Jukola (17/06/2012)
Category: Competition
Map/area: Sotunki/Sipoonkorpi
Organiser: Keravan Urheilijat/Pihkaniskat.
Country: Finland
Discipline: XC/Night
Leg: 2
Distance: 14.66 km
Time: 113:14
Average HR: 182
Maximum HR: 196
Jukola 2nd leg, 12.9km

So, another Jukola and another leg, having previously done 1, 3 & 4. Ben was strong on first leg, taking us home around the 420 mark so I set off with lots of people. Took advantage of the long run out to warm up properly and plan the first few legs, and took a decent look at the long leg - had pretty much planned what I was going to do for that. Unfortunately I didn't then get a decent grip of the first control, and made a right mess of it following the crowds (although in hindsight it seems many of the elites did similar!) - probably binned around 4 minutes. Got very lucky on 2, as I was on the verge of bailing out to relocate as nothing was fitting en-route, but after that pulled myself together and having dropped to 434th, went ok through to 12 and was up to 408. Could have taken a few better lines by trusting my own instinct rather than the crowds.

Started to fall apart at 12, as I checked my emit brikke after leaving the control and it flashed the wrong number (123 rather than 124), I hadn't gone to a different one surely? Even though I knew it was probably fine (it was a drinks control) I wasn't going to risk it so went back, punched again and checked code and again they didn't match so it was fine, but in the process lost 90s and a huge pack. After that I was a bit pissed off and had some dead running alone, ended up mid thigh in a marsh, and started to struggle a little physically.

Missed on 15 & slow to 16 but think I took a decent route on the long leg to 17, having already planned it pretty much although in hindsight it might have been better heading through the marshes rather than over the top.

Got scrappy and lucky after that, particularly through 19-20-21, and it was a fight to the finish after cramping coming off the hill at 21 and finding my gels had burst in my pocket (too late for them anyway).

Was really struggling physically round the final loop and quite amazed to pick up places here, really felt I was going backwards and was incredibly frustrated I couldn't keep my legs moving well.

In the end I came home in 382, probably my best Jukola result with only one big boom, but still nowhere near a run I can be happy with, such is the beauty and beast that is this event. It was a bit easier technically, and maybe even physically, than previous years, but I really didn't have the terrain fitness to take advantage (which isn't too unsurprising).
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Jukola (17/06/2012)