Orienteering race 1:00:26  ***** 7.0 km (8:38 / km) +300m 7:07 / km
ahr:167 max:187 spiked:12/15c (sick) shoes: VJ Sticky
Aus Relay Champs at the Gib like yesterday's middle. I was running first leg and had been looking forward to the head to head racing but I was so weak in the terrain yesterday that I didn't have great hopes of keeping up with anybody. At the start line Toph, who had been sick as well, and I were comparing our pre-race heart rates of 100+ - doesn't leave quite so much in reserve for racing!
I took the right hand route to #1, settling into the fourth spot in a small train heading around the hill, behind Parto, Gareth and another. Once we hit the hill into the control the head of the train split and I went to mine solo, watching the leaders, who had gone straight, punch it as I was slogging upwards. Did #2 ok, a bit slow as I was struggling for contact in the last 100m before catching myself on the little watercourse. Saw Gareth running in from above as I exited. I was confident running into #3, picked up the big rockface above the control but the control wasn't where I expected (I missed a second cliff line in the circle) and eventually circled back into it just as Gareth, the Hoggster and Greg Barbour were leaving. Set off tiredly in pursuit and I was getting close as we went through #5.
I decided to run high to #6 but didn't climb enough early and quickly got stuck in a crappy area of deadfall and lost sight of everyone. Feeling dispirited, I switched to a wide route hoping for better runnability and plodded on, sure that I'd thrown the whole thing away. I got a boost coming in to the spectator control seeing Hoggster punching. Set off solidly to #7 but without much of a plan beyond contour and spike it. So of course I misread some rock and saw Hoggster down lower which confirmed I needed to drop into it. Alas I was wrong and had a slow climb back up. Chased Hoggster pretty hard round to #8, punched right behind him when he didn't see it straight off, and shortly after we were trudging up the hill to #9. I spotted Toph coming up behind us, which was unexpected but I was happy to know I wasn't last! I took a more direct line into the control than Hoggster and got a small break and tried to push hard to #10, which I hit ok but I wasn't focused so had to slow into it. I stopped for drink at a random control en route to #11 and then started to feel sick so walked up the hill and then Toph was right on my tail so I picked it up again. I managed to have a smooth and steady run from there to the finish and I managed to hold Toph off by 30s and eventually got 2min on the Hoggster. I was actually relatively happy with a 6th place on the leg, I thought it would be a lot worse, but unhappy about the time gap to Simon.
I handed over to Lorenzo, who had a reasonable run given his lack of practice and Mat ran really well to hold our 6th place till the end. Well done Qld boys!