By the time I headed off for a run some ten minutes after the last official starter, Jonty had already finished and was proclaiming that it was the fastest three kilometres he had ever run. A fairly long leg to the first control allowed me to get a good look at the map and confirm that it would be fast, particularly the playing field section from 8 to 15. The course started with a couple of controls set amongst the trees near the school boundary. These were followed by two controls in and around the buildings before we returned to the trees and gardens for three more. The last of these, Control 7, almost caught me out as I headed for the wrong tree - my own fault, I didn't read the map carefully enough, came to a grinding halt as I realised it wasn't there and then spotted it after looking around desperately for inspiration.
Technically, my route choice to Control 8 should have resulted in a DSQ. The map clearly shows no access through the narrow part of the building directly north of Control 15 but in reality the double doors on either side were wide open and the obvious route through was being used by most, if not all, competitors with only Allan taking the high moral ground and running around.
Then the playing fields began. I had been running fast through and around the buildings but as I hit the grass I increased the pace even further. I got to Control 11 before the pace got too much for me and then the legs through to 15 seemed harder and harder. I averaged 4:10 (minutes per kilometre) for the legs from 8 to 11 but could only manage 4:30 from 11 to 15. My brain was slowing down along with my legs and I exited Control 15 in the wrong direction, running ten or twenty metres before I realised I was heading into a cul de sac. Once corrected, it was back through the enticing open doors and off across the school to 16.
From here a last little loop near the swimming pool presented a couple of small route choices and then it was across a fairly muddy reentrant to the last control and a sprint to the finish. I managed a very respectable 13:52 for the race, running exactly 3km, only 100m more than the advertised length. I had beaten Jonty by 19 seconds.
Links and Results
Jonty managed fourth in Senior Boys, Alice won Intermediate Girls again with Alyssa fifth, Patrick, Liam and Tam took out third, fourth and fifth in Junior Boys and Alex took out second place in Year 7/8 Boys.
In the much anticipated and followed Steve v Jonty competition (I get more comments about this than anything else I write about on this blog) the categories are as follows:
AKSS Sprint Series: Steve 2, Jonty 1
All events this year: Steve 7, Jonty 7
All events since blog began: Steve 13, Jonty 8