Orienteering race (The Stampede) 43:36  *** 5.7 km (7:39 / km)
spiked:14/17c shoes: Integrators 2005
Today was the Stampede. I wasn't exactly sure how to race it since it was a mass start, but I thought I would go out strong and just take it how I felt during the race. We all started out with 3 maps, the first with two tiny loops and the third a longer loop.
I started out quite well gaining a bit of a lead on the first loop, but then I missed the first control on the second loop and Eric Bone caught me. Ross had the first two loops in other order so he also passed me on his second loop and started out the third in the lead. Eric took a different route to the first control, and I could see Ross ahead of me, but somehow when I started attacking the control things didn't look right and I went into panic mode.
This kind of situation was exactly what I have been looking to practice lately and today I had the worst possible response. I think it may have been the heightened stress of the mass start and trying to stay with Ross and Eric but as soon as I lost my confidence going into the control I fell apart. It wasn't until Peter Gagarin, the Saeger sisters and a bunch of others came running past me and into the control that I was able to figure out what was going on.
After that I really didn't have any motivation to push hard and so I just tried to stay with the group that had just passed me. After about 5 minutes I started to feel more motivated again and I started to run away from the group I was running with and ended up almost catching the leaders again right before the finish.
Eric ended up winning it in about 42:30 and Ross and were about a minute back, with Ross finishing just ahead of me.
It was kind of weird to catch up with the lead group again after such a big mistake and a good amount of time just running easy and not really focusing on competing. But I guess I was just able to get back in the mode later on and was able to run cleanly enough to start gaining time back.
I was having a really nice run at the beginning so it was kind of disappointing to bomb so badly at the beginning of the third loop, but it was definitely an eye-opening experience. I'll have to be much more conscious of these kinds of mistakes throughout the week. If I am able to run as well as I was at the beginning of this race than I should be able to still be pretty competitive even with some small mistakes if I can keep them from turning into big ones like today.