The British Sprint and Middle champs were held last weekend, the sprints in the Olympic Park in London, the middles at Leith Hill in Surrey. Fiona, Helen O and Paul all went, but not together, because Fiona stayed in London, Paul got an early train and Helen got a late train.
The sprint courses had a qualifier and a final. The starts of the qualifier were delayed by about 20 minutes, but it was nice weather so it wasnâ€™t too bad. The courses went around some very square buildings, before crossing the road into some quite un-technical parkland. Helen came 9th, Fiona 18th and Paul 8th in the heats. Top 6 went through to the A final, then next 20ish to B final, so everyone qualified for the B, with Helen and Paul quite close to the A.
After a couple of hours wait, the start lists for the final were released, and it began to rain heavily, and didnâ€™t stop until the finals were over. This time, the course was almost completely in the park, and more interesting than earlier, with more routechoices and slightly more difficult navigation. There were lots of wooden steps, which got quite slippy in the rain, so you had to be careful while running. Fiona was 26th, Paul came 3rd and Helen came 1st in the B final.
After we had finished and it stopped raining, Paul and Helen joined some DRONGOs staying at James Hoadâ€™s house, and had lots of veggie chilli and cinnamon cake which were very nice.
On Sunday morning we got up and drove to Leith Hill in the rain, walked to the arena in the rain, and warmed up in the rain, but then it stopped. The courses were technical, with lots of paths and very intricate contours. There was quite a lot of undergrowth, so going by paths was often the fastest route, even though they were very #muddy. This didnâ€™t make the navigation any easier, as there were so many of them it was hard to tell which path you were on.
We didnâ€™t visit the tower at the top of the hill, which is the highest point on an East-West line between America and the Urals in Russia.
Today, Fiona came 34th in W21, Paul came 6th in M20 and Helen won W20, holding on to her British Middle title!
After that, we got a lift with James and then various trains back, so Helen arrived back in Cambridge by 18.00, but Paul walked across London instead and got back at 19.21.
All in all, a good weekend.