Hmm, mixed feelings about this.
Final details state:
A-Final - 18 runners
B-Final - 75 runners
C-Final - 29 runners
However, a total of 87 runners ran in the B-final. Not a problem, unless you don't print that many maps - end result being the last 4 runners to start (i.e. those that qualified for the B-final as the fastest) had no maps available. No start official even noticed this until Peter Bray was 20 seconds away from starting and the other 3 athletes (Mark, me and Rich) were already in the start lanes. A frantic call to the assembly by the start officials to found out if there were any maps left the 4 of us deliberating what to do. If there were no maps, should we just run the A-final and declare ourselves non-comp? All decided we'd wait to see if any maps turned up....20 minutes later they did. None of us knew when we would be starting so all warm-up/drills/strides done were worthless now. The start officials coped well with our rather sarcastic comments about how world ranking events/British Champs were usually better organised (not directed at them as it wasn't their fault) but we were keeping the banter going anyway.
Anyway, onto the race itself. Completely binned the 1st control, probably due to not being quite in the right frame of mind and lsot 15secs straight away. Got the next couple OK, but took a bad route choice round to the east on #4. Got thrown by control description on #5 (foot of northern stairs), as the control was half-way up a flight of steps. Put the boot in on the long leg to #7 (fastest leg), steady through the next couple though lost direction through the cars to #9. Fast again round to #10 where I caught a glimpse of Mark ahead of me on the bridge. Got to within 10-secs of him at #12 where I could tell he wasn't pushing it, and he kept a gap of about 10-metres between us and led me round the middle section (later found out he'd lost a minute on #10 and didn't want to kill himself ahead of race tomorrow). Got ahead of him at #17 after he held the SI stake up for me as it had been knocked to the ground before him. Led him through the next few controls before a slight hesitation leaving #20 let him get back ahead, though he let me back past on the way to the last control.
Ended up with 3rd place which is actually higher than I finished last year (was 4th in the B-final) so really happy with that after only finding out I could race on Thursday. Had a bit of help from Mark through the 2nd half but was in control throughout and after the debacle at the start wasn't too fussed to gain a helping hand.