Dunno where my maps have gone at the moment. Looking at TBT I now see many seconds saving options I could have taken but such is the nature of sprints! Only real issue I had was #4, missing the track in but then I was on the north of the loop track so didn't see it. Realised quickly when I went past the far end and corrected well. Did everything else as planned.
Very happy with execution and planning of the northern loop although slightly overshot the fork just prior to #17 because the bitumen was shown as going slightly further! Finished off strongly, if only I could ride the rest of the course as fast as the last three controls but then too busy thinking during the rest of the course.
What a fun event!
Orienteering (MTB) race (Cart Before the Horse) 1:01:50*** 19.23 km (18.7 kph) +214m ahr:161 max:181 spiked:21/23c shoes: Giant XTC Advanced SL 29er
Australian Middle Champs
WA Middle Champ for the 9th consecutive year. Shame about the national title as it's the one I haven't won yet. Made a 1.5 minute error on #8 but otherwise reasonably clean, just not as fast as Angus.
Fell into a creek at one point. Kept expecting Angus to catch me since I saw him as I was coming out of #8 and figured he'd gained time whereas he thought I'd gained time. Shame that wasn't the case.
Hit the slow tracks after that but recognised them as Duncan mapping. Too bad Angus also recognised them...
Ahh well, I went into the weekend thinking he'd beat me at both events so good to go 1-1 with him!
Score course at Turner Hill. I was last starter after sitting on rego all afternoon trying to get printers to work. Got the results printer to work but not the splits one because it's stupid. I never really found out what was wrong with it or how Boltboi made it work the next day. By the time I went out, around 2/3 of the field had already returned and they enjoyed mainly fine, dry conditions.
Went hard to the first three controls then my chain came off on the way into the third one and I suddenly decided going hard was stupid with the Important races the next day. Picked up the stupid 35 point control on the other side of Del Park Rd after I knew at least a couple of others had, even though they said it wasn't worth it (it was given the time it took to get it versus the time on some of the 10 point controls) even with a slippery ascent.
Got back over to the south side of Del Park Rd and grabbed a couple of controls before it started raining on me and didn't stop for the rest of the event. Ended up collecting 14 of the 17 controls on offer, three more than Michael R-S in 2nd place, even though I wasn't trying all that hard. Picked up a bonus one when I went past the finish the first time because I had 5 minutes to spare and knew I could cram it in. Two others I dropped were near the finish but not close enough. One other one was on a long section of single track and I would have had to pick it up early to collect it and it didn't really lend to good route choice.
I certainly blew a hole in Richard Begley's prediction that I'd clear the course in 18-20km!
Got back just on course closure with just Tash remaining at the site and Richard, Ori and Graham out on CP collection duties. We packed up everything, got to our accommodation just before the office closed and got to the pub in time to wait 3/4 of an hour for dinner when I still had plenty to do that night. Ate the spiciest burger imaginable.
Easy cruise, pre-MTBO weekend. It's hard to think of these as the Nationals, either because I've spent far too much time on the organisational front and very little on the training front or else because they're in WA so it just seems like a regular old weekend. The Aus middle title still eludes me though so I have to give it a fair crack.
KP loops with Mark, Ben & Christophe. It's been a while, a long, long while. I wasn't sure I would remember how to ride or whether I'd be able to sustain any sort of pace with all I've been (not) doing lately. Drove to KP because I had things to do afterwards, including a paddle, and duly got diverted by some knobwit stopped at the entrance to the roundabout at the top of Lovekin. The two occupants were out of the car getting something out of the boot and had no intention of moving despite the car behind trying to get through and the only way I could get past was to drive over the curb. There goes my recent wheel balancing job.
First lap I thought was at cruise pace although I did get the hurt just a tiny bit up the Forrest Rd hill and so I was subsequently quite shocked when checking the first lap time to discover it was 16:55, despite losing a couple of seconds to a turning car on the same roundabout I'd been held up on earlier. I've NEVER done a sub-17min lap with these guys and it didn't even feel that hard! Ben led for most of that lap so I took the lead on the second and subsequently blew it out to over 17, then we went a bit faster on the third and managed to once again get held up by a car on the same roundabout, this time it was going around but then stopped right in front of us for no apparent reason (I can only assume looking for Pokemons) but we still managed to smash the first lap time.
In fact despite not feeling ridiculously hard, that third lap was only 21 seconds slower than my all time PB on this loop, a ride that really, really hurt (albeit on my own for most of that lap). Mark pulled off after May Dve on the third loop because the pace was too much for him but I didn't realise until we were finished. Ben went for the sprint finish because he thought I was looking in trouble but I grabbed his wheel to go with him.
Followed up that team PB (my best with this group by >2 minutes) by going to the O shed where I sank 140 SI bricks, 4 starts, 4 finishes, 4 clears and 4 checks. It makes a difference with new batteries because the whole lot took 22 minutes compared to the time I did Garvey Park, which took a half hour for around 50 bricks!
There were a whole lot of DFES people descending on Lake Monger PS as I was leaving. I counted around a dozen of them, all coming in different vehicles (of which I counted more than a dozen of those). I should have joined in for future practice! They looked like more senior people though.
Followed up that effort with yet another interview with a recruiter and I swear this was my worst interview on record. I don't think I could have said or done anything that would have made this interview any worse, unless I offered to bed the woman or walked out on the interview but then maybe either of those would have improved my standing in her eyes.
