Orienteering race (Championship) 17:14  * 2.9 km (5:57 / km)
ahr:177 max:188 spiked:22/26c slept:5.5 shoes: £20 Lightweight Running Shoes
British Sprint Championships at Warwick University's West Campus: Qualifier, am. I was in Heat 1 (there were four Men's heats, going off simultaneously at one minute intervals.)
The sprint map of Warwick is simply beautiful to look at (I must take notes for my own London map) and it was certainly easier to run on than the devilish JK sprint map a couple of weeks ago at Surrey University.
I arrived at the event with seconds before call-up, having cycled over the hills from Leamington Spa, 13km away, thanks to a missed bus earlier in the morning in snowy London. This was perhaps a good warm-up though, as I didn't feel too bad as I went off fast at the start. After an initial switchback section through residential blocks, there were two controls in a small wood. Here I made my biggest mistake - a forty second swing well away from Control 8, ending up on the wrong side of an out-of-bounds area to No. 9. Fixing this error took quite a while. From then on, it was pretty smooth, overshooting slightly at No. 12 and 19, and guessing the wrong side of an uncrossable wall at No. 15. None of these mistakes cost me more than 15s each.
So, a great run - until I got to the finish to find I was apparently missing the first 19 controls. My hired EMIT card had somehow managed to reset itself and erase its memory on the way to control 20. As I was tap-punching, there was no paper record so I was disqualified.
Anyway, I would have come joint 22nd, just missing out on the "B Final" and instead being near the top of the "C Final". As it was, I was stuck in the shorter "E Final" along with the genuine disqualifiees and genuine slow people. As it stands, I would have been even more upset if I'd missed out on the B Final and the chance of UK Cup points.
Cycling tempo (To Station) 35:00  10.5 km (3:20 / km)
To Marble Arch, then (after bus drove straight past in the heavy snow) to Marylebone. Really, really cold and snowy - took a while to thaw out on the train.
Cycling hills (To Event) 37:00  12.8 km (2:53 / km)
From Leamington Spa to Warwick University, via Stoneleigh. Very beautiful - blue sky, but a couple of inches of snow on all the trees and fields. Exhilarating. I had to keep the pace up as was cutting it very fine to the (non-moveable) start of my sprint race. Quite a few small hills on the way.
Cycling hills (From Event) 40:30  13.9 km (2:55 / km)
Back to Leamington Spa - at a more relaxed pace. One noticeably big hill (10%) on my way back.
Cycling warm up/down (Back Home) 38:00  10.5 km (3:37 / km)
Back home from Marylebone - along Euston Road, then along the Regent's Canal from Islington.
Orienteering race (Championship) 13:26  ** 2.4 km (5:36 / km)
ahr:177 max:188 spiked:23/24c shoes: £20 Lightweight Running Shoes
British Sprint Championships at Warwick University's Central and East Campus, pm Finals. Great specator-friendly start and finish arena, we watched the elites start and finish and then it was everyone else's turn.
The area was slightly more technical than the morning, but still very easy. There were only a few route-choice legs, and just one trap leg - and I spotted the trap after only wasting a few seconds. A true sprint.
I was in the Men's E Final, which was the bottom one - thanks to my technical disqualification earlier in the day (I had since swapped my hired EMIT card for a working one.) I had a clean race, with no significant mistakes at all - the controls were coming thick and fast with one every 100m on average. I did punch one extra control - but it was on the way, so no time lost. My route to No. 14 was also wrong - but at the most 10s lost. I was very pleased with my run and my time - it's just a shame the course was over so quickly!
On that disqualification...
[rant]It wasn't my fault at all - I had received the "scrolly" feedback at each control - or doubled back to repunch. Unfortunately we are expected to lay-punch to create the paper record - something that is just not feasible if you are going to have a competitive run. It shouldn't be possible to punch in more than one way. Hopefully people will start to realise as more and more EMIT cards start to fail, that the real problem is not the competitor technique, but the technology.
I'm amazed also that the download officials didn't seem concerned. I would kind of expect them to at least promise some kind of investigation and followup, rather than just shrugging shoulders and saying "never happened before". What's the betting that next time it happens to someone, it will also be the "first time"? They didn't even suggest changing card - I had to do that on my own initiative. I think they just didn't believe me and thought I was just cheating. Fair enough to put the blame on me if I was punching too quickly and *not checking* the LCD screen after each control. But this it was not what happened here. It was not my fault, and the lack of card backup is nothing to do with it. Really disappointing.[/rant]