Sprint number one on the day! I have felt fresher than this before most sprint races in my life, to put it mildly. The plantar fasciitis in my left heel was feeling tender and my quads didn't really want to uncringe after the last couple of days of racing. However, I didn't really sweat it, I focused on the thought that the soreness would disappear when the race started and that I just needed to go have a clean race.
That prospect disappeared immediately after the race began. I very quickly found the triangle and the first control on the map, and saw a clever shortcut through the cemetery that kept really close to the line. I was pleased, and started running without having finished the planning on the leg. It took me too long to recognize that the flag was actually on the backside of the long building, and by the time I came to grips with this disaster I decided that cutting left around the compound was the lesser of two evils. As I punched, I saw Nick coming into the control. Okay, so 1 minute lost.
Doesn't help to give in to discouragement while in the middle of a race. So I kept pushing as best I could. Nick rolled through me at a steady pace, passing me when I hesitated in the circle at 7 (eyes just failing at that point), and it wasn't too long before Damian caught us (on the way to 8), at which point Nick seemed to pick up a gear, leaving me farther and farther behind. I could sense Will behind me, and did my best to fend him off, but just didn't have the speed even when navigating very cleanly for most of the race.
The route to 19 was interesting I thought, and I think I chose a good line down to the field and to the cliff. And for the most part I am satisfied with how I shook off the terrible start and got back into the race. Given how unhappy my legs were feeling, that is the top speed that I could have expected from myself. Great to see the speed that Damian and Will and Greg showed out there. Something to aspire to!