Day Cup down in Sweden. A balmy 5 degrees, but with a wind chill factor that must have put things back down in the negatives. Still, first time running without a jacket and gloves since coming back.
Had a good start to the course. Clean (aside from the usual standing on the same cliff as the control and not seeing the flag), and good route choices. Surprised to catch both Hedda and Bodil at #4, and lost them on the longer leg to 6. Got a bit scrappy with the entry through the green to #6, and made a needless 30s mistake going to the wrong hill at 7, when i suspect just having my head up a bit more would have meant I saw the flag and avoided the mistake. Ironically I was too busy reading my map and trying not to go to the wrong hill though...
OK to 9, where I took a heavy fall on the bare rock. I think that led to my dodgy direction to #10. Again I suspect I'd have seen the flag with my head up and looking around, but I was expecting the water pit to be far far less obvious than it eventually was. Bodil caught me back up here and passed with a "oh, did you make a mistake?!" to which i could only reply "no I'm still making a mistake!". A 1.5min mistake as it turned out.
Scrappy 11, but then took another dodgy exit direction on the short leg to 12, meaning I went to the L of the hill and a difficult entry to the control, rather than to the R and a simple entry. Lost another minute here.
Another dodgy bit of compass work (seriously!), 2/3 of the way through the leg to 13, which ironically gave me a very easy entry to the control. Then a straight routechoice to the last control. Took a fall on my arse on one slope and couldn't stop myself from sliding off a small cliff, but luckily it was just water and mud I fell into at the bottom! A final hesitation on the final control, again standing on the cliff and not seeing the flag below. Maybe I need to take a periscope out with me to see these flags?
All in all, a very good first half of the course. I was 3minutes in the lead at one point. Which I don't think has ever happened while I've been here! Unfortunately though I threw away that lead through my mistakes on the two short legs. Disappointing as it's usually the short legs I am most secure on. Almost salvaged the win on the last leg, but nope. 2nd to Mariann.