IOC Long, The Burren, 14.9km, 385m, 30 controls, 2nd and 28 fences to cross.
This course would have been a nightmare had there been a hard Brexit - it crossed the boarder 4 times!
Really pleased with how this went, it was the first time in well over a year that I was able to run in terrain without my quads restricting my pace. My fitness did, but not my quads.
Was really lucky not to get disqualified from missing #19. Was happy out heading for a bit cliff in the distance on the way to #20 when ColmM yelled '19' to me. Though the big crag was a bit low all right but wasn't reading the detail at the time so probably would have just adjusted and carried out. Not so lucky that Boyzone had Anton to work with through the middle part of the course, but on balance I think I was the luckier one.
Messy start in teh forest by not taking time to read the detail on the 1:15k map, missed #2 by about 90 seconds , overshot #3 by 30 seconds and lost another 30 on the way to #4 with poor execution. Eventually managed to trace the track route back to #5 to find the best line to #6 and was surprised to see my 6 mins man, ColmM, coming into it from the other side.
He didn't seem to have much trouble closing the gap but we went our separate ways (after another 30 seconds lost on over overshoot at #8) to #10. Think I got the best line and didn't see him again until I hesitated and started wandering looking for the pit at #13.
Swapped the lead a few times over the next few km, especially when I took the low line to #15 and then circled the control, but passed him again at #16 when he missed the pit. Got a bit of a gap on the hill to #19 (where we both checked out a wrong control) before the above happened.
Desipe calling me back, Colm didn't see me get #19 so even with the mistake (90 seconds) I had a bit of a lead heading up to #20. Feeling okay here and was trying to push on as much as possible.
Not disappointed to have Colm for company when we headed back into the forest for #26, but drifted to my left behind some walls on the way to #28 and I didn't see him again.
So 25 years after my first IOC long race - same area, even had 3 controls the same (including #28) - I matched my result, this time as an M45 rather than an M20. Was also pretty much the same time behind the winner (90 seconds). I think that that's pretty good going.
A few things to note, I really enjoyed the terrain, the map and the course and it was great to have another proper long distance test at the IOC. Looking forward to the next one already.