Monday, April 14, 2014

Run Black Diamond (U.S. Team Trials)

San Francisco


As the first race this season for me, this map provided an extremely good wake up call. From the beginning I started my race by having troubles finding the start triangle (in the middle of the map) and then I began running in the wrong direction by roughly 50 degrees right before I caught myself and reoriented. The first think I found confusing about this map was that it is relatively a narrow corridor from which I had some minor troubles discerning hills from re-entrants. The hardest part was the west side of the map which was an extremely steep side-hill covered in green. Here, I received a lesson of botany and gained hands on experience with poisonous ivy.  Now, I know what Zanfel is for. 

I had a sketchy run and made so many mistakes I was surprised that I ended up in such a close margin with the 5 runners ahead of me whose difference in time was less then a minute. In conclusion the middle turned out to be one of my worst races, but I learned a lot from the mistakes I made.


The long was blissfully open. The big hills stayed but at least there was no more green. The course was made up of some tricky route choices and from lack of experience in certain places like the left side of the hill right before the third control, I lost time. Otherwise, from controls 5-11 the terrain changed significantly into a sort of side hill of spurs mostly covered by forest which had small clearings and some rocks. I had a pretty good race with few mistakes and placed 9th overall, and 3rd among juniors, behind Ethan Childs and Matej Sebo.


For the sprint I was not able to physically get into it and therefore never reached my race pace. I don't believe that I made many errors, I may have made one costly one (10sec) but otherwise read the map decently. It wasn't until after the race when I realized how many controls there were, and wasn't exactly surprised when I missed one. It was in a relatively straight line between 12 and 13. It was an awesome course though and I had lots of fun.


The relay was lots of fun and I almost wish that I could have run also with the Americans. They mass started everyone else after the Americans started and my field was still good as there was the Finn, Eero Tuomaala who I was competing against. We started off and throughout the 4 courses I gradually lost seconds here and there due to minor route choice errors. For the last lap I really pushed my pace and passed a couple people. As I crossed the bridge and was sprinting to the finish I thought I was going to do good as it looked like only Will Critchley had finished, but six seconds before I was there Eero appear around the corner from the other side and finished before me. So the relay wasn't so bad for me, and I  finished the trials with a feeling of accomplishment.



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