Orienteering race (Australian Sprint Champs) 18:50  *** 4.0 km (4:43 / km)
spiked:22/27c shoes: x-talon 212
Probably the only person in the field who didn't have someone to chase, with Andy on commentary rather than running. Started hard and aimed left of the control. Surprised to hit it dead on, even more surprised when I read the code and realised that mine was the control 30m further along the bank. Lost a touch more time at #2 when I assumed we weren't allowed in the garden and ran to the end of the wall to find a surprising lack of control. Probably a good thing that I didn't know how far off the pace I already was. Apparently was a bit slow on the short direction change to 3 as well, but smooth through 4,5,6. Surprised to see the long leg to 7, but saw a route that looked alright straight up and just decided to hammer it. NW, across the bridge and the middle island etc. 8 and 9 OK also.
Intended to angle across the big vacant block to 10, but it looked sandy and there was a fence on the far side and I couldn't handle disrupting my running rhythm, so went around.
Went NE out of 10 and around to 11. 12 and 13 straight forward. Was a little hesitant checking the placement of 14 and getting down to it, then picked a poor route to 15. Went up, then straight over the bridge and then SE. Thought I had picked a shortcut up a staircasse and through the hotel, but couldn't see it as I approached, so bailed rather than risking it and went around the foreshore. 16-19 were clean. A bit hesitant to 20. Didn't see the gap in the veg and went zig zag, then left. 21, 22 OK. Very hesitant through 23 and 24, but ended up in the right place without any major errors. Left 24 in the wrong direction for a few steps before correcting. 25-26 probably not a great route. Smooth into the last one, but I wasn't convinced it was mine, and my description holder was too short to display all the descriptions, so unfolded my map to double check before bolting up the shoot.
Splits would suggest that if absolutely perfect I could have run in the low 18's. Best legs are the long ones, where reading detail in the circle is less important, so I guess there's still room for improvement, but I'm pretty happy with that effort.
Would have been equal 9th in juniors, but they don't count, so nabbed a 7th place. Best result in an individual Oz Champs race ever, even as a junior...