This year the annual JK (Jan Kjellstrom) Festival of Orieenteering was held very close to home. The sprint was a mere 15min drive from my house and the rest of the events an hour or so North in Perthshire. A very welcome distance to travel for such a large event, closer than most of our Scottish O League events!
I hadn’t set myself any goals for the weekend other than to try and run as cleanly as possible and see what I could do. I won’t bore anyone with race details, if you really want to read about my races in more detail, they’re on my attackpoint log.
Sprint – Livingston
The weekend started on a dreary Friday lunchtime in Livingston, who had pulled out all the stops to welcome us to their fair city, the signs were an especially nice touch:
I came a very mediocre joint 69th after having a few wobbles, at least it’s top half but I am capable of more. A bit sad to be 1 second behind fellow ESOC member Andrew Lindsay, although at the JK Sprint last year I beat him by 1sec so a fair trade! I definitely need to invest in a pair of trail shoes to cope with wet pavement and wet grass. I’m glad I ran in trainers rather than flats!
I also recorded this race with my headcam, it was a bit damp though!
Middle – Dunalastair (WRE)
I felt a bit naked at Dunalastair running without my GPS on for the first time in ages. You aren’t allowed to use GPS devices with a screen in WREs (World Ranking Event). I had a fairly decent race, losing time here and there but nothing major to give me another mediocre result of 69th. I lost 2 mins at number 4 because of a dodgy bit of vegetation boundary mapping. I was cursing at the time but I shouldn’t have allowed it to happen. Most of the top guys had realised by this point that the vegetation wasn’t perfect so they were going on contours and compass. I need to work on using my compass as I often neglect it, especially in thicker forest. My result gave me a start time of 11.30 in the long race, thankfully not too early!
Long – Craig a’Barns
This was the big one, I knew the area was going to be physical but I wasn’t quite expecting it to be as tough as it was. I had happily predicted a sub-80 winning time and that I would be in under 2 hours. Not to be! Doug Tullie won it with an excellent race in 87.57, just a couple of mins under the estimated winning time, and only just ahead of Scott Fraser who won overall after his awesome run at Dunalastair. I was a bit further back in 128.25, which was enough for a reasonable 31st place. It’s a lot higher than the previous two days because all the juniors run little short courses while we old men get to slog it out over the full distance. I didn’t have a clean race, but not horrific. I lost a lot of time in the far north section (6+ mins) where I, again, failed to follow my compass through the thick forest. Thankfully my run was good enough to put me near the front of the ‘punter elite’ pack, which was nice. I finished 33rd overall in M21Elite (doesn’t include the sprint) which I am happy with as I know I have things to work on!
I helped a bit after my run (we ‘elites’ had been left off the helper list so had no specific job – this was the ESOC day) but was glad to not have much to do. At 7 there was a meeting about the World Champs in 2015, which I am going to play a part in the organisation for (I should really write a post about it). By the time I got back to our accommodation at 9pm I was shattered and worrying about how I was going to cope with 40+ mins of hilly running at 10am the next day…
Relay – Newtyle Hill
We were never going to challenge the big boys in the JK Trophy class so there was no pressure to go and do anything amazing. Again my focus was to try to stay as clean with the navigation as possible and see what the legs would do. I really struggled physically but enjoyed it immensely. I had a few tussles and was rarely far away from anyone else, something you only really get in a relay first leg!
I came back in 32nd place and the lads, Craig and Andrew managed to maintain the position (Craig gained a bit, Andrew lost a few places) for 32nd overall. Perhaps next time we should pot hunt on the short? Some of Andrew and Craig’s Scottish Juniors team mates were 2nd in the men’s short and we could have beaten them
I also recorded this race:
All in all a really fun weekend!