We headed up to Oxford this weekend for the second annual City Race. As you can see from the photo, I was seeded number one. I suspect this had more to do with our request for split starts than my form. Unfortunately, when it comes down to events of this nature I usually do best in a head to head race so starting last and with lots of fast people just in front of me wasn’t a good omen.
As my route shows, the focus of the event had moved to North Oxford with St Anne’s, St Hugh’s, Sommerville, Green College and Wycliffe Hall forming part of the course. It therefore wasn’t a good sign when I started disappearing off south down Parks Road towards the Kings Arms. I was too busy looking and ahead and had failed to realise that, with a 1:5000 scale map I should have turned off along South Parks Road in to the Science Area. The upshot of this was that after just 4 controls there was little chance of me catching anyone and I was going to be on my own for the whole race.
The other disadvantage of starting late was that, as subsequent inspection of Christine’s course showed, there would have been competitors approaching some controls from the opposite direction earlier on in the day. This might have saved me considerable time faffing about in the circle on several controls. I also though it was a little unfair that with the touch free Emit controls the kite was often folded flat meaning that they were all but invisible from the side. In what is definitely becoming a common theme, the real problem was simply that I wasn’t running fast enough and in the final reckoning I was languishing in 34th place over 10 minutes down on Nick Barrable’s winning time.
It was the JOK AGM in the evening, most of which I spent feeding Emma or pacing up and down at the back of the room with her. Many thanks to Heather who then babysat whilst we headed over to the annual dinner at Al-Shami. The fact that I was driving meant I remember considerably more of the dinner than I did last year!