Chase start

It was a bit difficult justifying the expense of a solo trip to Loughborough tonight – a total non-elite like me can hardly claim the need to practise before the JK sprint on Friday – but the fact that it was a chasing sprint swung it. In fact, the organisation was mind-blowing for what was an “informal” event. Kudos to Peter Hornsby for the lovely map – a fantastic resource for the club and the university.

The prologue was a gaffled (or butterfly?) mass-start. Ah, jargon! What that meant was that we were all escorted to the start, and when the starter gave the word we all started together. But so that we didn’t just follow each other, our maps had the controls in different orders. There were a few people who had the same order as me, so I got used to seeing them as I dashed around. I did okay: 12:05 for the 1.7 km (winning time 8:51) losing a bit of time (like most people) going up a dead end to #8, and by forgetting at the last punch that there was also a finish control to go to!

When it came to the chasing start, I discovered from my place in the queue that not that many runners had been quicker than me. 🙂 Unfortunately quite a few of them overtook me over the 3.2 km, which took me 26:01. My legs are still feeling heavy – over the next few days I need plenty of sleep, plenty of liquids, and to get rid of this cold. Still, it was weird: I was running virtually on my own for most of the race, with most of the overhauling taking place towards the end.

Results (I thought my 17 seconds for leg 14 was good, but now I see that the best time for it was 1 second!)

About chasing sprints: why not send the runners out in reverse, with the slowest first? I suppose there’d be a lot more following, but it’d be fun!

One negative about the event: all the SI boxes were held in place with cable ties. This meant that sometimes they were dangling awkwardly and/or hard to get the dibber into. Something that needs to be worked on, but a small price to pay for an excellent show.

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