 Wasn't totally my fault, the recruiter sent me to 176 St Georges Tce instead of 167. 176 doesn't exist so at least I can write off being late as her fault ;-) Coincidentally between 172 and 178 is a Flight Centre with a currency exchange and I just happened to have all my Chinese currency with me. They were going to offer me a particularly crap rate but they have a price beat guarantee and since I told him I'd go to HSBC just down the road instead, he checked their rates and had to up his bid by around $70.
Paddling2:09:30 18.09 km (7:09 / km) ahr:114 max:134 shoes: Fenn XT
Another paddle just because I had the time. Narrows out across to Matilda Bay, further around to a red pole, across the river then to Canning Bridge and return. Amazement that I got the HR into zone 2 for 15 minutes! I thought being 200m offshore on the way back up to my start point would be enough but it turns out I was still close enough to have my rudder scrape rocks. Damn it.
Very warm when I finished. The car said it was 34 degrees. What happened to winter?
Interesting email from Cape to Cape organisers:
Cape To Cape MTB 2016 IS AT FULL CAPACITY!
We know there are a few of you out there that are still keen to ride so our Race Director has agreed to leave registrations open for a further 24 hours.
We're at full capacity but don't worry, we still have room. Perhaps the email writer doesn't understand the meaning of the word 'full'. Also got to love 'We know some of you are keen to ride...' and yet you haven't bothered to register for the event, which is only a week away. Can't be that keen.
Haven't done a core strength session since forever (14 June according to the log), mainly because the cats weed on my training plan and I haven't gotten around to printing a new one yet. Did this one on memory so just threw in whatever I felt like. I should be running fast again in no time!
Otherwise giving the legs a break from too much activity lately.
The latest Cape to Cape mailout says "We'd like to say a big WELCOME to Aqualyte who will help keep you all HYDRATED and PEDDLING STRONG during the Cape to Cape MTB 2016!" I believe they're trying to make us sell the product for them.
Last trip to Dwellingup before the weekend for a final ride around, mainly ensuring nothing drastic had happened recently and checking on a couple of logs.
I'd left my wallet in Tash's car so getting there with only a 1/4 tank of petrol was going to be a bit of an issue but I ended up raiding the money jars and came up with a reasonable amount of $1 and 50c coins to get me to $30 and I managed to find a Coles docket in the bin (my Woolworths card being in the wallet) so got petrol at a rather miserly price of 88c/L, which almost filled it up. The petrol attendant was actually quite happy about all the coins.
I drifted past the start at one point so decided to ride a course rather than finishing what I was doing then making my way all the way back here later to ride one. Rode course 6 because goodness knows no-one else is going to (it's for M12s and W12s, 14s, 70s and 80s although to be fair, we have two M12s signed up so that's two maps required).
Legs felt terrible, hence the rather crap time although that did include two stops to clear logs from the tracks. Passed a couple of cars out on the top tracks, which hopefully won't be there on the weekend but looked like the people were working and I don't expect they work weekends. Also had another piglet scurry away from me in a spot nowhere near where I encountered the last lot a few weeks ago.
Hopefully I'll have some kind of energy come this weekend otherwise I don't see that anyone will be challenging Angus from taking out three wins.
Completed the loop of track checking. Taped one very indistinct junction quite heavily because it's not at all distinguishable from any of the other two or three bulldozed areas on either side of it. Most other junctions are very obvious so have only taped a couple.
Encountered an actual person on the Bibbulmun Track and got one of those 'Are you supposed to be here?' looks, oops. To be fair to me, it's only the second time I've encountered anyone on the track in the whole time I've been riding them for course checking and mapping. I don't think our warning signs at every track crossing are going to be required.
Good that I didn't have to spend the entire day here either like in the past because there was very little to do. Even better that my car didn't blow up.
Orienteering (urban) (City Beach North) 35:16** 7.88 km (4:28 / km) +109m4:11 / km ahr:200 max:224 spiked:24/24c shoes: Salomon X-Scream blue/grey
Still not 100% yet and the legs still don't yet seem to back to full steam after China, plus the HR suggests my heart was struggling! Although the graph differs wildly to the range data, which seems more correct. How Friday's plod was much more in the red zone than today's is completely bizarre.
Sten and I went in opposite directions again this week, took different routes but once again ended up with exactly the same distance for the second week in a row but the result was much closer as we had a sprint for the finish from opposite directions although my legs decided sprinting was out of the question so he got me by just one second, lame.
Lots of early decisions to make on this course though about which way to collect the middle controls and which ones to drop. Excitement!
Paddling2:22:17  20.19 km (7:03 / km) ahr:108 max:123 shoes: Fenn XT
I was planning an epic paddle this afternoon but most of my epic time was taken up doing results for Metro (turns out I can upload results, probably should have tried this earlier rather than sending them all over the place) so I made do with the available daylight hours. Figured at least two hours would be a good effort and I wouldn't want to do much more than that anyway because paddling sucks. Never got the HR out of zone 1. Obviously not trying.
Tailwind all the way up the river and headwind all the way back but was distinctly noticeable for about the last two kilometres. Incredibly, it took almost exactly the same time to get back as it did to get out to the turnaround point.
Probably don't really need a lot of paddle training given my longest effort pre-China wasn't much more than an hour yet I managed to knock out a 5.5hr effort during that race. I expect XPD will be a lot longer. The packraft alone is billed as 4-12hrs, depending how much you paddle and how much you trek.