To make up for having to miss the North Island Orienteering Champs I decided to tackle the South Island Champs instead! These events were held out of Nelson which is up near the top of the South Island. We were driving up from Christchurch and got there with 2 minutes to spare before Michael was called up to his start and about 15 minutes before I was called up...so about enough time to get changed and try to get over feeling a bit car sick!
So I found the first control all right...or at least where I thought it should be but I couldn't see it so I went backwards and forwards around the fences wondering what was going on until I spotted the control in the first place I looked, rather camouflaged against the trees (it was a bit faded). Then I headed off to #2...except I was heading off to #3 instead and almost got all the way there before realising so had to go back again! And the worst thing was that I missed the good gap in the fence both times so had to go the long way round!
What are you doing taking photos of me? I'm trying to concentrate here!
It was about this time that I died! Man, my running fitness has gone out the window with the stress fracture. Sure, I'm fit and my bike fitness is really good at the moment but running is another kettle of fish. Anyway, navigation went fine for the next few controls up until about #11 at the far end of the map where I got confused about what they were classing as a building (I mistook this weird fence structure as a building) so fluffed around there a little bit and then again on #12. After that it was a slow, painful grind through the last few controls and on to the finish.
So basically to sum up...I'm slow and can't orienteer!!! Excellent! Oh, and it was ridiculously hot, even at 5:30pm. Summer is going to be a killer.
This was the final race of the sprint series but the only race I've been around to do. Sprints have never been my specialty but the actual courses can be quite fun. Unfortunately my knee was not feeling that great after my warmup so I knew it wasn't going to be fast and I could definitely feel the effects of a fair amount of cycling on my thigh muscles! But at least the knee wasn't actually hurting which is good.
Not sure my brain was thinking quite fast enough but it didn't go too badly. I did manage to overrun #4 which was really just plain silly since it was such a simple control but the scale (1:3000) took some getting used to. Then I took a bit of a weird route to #7. I hadn't been paying attention to where I was going to get through the buildings and it was a bit late by the time I realised I was taking the long route (no time for backtracking in a sprint!).
Some of the paths and stairs were super slippery which was a bit scary and then it was quite muddy once you got on the fields which was rather entertaining (sliding round into #3 was fun!). I mucked around at #12 as the control came up so fast that i got confused then by #14 I'd lost all speed (if I'd ever really had any to start with) and it was a bit of a drag to the finish but it was a cool little course.
I'm not sure if I'd call 3.4km a sprint course but it was definitely a well set course especially for such a ridiculously tiny map. Although you crossed back over youself time and time again it never felt like you were rerunning places you'd already been. Wish I'd been able to go to more of these 'cause it was fun.
I spent a few days in Christchurch visiting my friends and just generally hanging out...which involves adventures. On the Friday Brent and I tramping on the Port Hills. I'd prefer to run the tracks but you can't have everything!
And finally on Monday Michael took me out running at Halswell Quarry which was quite nice. It was a bit overcast and drizzly for any photos though but it's pretty cool especially when you're at the top of the quarry looking down. Would be nice to have more people to run with in Auckland...perhaps I should move to Christchurch!
So, as has become tradition for Easter, I had the National Orienteering Champs and this year it was being held in central Otago. The first event is always the Sprint champs on the Friday afternoon. I've never been a fan of sprints and this has to be one of my worst sprint races ever!!
I took the first control nice and slow and spiked it perfectly but somehow stuffed up #2 by doing a 90 degree error which allowed the girl starting after me to catch me. I got to number #3 before her but confused myself royally by thinking that it couldn't be mine because I hadn't gone far enough. More silliness! Then stupidly followed her route to #4 instead of the perfect route round to the left along the track which would have saved heaps of time.
The rest was okay but I was just so slow and really struggled to get my head around it...like I couldn't get my brain in to orienteering mode. At least I nailed all the controls in the spectator area though! Rob V was watching on the hill and said I was one of the few in my grade who did manage to nail all of them. At least that's something! It's always so embarrassing when you can't find the control while everyone is watching you.
Looking down over the last few controls from the spectator area