Orienteering (bush) race (Willagalong) 3:39:15*** 28.16 km (7:47 / km) +743m6:53 / km ahr:156 max:209 spiked:32/43c (injured)shoes: Salomon Speedtrak black/yellow
NSW Ultralong Champs & NOL 10 (M21E)
I reckon it took me ~2mins before I'd smacked the top of my my head on an overhanging branch and another minute before I had blood pouring down my face and all over my map. All this before even reaching the first control (of 43). I wasn't about to give up that early on though so figured I'd keep going until I'd either: a) finished; or b) passed out. Fortunately the former came first.
Really enjoyed the first two loops, lots of fallen timber but not piles of it as we encountered in ACT a few years back so managed to run around or over most of it. First loop I tended to follow people into controls in particular one NSW guy who was slightly faster than me but more directionally challenged so I didn't 100% rely on him. Made a few minor errors but nothing more than 20-30 seconds.
Second loop, after the debacle of tonking myself on the first, I managed to face plant not far out of the map change, in front of Fedor and some old guy who only moments before had asked if I was okay (this was the standard question I got when people saw my blood smeared face). Made a few bigger errors on this loop, probably getting tired but unlike the first where I was able to immediately correct, this time I had a couple where I wasn't 100% sure where I was meant to correct to (#24 and 25 being prime examples). #32 near the finish I had been in the correct clearing but couldn't see the control so then went to relocate from a nearby clearing only to find myself back in the same one where the control was and also had one of the Stingers pass me after I'd just put in a fair amount of effort up the second last hill to leave him in my dust.
Third loop I figured would be quick as it was by far the shortest of the three but it also had all the green and I got stuck in it at every available opportunity. Between 36-37 I encountered a whole mess of fallen pines where the map showed only moderate green, it really should have been dark green. I wasted a lot of time climbing over it all instead of going back to the road. Pushed on and made my way around although I made the bulk of my time losses on this last loop.
Happy to make the finish as I was getting pretty tired towards the end of the second loop and on the last one I ended up half walking/half jogging all the hills. It was however my slowest time on the three ultra longs I've done to date (all within the 3:15-3:40 range). As I've said in previous years, I may actually train properly for one at some point. My flat river runs didn't really cut it this year.
Top ten finish! That means I now have more NOL points this year in two events than last year in seven. I also didn't run in the ultra long last year so results are a bit biased.
Also managed to win a split, only my second ever in a NOL event (after the Sydney sprint relay a few years back). Of course it was the shortest leg on course from 32-33, where I'd almost gone all the way to 33 in an attempt to relocate for 32 but I'll take it.
Missed my flight home from Sydney. Given the flight time I had our WA team would have all had to finish the ultra long under 4.5hrs, which didn't happen :-( Was going to be tight regardless. Plus I needed medical aid at the finish (again), not unusual.