Tim Watkins Blodslitet 6th
I woke up feeling pretty rough still and tired despite getting 9 hours sleep. Left hip also slightly sore from where I landed on it yesterday.
The race started and the pace was manageable, all together through the first 5 controls, I took a worse line to the 4th control so was a little (20s) back into 5 instead of being right at the front and then onto 6 (actually 3, due to 2-5 being the first mini score gaffel). I then chose Paul's route to 3 but saw him cutting in very early, so I continued along my path on my own, until I realised I was on the wrong path and had missed the one I wanted. Lots of slow cutting through prickly bushes and atop pavement followed, until I eventually popped out somewhere I recognised, from where I could head easily to the control. Unfortunately I missed the control by about 20m (thinking crag would be obvious to spot, but it was tucked behind a rock) and looped around for 4 minutes before coming back. The race now well and truly gone. From here my navigation was really poor for the next few, I was feeling very tired (not helped by not being 100% over the cold) and wasn't reading the map well. I decided to slow down once on the northern section as I wasn't on top form mentally and wanted to be clean, where the women's race had caught me up.
Other than a three minute mistake (due to getting distracted from my bearing) I was going decent here, although slow. Going down the hill towards the second road crossing I realised my hip which had been a little sore from falling on it yesterday was now slowing me down. So I slowed down. Somehow got fastest split on the A course for what was effectively a running leg down the road, and even got overtaken by course B and C winners on it, don't know what everyone else were playing at here.
I was now more into the terrain, and realising paths were gold and now running/walking slow enough to pick them correctly. The hardest control on the course I mucked up a bit - 26 (I wasn't successfully picking out the difference in rock cover of the forest, so was effectively a blind bearing with no attack point/catching feature, found after I heard someone's joyous exclaim nearby), but no issues with navigation from after the 16th all the way to the finish otherwise. Hip got progressively sorer, I was walking more than running because of it.
Net enjoyable, but plenty not to like (but a lot which was great too). Considering how the race panned out at the front, I reckon if I was feeling better and not as tired (brain and body) and with no hip bruise, I would have had a great shot at winning, but half the field would say the same I'm sure. Will be back.
3km added (approximate distance after watch ran out of battery.)https://www.sroc.routegadget.co.uk/rg2/#404&ro...