Orienteering race (JEC Long) 1:01:51  *** 9.12 km (6:47 / km) +263m 5:56 / km
Having had a poor first race and solid relay I was hoping I could redeem myself much like I did at EYOC. This relied on far more focus and concentration than I had in the sprint. I knew I had the physical form for a tough long race having had a solid training block leading into JEC but I was still doubtful of how my technique would stand up to a well planned race. I hadn't really changed anything specific about my preparation but I was much more relaxed heading into the race.
The First 4 controls were not perfect but they were well executed and I was able to quickly concentrate and adapt to the changes in terrain. I ran a well executed leg holding the line I wanted to for 5 and then held good direction over to 6.
In hindsight probably a poor route to 7 although I was able to get across much of the tough vegetation quite well. This however wasn't really a leg that lent itself to running straight. Steady through 8 and 9 managing to plan 10.
The long leg was poorly executed from me. Despite a strong plan and a good quick start, for the first time so far in the race I lost concentration. I kept on running on my bearing with utter disregard for everything around me and before I stopped myself I had dropped far too far and had managed to run into a large part of vegetation filled open. By the time I had corrected this I had lost around 2 minutes on the leg through error.
Back on track I cruised through 11 and 12 but poor direction in the green lost me another minutes on 13. I slowed my pace and concentrated on my compass and got through the green with no further errors.
The terrain became more open till the end of the course and despite the increase in bracken and marshes runnability did too. I was strong over the hill and through spectator. The worst moment of the final loop was losing my compass in the bracken and searching for it for 20s. I subsequently had poor direction into the control.
I finished 9th. It could have been better but the positives were overwhelming. I would have never have dreamed to be only 5 minutes down on JWOC medalists a few months ago and my physical strength over the race was the best I have had. Yes I need to work on my technique but that will come over time. It was a much better end to the season than the previous two races had indicated. Winter training will be easier with my motivation to eliminate these weaknesses.