This race was the main priority of the weekend and I had been preparing for it many weeks in advance. Having run in Moreau twice before I had an idea what was instore. However nobody had ever set a technical race like an Blue Middle in this terrain before and I suspected it was going to be more difficult then expected. Thus my game plan was to take the first control in particular extremely carefully never loosing contact. This strategy couldn't have worked out better because as it turns out, the first leg was one of the hardest in the whole course!
After nailing the first couple controls I started to warm up to the map. I kept my speed at a comfortable level always slowing down whenever I needed to spend extra time to read the map, which was often. I knew loosing contact in Moreau would be disastrous and my entire game plan was dedicated to minimizing this possibility. In essence I was trusting my own orienteering ability to carry me through the course. My hope was to win but that depended on everyone elses orienteering ability being weeker then mine.
By #6 I had caught Jeff who had started before me. We blasted off to #7 heading straight for a trail. I knew that the trails were indistinct and noticed that we had overrun the trail a couple of meters. Turning 90 degrees I caught the trail and spiked #7. I had left Jeff and now caught Hans who had started before Jeff. I was running very strong by this point but Hans is no slouch. The increased pressure caused me to push a little to hard in this midsection of the course and I made some silly mistakes. Thankfully I always recovered but this was bad orienteering on my part.
Eventually Hans drifted behind and I was alone again. Now I had just the last string of controls till the end of the course. Taking advantage of the final long leg being relatively easy to attack I opened the throttle and with adrenaline pumping, ripped through the final controls into the finish.
Unable to contain my the surge of relief and joy at succeeding in the
Middle distance of the Spring I jumped around savouring the moment. Eventually I found myself back at the results tent with an excellent time and one of the best races I've run to date. Later I analysed the course with new coach Toni and came to the conclusion that in fact my orienteering had been quite terrible. After ranking my course's leg by leg execution and planning we came to the conclusion that the quality of my orienteering was a dire 5/10!
This was the beginning of a new level of orienteering for me. The super elite.