Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Leinster Champs - Pure Speed, No Technique

After last Wednesdays attempted to beast it off at the start and drop the entire field at the Prince Williams Seat Hill Race I decided to adopt a different tactic for the Leinster Orienteering Championships been held on the epic mountain of Carlingford. The mountain and I have a short and painful history - Autum Series Race, DNF, Irish Middle Champs; 3nd, Irish Long Champs; 2nd, Irish Relay; 2nd, Spring Cup Race; Injury.

So with this I returned hoping to adjust many a wrong and many a mistake that have hampered my orienteering success on the mountain. It was an ideal place to try defend my Leinster Senior Orienteering Title.

Starting 12mins after Seamus, my tactic was simple. Take the first control handy, then get stuck in and start eating the gap, second by second. After spiking the first control ouvit (2nd fastest, 0:19 down on Ger) I decided to open the gas.
I climbed hard and then this happened.... not sure what happened

After giving Shea a good head start, I got into a flow and began to orienteer really well. Spiked 3 and 4 and continued up the hill to 5. Excuted the leg perfectly but I didn't read my control descpt and with the control buried close to the cliff, I didn't see it and dropped another minuite running around in circles.

After this blip, I upped the anti and began to orienteer, kinda. Suffered up the hill to 7 and attacked number 8 agressivelly. Needless to say, as I descended down, I got pulled by the contours and managed to hit number 9 after a little running around - doh!

Following 8, I began to orienteer better, I was running well and keeping my head clear. I battled away and asI punched number 14 I was one second down on Shea and 2:15 down on the current leader, Ger. Then I pulled out a series of orienteering skills that are the blessing of every other orienteerer in the country and the reason why I don't run sub 5min/k's on every map.

I'm not even sure how to describe the mistake. I was clear in the head, I was running strong, I knew I had the race in the bag and perhaps thats why it all went to shit... These were the easy controls to clock up the extra distance and bring us home.

16 was a matter of running to below the big cliffs below the 12th control. These cliffs were BIG. Impossible to miss.....
So I took of from number 15 and was picking up the pace when I see a control a little up the slope, for some reason I decided to check the code on it, it reads 154 (number 17 was got 54). My though process was this..

"What the fuck.
How am I here already!
I wasn't running that fast... o well
Right climb the slope, look out for the steep ground and the reentrant....
where the hell is this fucking re entrant....
That was number 17...right.... right....
of course it was 154....
where the hell is this piece of shit.....
ok. Stop. Relax.
Ok, thats that, thats that.... so wheres the fucking piece of shit...
(Hugh walks past)
Where the hell is he going...
Oh! FUCK!!!
How!!! WHY!!!! NOOOOO!!
FASTER. EVERY second counts...

As I hit 16, I turned an descended. Reading my map (first mistake). I was panicing. I was freeking out completely after dropping 5mins. I dropped down the contours. I couldn't see the control. I paniced more.... I attempted to keep calm but I was failing.... Hugh walks past again. I felt like crying.... FAIL.
After this, I just ran the rest of the controls. I ran them hard but my heart wasn't in it. It kinda showed by walking up the hill to the last control.
It wasn't a good day at the office.

I reckon it was a mixture of been off colour for most of the week and the added grief of my thesis and other project work due....

I'll make up for it this weekend in Glenmalur.
+25km +1300m climb

Ya win some, ya lose some. I already had it so I didn't want it half as much as I did last year.
After the post-mortem - I'll be all guns blazing next year. You don't appreciate something until you know longer have it.

The six inches in front of your face
You have to want it

Or as famous Arnie says... I'll be back


  1. I liked the story, a comedy, well it had to be when you look at 16!!!

  2. Its been described at poetry on cocaine