The Sprint- My best result of the weekend, a 3rd place finish.
The sprint started off the same way as my other individual races, I messed up the first control. Despite a plan to take the first control slow, I had my map slightly disoriented when I hit the start triangle. The result was running along the road rather than across it and then a panicked scramble to re-orient; you can see this route below. My time loss was about 25s.
Despite, losing 1min over the first 4 controls I was able to refocus and preform well for the remainder of the course. Although I had a number of controls in need of improvement, I was pleased by the race. It was worthy of the third place it earned me. The focus was now on the relay
The Relay- My best and most disappointing race
I ran the second leg of the relay on Can-1: Trevor Bray, Alexander Bergstrom and me.
The NAOC relay was practice for JWOC, as Trevor, Alex and I will likely be running together this summer.
Alex ran the opening leg of the relay. After a competitive run he passed off to me with Can-1 in a close third. I finally manged to run a good first leg, taking a safe route along the flagged out of bounds areas. Over the next 15 minutes I demolished the course. My consistently good navigation allowed me to push physically and run faster than any of my previous races. In fact, I beat one of the top Americans, Ethan Childs, by over a minute (we had the same forking).
However, as I came down the finish chute I passed a member of an Elite Woman's team. The volunteer at the map exchange was pointing at the Elite Woman's board (for the runner I passed) and I incorrectly assumed the volunteer was pointing at the Junior Men's board. I picked up the map form the correct position (but wrong board) and handed it off to Trevor. Trevor proceeded to run a great third leg and came in first, well ahead of the other teams. Unfortunately, my mistake at the map exchange resulted in Can-1 being disqualified. Only a heroic race by Can 2 (junior men) prevented a US victory in the Future Champions Cup.
I take full responsibility for my mistake - it is my job to pickup and hand off the correct map. I am quite disappointed in myself for letting a lapse in concentration cost my relay team the victory and Canada the Future Champion's Cup. I apologize, but as I have heard from many people - things happen (especially in relays).
Despite it's unfortunate end, I am very pleased with my race. It was the perfect race to end on - a reminder of how fast I can be and a lesson to learn from. I'm glad I made this mistake at the NAOC's rather than JWOC. It will serve as a memorable reminder to double check that the map I hand off is the right one.
I greatly appreciate all the understanding and support I have received from the Canadian orienteering community. I look forward to representing Canada at future races.