Now that my final year project (all 11,000 words of it) is finally submitted I have a little bit of spare time to to test out the new site. I say a little bit of time because I have exams next week and really should be doing some work.
World Championships Selection Races
Great Britain had their selection races for the World Championships very early this year. So early that they were the first proper race of the season for many people. This made it quite difficult to judge who was in shape and who would get on the team. The races took place in the Lake District in the end of may and were organised superbly by national team coach Liz Campbell.
The races started with a middle distance on the Friday and whilst I had good speed, my navigation couldn’t keep up in the tough Lake District terrain. Next came the long race which I decided to skip, not least because most of my rivals for the Sprint were also skipping it. Then came the big day. An early start to get into quarantine and I was quite nervous. More nervous than I have been in a long time. I made a few more mistakes than I would have liked, most from trying to rush and in the end I was on the right side of a 4 second margin to take the win from Peter Hodkinson.
The main result from the weekend is that this summer I will be going to Italy to run the Sprint (and maybe the sprint relay) at the World Championships. I will also be going to the World University Championships later in the summer. Those were the goals and I am happy to have a chance to run in these races.
Next up was the European Championships in Portugal. I was knee deep in university work at this point and to be honest the championships snuck up on me a bit. I hadn’t done as much specific preparation as I would have liked but I knew I was in good physical shape and I hoped all the work I have put into technique training over the winter would carry me through.
I was just here to run the sprint as I was organising the JK Sprint the week after and needed to rush back. I was relaxed and had a good run in qualifying, qualifying in 6th place in my heat. The final took place on the next day and allowed a lot of time to relax in-between races. I think this suited me quite well.
After what seemed an age in quarantine I was ready to go. I had a pretty average race if truth be told. I pushed hard but made a few small hesitations and one little mistake where I overshot my path. 6th place. Wow. I didn’t expect that and I had a bit of an epiphany after this race. I think maybe it is wrong to turn up to a championships and expect 110%. I turned up and I did an average performance, helped by a bit of adrenaline and the big stage and that was enough. Turning up and having to run amazingly seems to be putting a lot of pressure on yourself but to run an average performance, I can do that easy 🙂
Maybe it also helps if you let the team style your hair beforehand.
So after the European Championships I was straight home. I would have liked to have run the relay but I had bigger fish to fry.
The JK was taking place in South Wales this year and the sprint was in my home town of Swansea. For those that don’t know, the JK is the biggest race in Britain, we had 2300 competitors for the sprint race alone and for some very stupid reason I had volunteered to set the courses. This meant a lot of running around in the week beforehand but it all seemed to go ok and people seemed to enjoy themselves. It was maybe helped by the awesome weather (It’s like that always..) and the awesome organisation team that we had.
I competed in the next few days of the JK but never really felt like I was running particularly well until the relay, where I managed to win a Silver medal with Sheffield University.
After a lot of university work, I don’t think it ever seemed like it was going to stop, I gave myself a couple of days break to run Tiomila for Lillomarka. I had a great run on first leg last year and I was not surprised that I was running first leg again. I was a bit nervous that the new daylight start might make it a bit faster than I would have liked but I had a good race and came in second on first leg. The rest of the team did awesome as well and when I woke up in the morning (at 5am) I was over the moon to hear we were in 9th at that stage. Amazing. Everyone in the team did their job and we finished in a club record 12th place.
I realise that this is a long post now. It is amazing the amount I will write to put off doing some revision.
Last night I competed in a local fell race, the Burbage Skyline. My legs felt good after the weekend and knowing the course from last year I managed to set a new record. Cracking 🙂
I suppose I should go and do some work now.