The race started with an 80m taped route up some stairs and across a courtyard with spectators milling about, giving an early opportunity to read the map and plan ahead. This was important as the leg to Control 1 required quite a bit of planning. I was happy with my route choice which took me past Control 4, to the east of the swimming pool and then up some stairs. Jonty took a much more easterly route taking in the vicinity of Control 10 and lost a bit of time here.
Coming out of Control 2 I had trouble identifying the gap between the small ovalish building and the long thin one behind it and ended up running around the north of the latter building which was slower on this leg but gave me a good look at that area for later use in the race. I used the knowledge reasonably quickly as my route from Control 4 to Control 5 used the same corridor. On the leg from Control 7 to Control 8 I chose to go clockwise around the northern side of the building. This was probably a mistake as it meant that a fence near Control 8 had to be awkwardly negotiated and this would have been avoided had I gone anti-clockwise instead.
I had planned to cut straight across the multi-storey carpark (the big gray area to the east of the control) but unexpected walls and fences within the carpark saw me heading south for a slight change of plans. I rejoined my desired route through the narrow passage between the building and the out of bounds area. The leg to Control 10 required more attention than it fiorst appeared, I didn't have any problems with it but went a lot slower than I would have liked.
Control 11 was the spectator control and was right in the middle of the action with crowds milling all around. It was also the flip point as we turned over for the second half of the course. The leg to Control 12 was similar to the first leg and so gave the opportunity to look ahead over the next few legs. Control 13 was back up the same corridor I had already run twice earlier in the race.
From Control 15 to Control 16 it was back through the multi-storey carpark, this time with a lot more confidence as I had been this way at previous events. I knew it was downhill to begin with followed by a climb back out and was able to build up a good speed downhill that carried me a fair way back up the other side. Other route choices were possible on this leg but I think the straightness and speed of the first part of the leg made this route as fast as any of them.
It was back through the narrow the narrow passage to Control 17 followed by a few tricky little legs in the buildings. The key to Control 18 is in the control description, "foot of wall". The wall in question is a good two stories high and is descended via a set of stairs that also happen to be part of the official Te Araroa track from Cape Reinga to Bluff. Having dibbed at the control, I then returned back up the stairs, navigated through the building walkways (a not entirely error free process) and back down another set of stairs (the ones I'd missed on my way to Control 3) down to Control 19.
The next control was not, as one would expect, Control 20 but was shown on the map as Control 21. Following the line along I could see that the control after that one was also Control 21. I don't think this typo caused problems for anyone although it did cause some amusement. Back across the building area to the second Control 21 and then it was a sprint, or jog as it had been a long 3km, to the last control and the finish. It was no surprise to hear that Jonty had beaten me.
Links and Results
In Senior Boys, Jonty came fourth in the race and fourth overall, missing the podium by just 18 seconds. Helena came second in Senior Boys dropping to second overall while in Intermediate Boys for Matthew had a second win and thus took the title. Alice did likewise in Intermediate Girls where Lauren improved to second, the other Hayley sixth but remained eighth overall and Alyssa had a sixteenth place which dropped her to fifteenth overall. In Junior Boys, Andrei won again while Caden dropped to seventeenth and eleventh overall. The best from GBHS was Patrick in twelth (both in race and overall) while Fergus managed fourteenth and seventeenth, Tarn nineteenth and eighteenth and Liam thirtyth and thirty-third. Hayley had a second win in Junior Girls (sorry, I forgot to mention you in report on the last race, Hayley) and took the title while Alex finished third in Year 7/8 Boys but, due to a completely changed leader board, his fourth and third placings were only good enough for fifth overall. Danielle, who I also forgot to mention in the last race, took a second convincing win in Year 7/8 Girls.
All events this year: Jonty 17, Steve 7
All events since blog began: Jonty 18, Steve 13
This is now the tenth race in a row that Jonty has beaten me. He has clearly moved well ahead of me in ability and fitness and I'm thinking it is probably time to let this competition fade gracefully into the background. What do you all think?