I have decided to take an example from my favourite football club and start the season slowly. Saturday’s national event at Tel Hadid, on a newly mapped section of the forest, was very slow and I had a really bad run by my standards. Physically I felt better than I expected, but technically I was rubbish – out of practice and probably in need of a magnifier attached to my compass.
The slow start extended to the race itself – after crossing the path on the way to control 1 my focus jumped to control 2, so I was reading the map around 2 while looking for 1, and by the time I noticed my mistake I had lost contact. There were a few other time losses in these tricky slopes, but I got better as the course progressed.
Surprisingly, I finished only 3rd in H40 and the splits say I had the 5th lowest mistake percentage on the course, which means that either everyone else was just as unfocused, or I’m better than I thought.
Then there was the singles issue: the maps had all the bike single-tracks, of which there are a lot and not all can be marked, removed. Some of those unmarked tracks caused my mess-up at the start of the long leg (8-9), where I made a parallel error. On the way home I noticed that Roni’s map had the singles on it – apparently a small batch were printed with them by mistake, and as a late starter she got lucky. It explains why she was 2 minutes ahead of me at control 8, but not why she finished 12 minutes behind! I appealed on principle, but luckily very few runners were affected and I won’t insist on any action.
Alon (now aged 4.5) tried the new children’s course and enjoyed (half of) it, though he’s not really reading the map yet. He also wore Ayala’s old club o-suit (she’s almost 12 now) and there’s a great picture of us here (by Dalia Ravid).