On Sunday I ran the Southern Championships at Burnham Beeches and Egypt Woods. Since I am racing on four consecutive weekends I planned to treat this as a training run and not go full out. This would then allow me to run in a new pair of shoes – Inov-8 X-Talon 212. However, on starting I felt fairly fresh and so went much closer to full pace.
In the first section of the course I ran strongly and navigated well. I lost a little time on the first control while I checked exactly where I was going, which seemed sensible after the problems from the previous day. As can be seen from my route, I probably should have gone round the hill for six, but that did not cost me much time.
After the road crossing I struggled for concentration. (At this point the control numbers on the route map, linked to above, become one larger than they actually were – an extra control appears just after the road crossing.) I lost around 30 seconds at eight and was lucky that this was a fairly obvious control. Then on the long leg, to ten, I messed around rather than taking a rough bearing and charging to the fence. Two minutes lost. This made me a bit hesitant on the next leg and I lost about 30 seconds on eleven.
In the area around twelve there was a film set and I allowed this to throw me off track and I two minutes sorting out the problem. For thirteen I drifted to the control further down the hill and lost 20 seconds having to go back up again. On the way out of fifteen I got caught up in the thicker bit of forest and lost two minutes on being slow. By this point I was feeling tired and I lost four minutes over the next few controls struggling to concentrate and on not being able to keep a decent pace up.
I did have one fastest split on my course – the run in. A rather good, for me, 16s. The fastest on any course was 14s. Tim, and his long legs, managed 15s. Overall a good run and faster than intended or expected. The new shoes were good – much better than the old ones. Bring on some relays next week!