Last day of the Oceania Carnival, World Cup races, and there were three separate races today. First up was the World Cup Prologue, followed by the Oceania Carnival mass start race, with the World Cup Chasing start event last.
Finishing the Prologue: Will Critchley (Canada),
Carol Ross (Canada),
and Matt Scott (USA, currently living in New Zealand).
When it was clear that it was going to be such a hot day (around 80), and with the absence of any natural shade in the arena, Jane put a call out for club members to bring extra tents (gazebos), and bring them they did.
Terrain description: Mainly pasture with fences and farmtracks. Open gully and spur with areas of complex topography. Some steep faces.
Numerous small lakes. Some areas of plantation forest with good runnability.
Mass start race. Tim and I were encouraged to make out mass start times, and so we concentrated on that, and Tim went out at 12:10, and I went out at 12:20. I was hurried, but I didn't feel rushed. Thankfully, I was reminded to take water, and I was grateful for that.
Had said all week that I wouldn't mind missing the mass start, since they make me nervous, and I was out of shape. However, I am so glad I joined the fun. Of course, finishing 9/26 in W55, and 43/86 on the course had a lot to do with it.
Pretty much ran my own race, staying in contact with the map the whole time. But, damn, it was hot! If the lake by #3 had been more inviting looking at the shore, I would have jumped it. I was so relieved to hit the woods for 6 and 7. That cooled me off some, but not enough, and not for long.
I really struggled from 8-9, especially on the road. When I got back onto the track, I considered sitting under a tree and phoning it in, but the quitter in me was missing, so I sucked it up and trudged on. I was clearer then lots of others to 10, and then found a good line to 11 where the fence was broken. After that I kicked it in to the Finish, even passing the guy who would finish one place behind me. Sometime earlier in the day, I declared that I would win a W55 Finish split either today, or during the six sprint events. Today I was 3rd with 36 seconds, 4 seconds behind the Finish split winner.
Was thrilled to find out that I had finished so well. I was sure that I was in my usual position of ~20th.
Race stats: 2.6 km, 145 m climb, 11 controls
Garmin distance: 2.27 miles with 119 m climb
Time lost: 1:56 minutes
Time per km: 19:14
Place on course: 43/86
Finish split: 3rd - 36 seconds, with 1st at 32 seconds.
The World Cup Chase started at 3 PM, and while it had clouded over for a bit, it was a scorcher.
Lots of people climbed to the hilltop across from the arena to watch the action.
A train of men.
Approaching the control from both sides of the fence.
Later on, I climbed back up the hill where the spectators were to retrieve two repeaters and to rescue J, a young man who had been winding up the tape used for marking the path up to the hilltop. The wind conditions were such that he had it wrapped all around him.
A couple of observations:
1) There was lots of poo (manure) at the event sites, since, well, this was either sheep and/or cattle country. I never quite got used to setting up next to cow pies. :)
2) I found it remarkable that there were no major course issues or injuries during the last 10 days. What an excellent way to end this portion of the trip!
After loading up, it was back to the Herries' place, where I was able to finally talk to Roger around 10 PM, just after Jane, Phillip, and I had finished a late tea.