I have written quite a lot on this blog about the need to not settle for mediocrity, about the need for those of us who are "stuck" in a pattern in our sporting careers to get out of a hole by changing our habits, our goals our motivations, our technique, whatever! It is those people amongst us seeking actively and hard to improve themselves that lead and motivate the rest of us. They may not be the people that produce the world class results down the line (though they may be) but they contribute enormously to the competitiveness and motivation of the field, including the established stars
Some people I have noticed in this regard in the last six months are Rita Holmes (an absolute star at Oceania and coming through well at nationals), Matt Scott (consistently threatening), Greg Flynn (losing his bad habits?) and Nick Harris (closing the gap on the pack). I'm going to try and catch up with these people in the next while and find out their thoughts on their improved performances, so watch out for that!
In the meantime some brief observations from Nationals...Woodhill, "straight is great!!!" We all know straight is the best option on Woodhill, its just a matter of getting fit enough and strong enough in terrain to make this decision and run hard. What can you/can't you read? How good is your compass technique? How quickly do you relocate? (on this last point comparing Darren to anyone else is fascinating...the flash seems to be pretty good at minimising the volume of his mistakes). The middle distance. I can watch Brent sit down and cry after number 15 time and time again. But something more educational is watching Neil versus Carsten...the master of contours versus the crazy fast guy. Optimize those routes!
Cool, any good/amusing photos from Nationals send them through!