Saturday, 25 January 2020
The Lonely Mountain Sprint event is named after Mt Taranaki which we can see out our dining room window.
Today was the first day of the series. We had two races, one at 9ish, then another one at 4ish. In the middle the elites were carrying on with their knockout sprints which meant they had up to 4 races each.
I thought both events were really fun. The morning was a park & school campus, the afternoon was around an old cemetery and then into a school campus again. I had two pretty good runs so I'm sitting on top of the leader board in my class - I just need to hold on tomorrow (easier said than done). Everyone else had some dumb moments which cost them some time although everyone except Jon was significantly better in the afternoon - Jon still doesn't have his luggage and he had to deal with the pain of sweat pouring into his eyes due to not wearing his contact lenses (they are in his bag) which may or may not have contributed to some particularly dumb mistakes he made in the afternoon.
After 2 races there are only 8 seconds separating Riley and Jett - Riley was 8 seconds faster in the first race then they dead heated the second.
Julia and Zali are less close but I think they both have a chance to get third overall if they can be fast and consistent tomorrow.
and as for Jon - while he is enjoying living a simple life - one uncomplicated by possessions or even changes of clothes - it is starting to affect his performances. Today he had to run with an old SI stick so he was the only one not able to use air-punching which is significantly slower after 25 controls especially when the organisers put the finish punch 5 metres further than the finish line everyone else just had to cross. And of course he had to run with glasses rather than contact lenses which is not his preferred option!
Jon in his bought gear + old shoes.
After our 2nd race we settled down to watch the final of the elite race. By now they were whittled down to 6 in each class and we could watch the tracking on the screen as well as live as they ran in and out of view. It was very entertaining. In the first race the clear favourite (Lizzy Ingham) took an early lead only to have it all come asunder as she got to the 2nd control and realised she couldn't punch as she hadn't cleared her SI stick before the race. oops. In the mens race the clear favourite and leader by a fair chunk blew it all at one of the last controls as he made an inexplicable mistake - allowing 3 runners to come flying by him and have a pretty exciting finish.
Back at home Riley and Jett made dinner (rice paper rolls) and we had Zali and Julia's cake for dessert. Tomorrow the roles will be reversed so we're looking forward to the girls 'mexican and whatever the boys come up with for dessert.
I'm hoping we get a chance to do a few more touristy things tomorrow as our races will be over a bit earlier in the day. I spied a sculpture park on our way to the event today, and there is talk of a light festival somewhere nearby.
I'm writing this now as we listen to the JJJ hottest one hundred while everyone else plays bananagrams.