Friday, February 19, 2010

10. Westgarth - Fairfield

A flat course and accomodating weather was a nice change from recent weeks.  The course offered more busy roads than normal - usually there's no more than one major road, most have none. The Westgarth map is set in a fairly built up area and the start/finish area was located right at the train station. There would need to be some decisions about how to cross the railway line also. There were 6 crossings in total, but really only 4 in play, one of which was a pedestrian overpass at the station.

At first, the route seemed quite simple. I decided to cross the track immediately and head to the north-east part of the course. There were 4 controls there and I could get them all in a nice loop heading down towards the track again. After I did, I worked out the rest of the route to take in 7 more controls. They very much jumped out at me. It was quite obvious which controls to get, so it was just a matter of concentrating on running. In order to avoid crossing across the track and back another time, I would need to get 7 -- 19, but they didn't lead well into the finish, so the pair of 20 -- 2 was the best option.

The flat course help me run pretty much the whole way, with a couple of stops to regain bearings and plan the next section, but I can see improvement in my stamina. Looking at the map now, I can see I could've possibly done #2 at the beginning and finished with 20, but I'm not sure it would've made much difference. I finished 3rd for the C-course, but at least 3 minutes behind the first two runners.

Looking at the map, route selection didn't seem to be an issue for any of the courses, with clear options for everyone. I do appreciate the effort the course-setters go to in planning each event and it's clearly not an easy job all the time. Maybe combined with the flat terrain, this made the event not one of the most challenging one, but still, everyone still has the chance to make it as competitive as they like.

Yallambie next week. There's bound to be more off-road running with the proximity to Plenty River. And only a month of events to finish up the summer series.

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