Run race ((orienteering)) 51:02  *** 7.0 km (7:17 / km) +190m 6:25 / km
Victorian Relays at Brimbank Park, a combination of running race in open parkland and tough slog on steep, long-grassy slopes. As has usually been the case in recent years, I ran first leg for a Yarra Valley team which wasn't going to be competitive for the win but was hoping to be challenging in midfield. At least this year I had a teammate under 60 (Glen White, a relative newcomer to the sport with a couple of highly promising sons of late primary-school age).
The start was part of the running race component and I was rather left behind (seemed worse than it was because there were also course 2 people with shorter splits in the mix). Eventually settled into a contest with Chris Norwood, who was a little faster than me in the open but a little slower in rougher country. We both missed the first really rough control, 11, a bit (maybe 30 seconds for me, a bit more for him). The next couple of legs across the steep river slope reminded me of some of the hard-to-stand-up slopes in Switzerland and were slow going. Open out again after that and we caught Belinda just before the spectator leg. Chris then got away from me a bit on a short split on the final loop, while I lost contact with Belinda when I didn't read my descriptions properly at 24 and went to the top of the boulder cluster rather than its foot. Ended up about 20-30 seconds behind them (but 9 minutes behind the lead pack, led by Toph).
Unfortunately Glen missed a control in the easy parkland so we didn't get a result, although I think we would have been down around 8th. MFR won fairly comfortably despite a last-leg flyer from Leon.
This event will probably be best remembered for its high winds. It wasn't as bad at Brimbank as it was in some parts of town which were getting 100 km/h+ gusts, and I didn't see any debris larger than small to medium branches, but still not the most pleasant of days to be out. At one point I saw a map flying off - it was last seen 20 metres in the air and heading towards Sunshine. (If anyone finds a Brimbank Park map in Tasmania over the next couple of days, it's probably that one).