The Long competition day is aptly named as it always turns out to be a long and difficult day both for the athletes and coaches. Once again the start times determined the Bus timetable with some of us leaving at 7:00am.
Once at the start area the problems began. A 10 min downpoor ensured that everything was wet. On arrival of the second bus an announcement was made that the start would be delayed for 30min. This meant that Kurt, Claire and Sarah, who had done most of their warm up, had to sit down and start again later. Oh, wait, another meeting. The start is now delayed by 40min. We still don't really know why. This delay caused some dramas and uncertainty back at the barracks but, to their credit the team just shugged their shoulders and got on with the job.
The sun came out, the coaches got sunburnt and by 2pm all the athletes were in the forest. The two coaching zones kept Aislinn and Valerie busy looking after the athletes and taking photos. The usual tension and streess of keeping an eye on the clock, wishing the best for all and then concern as to what might have happened to some added to the emotional mix of the day.
Eventually the whole team had crossed the line and it was time for reflection.
Each member of the squad had worked hard and finished the event determinedly all the way to the finish. All runners had some good legs, some average ones and some very poor ones. The general consensus was that a week is not enough to master the intricacies of navigating in this very specialised type of terrain. A large percentage of the course is track running and then each athlete has to master the varying vegetation and sand dune contour detail.
Confidence in most cases is a bit battered bt all have expressed a determination to learn how to be better and are planing to bounce back for the middle. Study of splits has shown that the Australians are as fast, and at times as good as the best and there is a pervarading determination to prove this. Heres hoping they can.
To add insult to our wounds another bus muck up meant that most Australians spent 2 hours waiting at the finish for a ride home. On arriving back at 7:45 and a late meal ther was little energy to update this log yesterday. Appologies for the late Blog.