Run race ((orienteering)) 1:09:16  *** 4.7 km (14:44 / km) +140m 12:50 / km
NSW Middle at Gardiners Gap. This would have been epic even if it wasn't the first proper race back for most of us, plunging into the sandstone labyrinth (with post-bushfire regrowth and fallen timber adding to the mix).
I knew it was going to be a slow day when Steve came back with something over 10 min/km (a threshold I managed to break on exactly two legs, the finish being one of them). Went off line at 2 and dropped about 90 seconds. Otherwise my fine navigation wasn't working too badly, but I got a poor line at 9 (not helped by turning back from a mapped gap whose passability was ambitious) and dropped probably 3 minutes on that. Was running sort of OK through the first half but, as with last week, jarred the sore glute (which had been reasonable) with an awkward step on the way to 8 and was struggling with it most of the rest of the way. (It's come up very sore tonight, and if it's like this tomorrow it's doubtful I'll be able to run, but past experience is that it usually improves quickly - whether it's 18-hours-quickly remains to be seen).
There were two in the field fast enough to beat me with a half-decent run. Scott did, easily, but Matt Stocks came unstuck badly enough that I caught him 6 minutes at 16 (or more accurately, he recaught me after I'd gone through him). Ended up with my second Middle Distance second place of the year, but the multitude of other classes also running this course meant a few others claimed my scalp for the first time (I think), including Tracy, and Simon and Rebecca George. (In my first outing at this venue, in 1997, Cassie came within one second of beating me on km rates).
Encountered Aston, Caitlin and Ewan in a Goulburn bakery this morning. I was about to relate a story from the 1999 nationals there (the one which involved a carload of orienteers being pulled up by the police in possession of bags of white powder which were actually sports drink), and realised that none of my potential audience had been born yet.