Oh man, it was so hot before I'd even got to the start and I spent the drive down from Nelson drinking and trying not to get car sick again.
I felt like I hadn't done a proper orienteering course in ages (sprint races are different) and I really wasn't sure how my foot was going to handle it. The first section was in the farmland which was mostly okay apart from the second control where I wasn't low enough and the control was behind some gorse. I ended up near the end of the ridge before dropping down lower and heading back. It was so hot though which made it hard to think straight.
Once I got into the forest my feet started to really hurt so it was mostly walking by that stage and even that felt hard. It was really steep and the ground was very rough under foot (I think I managed to fall over quite a few times!). There was one control where we had to go up something like 17 contours only to have to come right back down a couple of controls later which was just ridiculous and all the sidling was causing my feet to blister (they have seriously gone all soft since my stress fracture).
The final few controls were out on the farmland again. It was pretty cruel to have to go all the way up the hill in front of everyone chilling back at the event centre but such a relief to get out of the forest!
I was so glad to finish the course and see Michael standing at the finish with some water. It was brutally hot, steep and rugged and I'd managed to get some wicked blisters by the end. This was not turning out to be my weekend!