Run race ((orienteering)) 1:14:35  *** 5.9 km (12:38 / km) +440m 9:12 / km
Long distance day of the Costa Calida event - adding Spain to my list of countries competed in. Arriving at the event (finally getting to see the scenery after breaking out of the fog) it looked like it was going to be physical, an impression not dispelled by a set of winning times which suggested that the setters thought Olav Lundanes was going to do 7 min/km (they were right). It was indeed physical; the ground and the formations in many places reminded me of the steep bits of some of the Burra/Worlds End terrain, although the vegetation is very different, with low shrubs making it hard work to run through even when level.
I feared the worst when I struggled with a modest hill on the way to #2 (which I then compounded by doing more climb than I needed to when going past the control, a one-minuter which was my last mistake of the day of any size). At this stage it was already apparent that the advertised 5% climb bore about as much resemblance to reality as a Donald Trump tweetstorm. I did gradually get into it, getting a bit stronger as it went on (although still not running much of the steeper hills); the splits suggest that I didn't handle the very steep descent into #4 well, but at least I hit the control. Had a good stretch from 8 to 11 - perhaps the most South Australian bit of the terrain - with three top-six splits and thought I might have a chance of getting under 70, but I'd underestimated the gnarliness of a couple of the late control placements.
I knew others would be finding it tough too, but still placed higher than I expected, 6th in a field of 50-odd. There's a chasing start tomorrow, with the times sufficiently closely bunched on both sides that anything between 2nd and 13th is well within the bounds of decent-run plausibility. I'll be particularly pleased if I manage to stay in front of the bunch of six 1.20 apart between 1.30 and 3.00 behind me.