Sunday, 15 June 2014

Gauteng O Champs: Middle

Today's Middle Distance event was thoroughly enjoyable. As-the-crow-flies distance was 4.8km. I ran 5.5km. The map for today's event (and tomorrow's) was drawn by my club mates, Cindy and Cobus van Zyl. They did well. It's a good area with a mix of vegetation and generally very good runnability. Even some of the light green areas (slow, vegetated terrain) was actually not as bad underfoot as it looks at first glance.

I had a great navigation outing - running onto the controls and not looking around at all. There was only one control that I definitely could have taken a better option. Here it is below - my route from CP16 to CP17 (CP 16 not shown).

The route that I too is marked in purple. I started on the track and was aiming to make route decisions based on what the vegetation looked like. Very pleasant - so I left the track and cut straight across.

The mistake I made was to take the road. The 'story' I had going in my mind was to leave the road where the vegetation on my right changed to open ground. And I did just this. But the light green in this area... blackjacks! Not as nice as earlier light green. I headed into the green a few metres down from the control (didn't see it from there) and popped out on the road. So I ran up the rad and back into the bush - got it.

What I should have done...

Was to run from where I'd popped out on the first big road (thick black line) and then kept going through the shorter distance of green to get onto the trail.

Although I had a pleasant run, I didn't fare very well in the rankings... I think I ended up about 9th.

My problem is definitely that I'm coming back to the finish warmed up and ready for another 10km! I'm having a good navigation experience but for the rest I'm probably enjoying the terrain and breezy running and trip-trapping through the forests and grass just a bit too much. Clearly I'm not running nearly hard enough!

Cindy tells me that tomorrow's Long distance event, which is marked as 8km as-the-crow-flies will be one that I'll enjoy. I'm certain to run more than 8km, which will be great. We're at the same venue but using a much larger area of land.

As for the Polokwane bunch...

Overall MUCH BETTER results today! By the time I left there were still a few runners out. Maybe five or six still to return. Only one disqualification (by an adult) and not one disqualification from the teens! Clean courses by all of them. We had a winner on the Open Short course and dominated in the Open Medium. Ephraim fared ok on the M21 course and both Tebatso and Lesedi rocked the M20 course.

Yesterday Tseke had only done half the course, giving up after being unable to find a control. He promised me yesterday that he wouldn't give up today and that he would really try. A beautiful, clean course for him today with only one control where he lost a bit of time. I'm really pleased with all of them.

Now that they've had a taste of this terrain, they should be even better equipped to deal with tomorrow's courses.

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