The first event was the Sprint Championship held at Wesley College, a venue that had also hosted the final of the Secondary Schools Sprint Series earlier in the year (albeit on a slightly more primitive map after John Robinson worked until 2am of the morning of that event to get the map finished and usable). Wesley College has a large number of buildings dotted about but doesn't have the complex plantings, vegetation and paved areas that the truely great sprint venues offer. We knew from the Secondary Schools event that a fast run would be on offer with no time available to slow down and plan route choices.
I spent a long time warming up, firstly walking and then slowly jogging and entered the start box with my leg feeling OK. From the start the course was as fast as I expected and I was going flat out. I didn't feel the muscle again until I started to cool down after my run. I didn't make any obvious mistakes and, although I would later spot a couple of places where going the other side of a building may have saved me a second or two, I was pleased with my route choice at on every leg. A particularly tricky leg was from 11 to 12 which looks at first glance to be a simple sprint along a road but if you miss the gap in the hedge up the side road before the control it is a long way down to the next place you can get across. A quick check of Winsplits suggest that this would have been worth 20 - 25 seconds. I kept the pace up throughout the race and at the finish I was, in the immortal words of Ritchie McCaw later that weekend, completely shagged. There is a photo of me coming into the finish which I don't even recall being taken. Dwayne Smith commented I was "a bit fuzzy after 14 minutes flat out".
I ended up with third on the day - 14 minutes flat as well as flat out - just 27 seconds behind Pete Swanson (who had his own story of an encounter with a dead and decaying kangaroo at the Oceania MTBO champs to tell) and 25 seconds behind John Robertson. Normal service was resumed there after the 4 minute gap to John at the Oceania Sprint Champs, this was better even than the 1 minute that he consistently beat me by at every event at Sprint The Bay earlier this year. After my run, I shadowed David on his M10 course. He didn't need any guidance beyond me having to urge him to turn the map all time. He posted a time just under 15 minutes which was good enough to win!