20: Poor concentration
Ran 10.3km for this 8.6km course – 20% extra.
Raw speed: 6.2mpk. Route.