The Saturday started with a ‘multiday long distance’ – 14km in Woodhill sand dune terrain. The race went well for me, I lost around 1minute on the 8th control, where I misread the map. I saw my control but then there was another hill covered by the control circle that I couldn’t see, so I kept going. After that it went well, with only a few small hesitations. I won the race by about 3minutes, so I was very satisfied. See winsplits and routegadget.
Kate Morrison who had been carving up in the elite field over the weekend, even though she is still a junior. Stage 4 was a 2-man (well a man+woman) relay against the Australians. This was by far my most favourite event of the weekend. The race was again in Woodhill forest in a smaller, very detailed sand-dune area. I was in a team with my little sister Kate was running well on the first leg, smashing everyone right from the beginning with the steep climb to the start triangle. Hwover Kate made the mistake of flipping the map to check a control description on the guys course (the map had the 2nd leg printed on the back) so she thought she was at the wrong control and lost some time. She came in about 1min behind the leader – Angela Simpson, and in about 5th place behind some of the Aussie teams. I headed out on the 2nd leg together with Duncan, and after the disappointing run in the morning I managed to step up and push right from the start. I ran a really good race only losing 5seconds on the 7th control. I had caught the leader Tom Reynolds by the 3rd control, and luckily we had different forkings on the 2nd pivot, so I was able to push a bit to get ahead. I managed to come back in the lead for Kate and I to win the relay for NZ and the central scorchers superseries team.
Day 3 was the third and final ‘multi-day long distance’ race. I was feeling very tired again in the morning, but it’s always easier to push when you know it’s the last race for the weekend. The beginning of the course went well for me, I only lost a little time on the 7th control, where I went right past it and didn’t see it behind some bushes. My biggest mistake came on the long leg – the 10th, where it was very vague before the control. I doubted my direction at the end (even though I had been right) and the went to the left to check for the control by some other hills.. Doh! I lost over a minute here. The rest of the course went pretty well, but I ran out of energy near the end. I finished in 4th place, and I was satisfied with my run after a tough weekend. Gene Beveridge, an NZ junior heading to Poland for JWOC this year managed his first big elite win with a very impressive run. Check out the routegadget and winsplits. Also check out the cool superseries trailer for the weekend (with promises of more to follow) made by Mick Finn below:
After a big weekend of racing it was back to reality with my first exam week. There was a lot of cramming late nights while trying to recover as well. The exams all went well, better than I had expected. My last exam was on Monday the 13th of June, the day before I planned to fly out to Finland in the pursuit of happiness. That night my brother had organised a final hill tempo session on Mt. Eden in Auckland and farewell dinner at ‘La Porchetta’ with all of the Auckland crew, and even my Dad who was up there on business. Cheers Duncan!
Saturday was the day I had been looking forward to for a long time – Jukola! To the layperson Jukola is an orienteering relay with 7 team members that runs through the night. I managed to make the 3rd team for my new Finnish club Rajamäen Rykmentti, to run first leg. This year there were over 1500 teams on the start line, my team was starting in about the 4th row back, check out the start here(you can see me in Black and Yellow: