Orienteering 26:00  3.3 km (7:53 / km) +100m 6:51 / km
NM middle qual.
Bit of a comedy really. Was very unsure how the ankle would go, but at least the warm up was along the road, so no issues there.
Started off OK on #1, but very unsure when i got to the circle and there was no flag in the reentrant? Double checked the map and was sure I was in the right place. Kept going 10m further up the slope, and there the flag was, in a 2nd reentrant! Very confusing with only one on the map. Swore at my messy start and headed off toward #2, ignoring the grumbles from my ankle on the downhill slopes. Mid-way to #2 I got a stick to the face, which then slid into my hair and pulled me back, stuck fast. Extricated myself and half my hair and continued on my way. Only to glance down to check my descriptions and realise that my description holder had also been ripped away from me! At this point, with snot running down my face, hair going everywhere, pain in my ankle, no descriptions, and losing more time unable to see the flag at #2, I had to have a dry chuckle remembering that we do this stuff because it's fun. (and glad that there weren't any photographers out in the forest today).
Actually from there I pulled things together and from #3-#9 went nice and smoothy and cleanly. #10 was a longer leg through detail, with a wider option taking paths and roads close to the control. Being a qual, I knew that the safe path-road option was a no-brainer...so I took the straight option (duh). So came a comedy of errors, losing track of where I was enroute, taking wrong paths, and then finally, getting well caught out in (or on the edge of) the circle. As the circle wasn't cut and critically covered the spur which I was erroneously searching around. Nice. Dropped 3mins before finally heading out to the track to relocate and finding the control enroute.
From there I figured I just needed to stay clean to the finish and qual should still be fine...So I went and blew another minute on a control which, no kidding, was a pit squeezed between two tracks... mmhmm. Beginner quality stuff.
Fast finish and still safely qualified, but not a race to be proud of. On the bright side, ankle held up. And by the time I'd made my massive mistakes, I wasn't thinking about it so much!