Sunday, March 2, 2014

POM DAY 1: Classic Distance

For the first day of POM it was what they termed an "Intermediate race" for everyone. Which really was just what I would have called a classic distance in the states. The Elite Women had 7.4km, 200m and 29 controls.
The map was Vila Nova de Tazem and we had it at 1:10,000. and the terrain was decribed as:
"Terrain with many variations between forest and open areas, with a great richness of rocky details. Medium slope and variation between fast progression areas and areas where the vegetation causes difficulty in the progression."
And I would have to agree that that was pretty darn accurate! The rock detail was MUCH greater than the model map and it was not nearly as open as the model so harder to pick out the big features from as far away. The elites also had a spectator control with a map exchange. so many things to think about!

I started at 12:17 so kind of mid pack and was feeling pretty calm at the start. Jogged up with a few of the brits and did my stretching and was ready to go! Get into the start box pull my control descriptions down and the first difference for the race was we only had control decriptions for the first 20 controls :/ so to the map change. Fine deal with that when we get there but odd. 

Map Part 1 -
Started off great nailed control 1, bit of a bobble to control two. This was when I figured out I was going to have to be a bit careful reading small trails and rock walls quickly. Was expecting a trail to connect up to another one and it was actually a rock wall! Then hit my first more technical section and knew I was going to have to be more careful than in the model. Pretty much nail 3 and 4 and Jess Tullie caught me up going to control 5. The two of us made the same mistake going to 6 which was the first control in the really rocky section of the map. We ended up hitting 7 above first and having to drop back down to 6. We then had a clean run to 13 kinda just taking very similar routes just over taking each other every so often. Then I passed Jess at 14 where she over shot and I hit pretty close to dead on the control. Hit the next few just fine and thought I got away from jess but she must have picked the better route on the long leg to 18 and caught me up again. So came through the map exchange together along with another runner who was announced as in 2nd place. All very exciting! This is where I started to find not having control descriptions for the rest of the course a bit annoying. It was basically relay practice, but wasn't expecting it.

Part 2 -
The rest of the course was really a bit of a blur as I tried hard to hold on to this train of runners that was developing. Was clean and able to hold on for almost to control 25 and then was just having to push the pace on my own and really stay focused. Bit of issues with 27, starting with trying to cut through some of the green as loads of people where going in there. Took a few steps in and turned around to do the trail all the way around. Then was a bit hesitant going into the control as knew i was in the right area but didn't really see the reentrant, only the control once i got my head up enough to see it.
Ended up placing 42nd out of 94. So happy with top half and managed to beat all the EUOC girls and Louise Oram. Also was close to Jessica Tullie which was nice to see as she is a strong runner and navigator!

Went for a cool down run with Jess, James and Peter afterwards and the highlight was us getting excited about olive trees and trying an olive off the tree. NOT one of our better ideas! It was VERY sour and made my tong purple. It was as odd as getting handed Hot green tea when I finished.

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