Meeting International de Arraiolos
Long Distance WRE
Map was a lot different to Model that's for sure!!!
Was a bit worried in the arena when I heard a scandi elite being interviewed after he dnf'd, he said it was technical.
Took it safe to the first control, first part of the leg was easy but then it got tricky. Green with lots of boulers, knolls, etc. Had a nice route in though from a re-entrant. Visibility in the green wasn't good either. Lost a few seconds at the next few controls, 15 here, 30 there, but not too bothered. 7-9 were ok, tough running through green to 8.
At 9 you had to unfold the map to find 10. Map is around A3 in size, leg goes from one side of the map to the other, lengthways! (29.03 split) So a very long long leg. Picked a route but ended up starting it differently to stay with the lad from Tyrving who'd caught me 2mins. Hit a track and I pulled out my first gel, was supping from that, when the Tyrving lad just stopped and started walking??? Anyway I ploughed on, literally, ground was quite wet and muddy in places. Found my drinks station and crossed a fence. Was unsure now as I expected a fence on my right and to be following that, kept going and spotted the fence, phew, wasn't in the mood to mess up. Rest of the leg was straightforward apart from crossing the stream and ending up thigh deep.
10-15 was a butterfly of sorts. This area was technical but white, I liked this part. Did leave 15 a few degress off the bearing I wanted, but sorted myself out, ended up running a bit longer on the leg but easy route in. Ended up to right of crag so ended up jumping down it, almost landing on top of the girl with the radio sitting there.
Met a good few cows going to 18 but I had my gel before a drinks point on this leg too, second gel of the course, had one before I started too. I think it was Olle Bostrom who passed me between 18-19, he was flying, but me messed up 19 like myself, not much time lost, just a matter of finding the control in the green. A brazilian lad caught me here too so I stuck with him on the way to 20. I went right crossing the fence before the control while he went left, last I saw of him as he dissappeared into the green. I spotted the big boulder which the cave the control was on underneath it. In and back out again to 21. Decided to give the drinks station a miss going to 22, reckoned I could survive until the end.
I knew the last few controls were short legs, but didn't realise until 22 that 23 was on top of a bloody big hill. Saw the hill in the distance so just aimed for that once I got through a few fences and off a track. Went for the top of the hill, easiest thing to attack the control from. It was a tough climb, had to walk for a bit. Ionut Zinca caught me at 23 so tucked in behind him and another lad for the last few easy controls. Run in was 300m on the descriptions but it was a straight line on the map, differenct story on the ground. Little hill on it hurt and last 100m was throuh thick muck, horrible way to finish.
Survided the Long WRE, so pleased about that, and looking at the results I'm happy with how I did since I don't have the training for this sort of thing. The minutes I lost on the course wouldn't have changed my result too much.