Beaudesert National Event

Sunday 13th December, a very important date in many juniors diaries, Walton Chasers were the organisers of the Interland Selection Race held at Cannock Chase. From the moment I rose out of bed, to standing on the start line I was nervous, but you have to learn how to cope with this. Personally, I think of all the good races I have had, what my coach’s’ encouraging words are and most importantly self belief. Later on you will no doubt meet many friends from all different ages, so when I got to the event I knew what time I had to leave and made sure I included time to talk to my friends before preparing for the race.

When my leaving for my start, I had a mental check that I had everything, what I call my orienteering accessories, compass and dibber etc. I left 10 minutes for a warm up and this time is also taken for mental preparation. My warm up includes jogging to the start, another 5 minutes of jogging at the start and some dynamic stretches. Then 3 minutes before my start I clear my dibber and this is when I start to prepare mentally. I get in my “zone” for every race so this is no different for this event. Then in the start boxes you collect control descriptions, look at the map and have one final minute to psyche yourself up. Whilst out in your race be careful not to get overconfident if things are going really well and just do what works for you, you know your strengths and weaknesses. Most importantly, do not get put off by other competitors, it is your race so run it yourself. I made a mistake because, I did not find the best route for a control to give me the best attack point, take just a couple more seconds looking at the map and it will save you minutes in the long run.

After your run, if possible go through splits and routes with friends, or anyone that ran the same course as you. If not then make sure, maybe on the way home, that you analyse your course. Make sure you know what mistakes you made to learn from however, it is just as important to focus on the good things in the race. From my personal experience of this race, I initially thought I had such a bad run, however on further reflection; I did so many things well. I also beat people I do not usually and came close to people I have not before, however people beat me that do not usually. So with learning from my mistakes I will be able to beat these people for definite next time, also the focus on the good things will give me the confidence on the start line of the next important event.

So remember, focus on the good things that happen in the race, even if it a bad run there will be loads of things you did well.

Race well :-)

Any questions feel free to ask!

Rachel Collins