World Orienteering Championships 2018

My main goal this year was the World Orienteering Championships, where I was selected to compete in the individual sprint, the mixed sprint relay and the relay. The run-up to a major race can be a bit strange sometimes; it sits out in the distance for so long and then all of a sudden it is right on top of you. The build-up this year felt a little like that, but my shape was good, I was confident, and I wanted to challenge for the medals (as I told athletics weekly). 

It didn’t quite work out. I was disappointed with my performance in the individual sprint, finishing in 10th place, 38 seconds behind the winner. I had the speed for a medal (I less than 1 second behind on 14 of 19 split times), but I made too many mistakes. I was much happier with my performances in the relays, especially the sprint relay, where I ran the fastest leg time of the day by 30 seconds, fueled by the frustration of performing poorly the day before. However, while we were in the fight for the medals until the final stages of both relays, our challenge faded, and we left with 7th in the mixed sprint relay and 6th in the forest relay. As always, the margins for error at this level are tiny and the competition super strong. 

I’ve written race write-up’s in my training diary on Attackpoint. Most of what I write there is for my benefit, but hopefully, it is interesting to others too. Also, World of O produced their usual analysis of the races throughout the week, which tell the story of how the races unfolded using the GPS tracking and split times.

Sprint: Training diary, World of O analysis

Sprint

Mixed Sprint Relay: Training diary, World of O analysis

Sprint Relay

Relay: Training diary, World of O analysis

Forest Relay

In terms of both the results and the performances, I’ve been here before, so it is tempting for the main takeaway to be frustration about what might have been. After all, a lot of work went into these championships, and I didn’t quite achieve what I set out to. However, that is the risk we take. It was still a great week, with a fantastic group of people (the support staff, Ed, Liz and Jack deserve a special mention). It was great fun, and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

A fantastic team to belong to.

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