The Scottish 6 Days was a great start to my training year in Norway. After coming back from a post-JWOC recovery week I was excited to have the chance to race hard at another large international competition!
The Scottish 6 Days consisted of six days of races and a rest day after the third race. All races had approximately fifty minute winning times no matter the distance (less distance equaled more climb and more heather).
The final results would be calculated from your top four races.This meant that I could throw away my worse two days of racing. Right off of the bat I was grateful to be able to throw away my first race as I had a pretty rough time adjusting to the terrain and mapping.
Here was a short list of things that I learnt from that run:
- Many of the cut trails are not marked (read with contours)
- Ferns can become impassable (marked with green slashes)
- Large portions of forest are covered in heather which is brutal running (keep at one steady pace)
After learning from my mistakes I made it my goal to rebound well and improve each day. Over the next couple of races I pushed my boundaries and continued to adapt to the terrain. That consistent improvement enabled me to place 4th on the second day and then 2nd the day after.
Coming back from the rest day I was worried that I might not have my racing mindset. I proved that that was not the case with a 2nd and 3rd place finish over the next two days. After the fifth day of racing I was third overall figured out that the only way for me to move up a place was to win the sixth day.
This rattled my focus and I made a silly mistake to my first control and then several more over the next couple of technical controls. That took me well out of the realm of coming first and so I turned my focus over to finishing strong.
While I might have not had the best final race, I was still really happy with my overall result. Placing third was a testament to the level of consistent, high quality races that I can now achieve. Along with that, the Scottish 6 Days became my first ever International Competition in which I made the Podium.
I know that there is still lots of room for improvement and I am so glad to have started of my year of training in Europe with such a solid result. From here I will race a few high level races in Switzerland before starting school and training in Oslo, Norway. Over the next year I will work hard on maintaining an upward trajectory while I prepare for JWOC 2018 in Hungary and WOC 2019 in Norway!
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