Run race ((orienteering)) 25:45  *** 2.9 km (8:53 / km)
Ran the sprint in China after the field proper. This well and truly lived up to expectations; as with the April event, much of the map was based around complex old villages, with alleys everywhere and just enough irregularity in the alleys and courtyards to make it very intense. In April the courses didn't really make the most of complexity, but here they did - apart from one long transport leg, you rarely got a chance to relax with rapid decision-making required most of the way. If the World Cup individual sprint area and courses are as good as this I'll definitely be happy.
Felt pretty good running, too, by recent standards - no real niggles (apart from brief back tightness) and generally more lively than on any other occasion since returning. Held the navigation together, too, with only a couple of 5-10 second wobbles on an area where disaster was possible (Peter Hodkinson dropped two minutes on the last control, of all places). I didn't manage to get within 50% of the winner in any of the Sprint Into Spring races so to get within striking distance of it in a field of this quality was pleasing. Robert Merl won with something in the 16s, beating the likes of Yannick Michiels and Tim Robertson (although Tim is on the comeback trail after shoulder surgery). The internationals ranged down to the 20-21 range but when all the locals were thrown in I was a bit over halfway down the list.
We're staying in Zhouqing, another in the long list of Adelaide or Perth-sized cities in China which I had not previously heard of (about 100km west of Guangzhou). It has a nice-looking lake whose shores I intend to explore more in the morning. On a pleasant Sunday afternoon (it's a novelty to be in this part of the world without serious humidity, although had I been here last week when a couple of days only got to 10, it may have been too much of a good thing) lots of people were out and about, although the parklands are large enough that the crowds weren't as overwhelming as they sometimes can be here.
And you have to put up with canned carols everywhere here, too...