For a change we'll be writing in 1st person (so that we can all write our own account of our races)
Tim: I was the 1st of the South Africans to start (and 3rd starter of the men), so I was hoping to copy Brad's feat of leading the sprint (if only for a short time), but unfortunately this was not to be.
The 1st control was good, and my planned route to #2 seemed like a really good one, but I managed to turn down 1 road too early and had to come back up (losing about 30secs). #3 was really easy- a plain running control. #4 had a bit more route choice and I dont think I took the best route, but It wouldn't have been too bad if I had executed it correctly- I managed to get stuck behind a fence and then was very hesitant as too which areas were out of bounds and which weren't, so almost slowed down to a stop. (another 25secs lost). #5 was good, #6 hesitated going into the control and started heading to the lower boulder before correcting (4secs), another few seconds lost on not taking the best route to #7. Middle section (up to #15) was pretty decent with only a few seconds lost on hesitations+possibly not the best routes. Then didn't take take the best route to #16 (5secs lost) and another bad route to #17 (10secs lost).
I wasn't' particularly happy with my race, but not too disappointed in the final result- 55th and 2:18 down on Tim Robertson.
Physically I felt really good, but my navigation couldn't quite keep up, so will definitely have to do a bit more sprint specific training before next years JWOC as I feel that the sprint is probably my best race to get a good result in.
Just looking at the results, without the 2 big mistakes I would have been in about 25th or so and with a perfect run even sneaking into the top 10, so I have the speed to do well, now I just need to get my navigation to the same level.
Roark blogging here. Just going to run you through my sprint course and how it went.
My first control was smooth but a bit slow as I was trying to work out a route to control 2. As you can see Tim Robertson absolutely blitzed it (9 seconds faster), but Alexi was only 3 seconds faster without a mistake. My second control was an absolute disaster. I thought I had found a fast route choice going very straight but somehow missed a very clear fence on the map (see map). Recalculating a new route choice took a while and then I had to back track to a path which lead to the road above (It would probably have been faster to go left and through the field at that point). I got a bit more confused when i hit the road and wasted another 5 seconds. I then managed to pick it up and get back into it. All those horrible mistakes added up to around 50 seconds of wasted time which would leave me fighting back for the rest of the race.
Control number three was a doddle and i managed to carry some speed through it, missing out on a fastest split by a second. I think my route choice to number four was pretty good. I toyed with the idea of going right along the main road but decided against it when I saw the number of contour lines I would drop. I seem to have lost a a few seconds on this leg, maybe due to my lack of fitness or possibly because right was faster. Control number 5 was good. I felt a bit slow but the splits seem to suggest otherwise. Number 6 was a short leg but i hit it quite smoothly once again. I made another big mistake (16 seconds) leaving the control (see map), nearly running straight into the fence before consulting my map and proceeding to hit control 7 smoothly.
Control 8 was short and sweet and i could now get back to work at gaining places after my poor start. I was happy with my route to 9 as i was familiar with it although going left, on the main road, looks fast when i look at it now. I managed a 32nd fastest split on that control though so i'm pretty happy. Number 10 seemed obvious to me as i didn't see the left route choice but again i was pretty happy as i came 25th on the leg.
Control 11 was a just running but i was extremely confused leaving it as i couldn't understand the taped route on the map. I was extremely confused leaving the taped route and went left around the building instead of right wasting 9 seconds to 12. Going left to 13 felt like it was to long but i don't think it was much longer than right when i consider my physical state at the time.
14 was back the way i had come so it was quite simple while i chose to go left to number 15 which seems to have been the fastest route although it looks a bit longer. To 16 i decided to go back the way i had gone before although right seemed faster because it was flat and paved (lost 6 seconds). My route to 17 was good but i was really dying now and lost more than 6 seconds purely due to fitness. The finish chute started out terribly. I was finished and felt like I had nothing left to give. But an American who was right behind me gave me motivation to sprint it out when he tried to pass me. The sprint worked out well and I left him in the dust, although I was wrecked for the next few minutes and gulping down as much water as they could throw at me. I clearly need to work on my fitness because i was losing a lot of time at the end of the course.