Thursday, February 27, 2014

British Univeristy Champsionships - YOU WATT!

February 22nd and 23rd was the British University Orienteering Championships (BUCS) down near Leeds, UK. I was lucky enough to have 4 others from Heriot Watt joining me at BUCS this year!

The trip started with a long mini bus journey down to just north of Leeds with some of the guys from EUOC. We ended at Jack Woods house where his parents kindly let us sleep on their living room floor. There the buzz of BUCS started and people were starting to discuss their plans for the individual the next day. Then the Glasgow team joined us late that night bringing along our last team member for Heriot Watt. We finally got to bed and I was quite comfortable in my sleeping bag when at about 5am the alarm in the house went off. We had been warned that the burglar alarm was acting up but gosh that gave me a fright. Had a bit of a hard time getting back to sleep after that but managed to get a good enough nights sleep :)

Got up fairly early, had a champions breakfast and set off to the Individual event. The Individual event was being held on Ilkley Moor. Despite all the rain at night it was slowly clearing up which was nice. I was fearing having to navigate the moor land in the fog. By the time I got to the start though the sun was out and it was perfect running weather! This year I had a fairly late start time. Only about 4 or 5 girls starting behind me. But tried hard not to think about people who were starting near me or placing or anything. I had been worried all week about placing and was I going to mange the top ten result that I wanted or not. So the warm up to the start and everything was focused on warming my legs up, what the technical things people had told me about the map and trying hard to just visualise running smoothly through the terrain and no hesitations. I was ready to start :)

I had a great run! I was a bit hesitant or at least a bit slower than I maybe should have been at the start of the course but was hitting things fine. Had my first real bobble on control 5 where I had just come out of the 4th control too far to the north and hit the bottom instead of the top of the rock wall I wanted. Then it was back up into the moor land where I started to find out that I could easily navigate faster than I could run. So looks like there needs to be some more pentland runs (or at least hills) in my training. But managed fine. The next challenge though was the monster of a long leg! I really should have looked at it a bit more climbing the hill up to 8. But I think overall I picked not too bad of a route. Was able to pretty much stay on tracks the whole way. Was able to keep moving and not feel like I was totally out of contact with where I was along the leg. Wasn't able to follow the path that well through the detailed rock, lost it quite a few times. But always had my eyes on the forest ahead and was able to get through it. Then had a bobble on control 11 I think just because I thought "oh this is short I can easily do this!" and just wasn't paying as much attention as before. I'll then be honest I'm not 100% sure how i did controls 14-16. They just kinda worked and things were popping up just where I was wanting them to and the controls just were there! It was a great feeling. Came back and downloaded and found out I was 3rd on the course! So went for a cool down and waited for the other girls to come in. 

In the final results I ended up in 8th place. So very happy about that as hit my top ten goal and up from 13th place from last year. Also was nice as I'm 8th place out of the girls that are competing for the British WUOC team and not that far behind them! Heriot Watt as a team also came 8th in the overall points after day one!

taken by P.Y. Photographic

The sunday was then the relay. As I didn't have 3 girls at the event Lauren and I teamed up with our EUOC teammate Rachel and ran the Adhoc relay. We did however have 3 guys so they ran in the mens relay and gave it a great fight!

I ran the 1st leg in the Adhoc relay. was nice and battled it out with Sophie from Imperial. Had a bobble at control 4 thinking it was on the further bush clump then it was and had to come back at it. Think there were more clumps then on the map. Then was doing well and just ahead of Sophie before messing up control 7. Went too far again, never seeing the big boulder at the top of the clearing like i was wanting and ended up getting sucked into sophie's control on a boulder just past the field :/ Stupid mistake! Then another bobble on control 10 was too far west but wanted to be west anyway just not that far. Got to the control and saw there was a path basically built to it not on the map :/ Then had the longer last gaffle then sophie at the end. So ended up coming in about 30secs behind her passing off to Lauren.

So bit to relaxed in a few places but not at bad run.

Girls came 2nd in the Adhoc relay and the guys were 20th. That put us in 9th place overall! our best result so far! 

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