In July, I headed out to Norway with the GB team for JWOC to compete in 3 of the races – sprint, long distance and the relays. After settling in and checking out similar terrain, I was feeling ready for the races but as it was my first JWOC, not really sure of what to expect in terms of results.
My first race was the sprint in Åmot, a little town – from my preparations, I knew it wasn’t a tricky town but the planners were good and I knew they wouldn’t let it be an easy course, so I was ready for sprint full route choices, and taking minimal risks. Having made a small mistake near the beginning, missing a path junction I was meant to turn down, I was on the ball for the rest of it and had a pretty clean race to finish 17th – I was chuffed!
Then I had a couple of days off to recover and cheer my team mates at the Middle Distance races before the long race came about. This was the race I had been looking forward to most and it started well for me. I was fairly clean through to control 4 and feeling comfortable, but then came the long leg to control 5 which went terribly wrong. I got most of the way there but made a parallel error and ran down onto the wrong section of slope, unable to relocate for around 10 minutes. After I eventually found 5, I knew I had no chance of doing well now so was quite demotivated for the rest of the course and finished 72nd.
The next day was the relays, so had to brighten up quickly! I wasn’t feeling great on the start line of the relays (I was running first leg) but knew I had to have a clean run to put my team mates out in a good position. Despite a couple of mistakes, I sent Sarah out in 7th position – unfortunately she didn’t have a great time out there but Julie on 3rd leg had a solid run to bring us back as 12th nation.
JWOC was a brilliant experience, and I’m really happy with 2 out of 3 of my races so am looking forward to working towards and competing at JWOC 2016 in Switzerland. We’ve already been out there as a team this summer to see what lies ahead of us (lots of mountains)! I’m really grateful to the John Taylor Foundation for supporting me with a grant.