Orienteering 5:15:00  23.96 km (13:09 / km) +1500m 10:01 / km
After a freezing night, got some warm porridge in and a sandwich and was fairly amped up to go. Kitted out in thermal and tights as my stuff from the day before was soaked. This would turn out to be a very bad call when the sun was scorching later in the day.
Colm marked in the opening cluster and I set the pace up the Mourne Wall towards Binnian. We were moving well here and through the next few, following closely behind Matthew Vokes and Ben Windsor. A brutal climb up to the first of the next cluster kind of took the impetus out of racing, as we got dropped by Matt and Ben and then passed by the teams in first and second. Decided on the straight route on the long leg which was a fairly terrible decision as Colm bonked hard on the climbs and my feet and ankles were in absolute bits.
Rambled through the next few in absolutely manky terrain going really, really slowly. I was down to a walk as I couldn't put the ball of my foot on the ground, it was rubbed raw! Looking at splits, we were keeping pace with other teams which was surprising to see. Then to add insult to injury, we bottled 20-25' on a mismarked control right near the end. The appearance of Conall and Oisin sparked us up a bit and Colm took my bag on the flat path so my feet weren't the worst. I returned the favour ascending Meelmore and it was downhill from there thankfully as we were pretty depleted at this stage, more mentally than physically.
Somehow managed to retain 5th overall but a pretty dire day all round. Definitely didn't play to our strengths and the other teams going through us so easily early on didn't help our spirits.
Despite how the day went, really enjoyed my first Mournes and will most certainly be back. Lessons learned for sure. The post trip blues hit hard in work on Monday then. Everyday life is pure grim in comparison to a weekend rambling around the mountains with your mates. Can't be beat.