The first event of the Australian Champs was the middle distance. From what I could see from old maps it was going to be steep and the notes seemed to indicate it was going to be quite rocky. It was even quite a ride up to the start (they even supplied us with little maps so we didn't get lost!) which was a good warmup (especially good because it was pretty cold).
I mostly navigated okay but was a bit hesitant especially to start with when I saw one of the top Australians going down some very strange route (apparently she later blamed her bad time on mechanical issues...hmmmm). The terrain was extremely physical and you really didn't want to take the wrong track and go flying down a hill you weren't supposed to 'cause coming back up would be a killer.
Thanks Pete for snapping me in action as I leave the start
There was one bit where you could either go back out to the track along the single track you'd just come up or continue along it and although I figured it was probably slower to continue I thought it might be more fun so I went that way! I just kept imagining I was riding at Woodhill and thought of the rocks as the usual tree roots and it seemed to work quite well.
I made a couple of mistakes near the end when I was pretty knackered. Somehow I ended up at #13 before #12 which I think happened to a few people. Then on the way to #14 I didn't see the track I was looking for and started off down the wrong one. Luckily I worked it out fairly quickly before I'd gone too far wrong! I was pretty happy with my race overall though.