Yesterday was the final day of the World Games and our final race day with the Mixed sprint relay. The terrain was much the same as the Middle distance and in fact half of the relay map overlapped the middle map. It largely encompassed an area of spiky bamboo forest with some open areas with long grass, and a physically sapping fast park bit at the end.
Chris headed off into the forest on the first leg and stuck with the main bunch. He appeared to had a pretty solid run, however coming through the spectator loop before the end he looked to have a bit of blood on him from the nasty spiky bamboo. This was enough for me (Tane) to change to long pants! Chris handed over to Rachael just behind Latvia. Rachael end up on the long gaffling and managed to visit what felt like every split control before hers. None the less she maintained control and brought us in again just behind Latvia. Rachael handed over to me and I had Edgas Bertuks just in front to help draw me along. I had a fairly solid run, I made a few hesitations here and there but unlike yesterday I made no mistakes where I lost over 5 seconds or so. I wasn’t quite quick enough to keep up with Edgas through the last bit and I suspect he was running fast to make up for the time he wasted on the first few controls! I handed over to Georgia and the race for 9th place with the team USA began! We had managed to collectively get about 2.5-3mins up on them over the duration of the race which we were hoping would be enough to keep Ali Crocker (with some outstanding results this World Games and year) at bay. Georgia ran well and did not make any mistakes up to the spectator leg. By Ross’s watch the lead was 1:40 which we were not sure but though it was just enough. Georgia was unsure about the state of the rough open and went down and around to avoid it but unfortunately Ali could now see her and was hunting her down. Georgia held her off right to the last control where she punched ahead and the sprint off to the finish began. They were neck and neck but in the end Ali just nudged Georgia out by 1/100th of a second. So all around a pretty well matched race within a race!
|The US and us after our 1/100 of a second beating...|
At the front end of the field there was mis-punches by Norway, Great Brittan and Czech Republic, Sweden didn’t have a full team as Tove was sick, but apparently mis-punched anyway, but Switzerland was in control after Matthias Kyburz with his two gold medals already took control of the race. They finished first to secure the Gold for Switzerland, some redemption from World Champs! Denmark came in to take silver and to complete an all red and white finish the Austrians took out the Bronze medal with a really good performance.
After the race Chris was complaining about a bamboo spike that either went in and out or was still stuck in his leg. When Chris starts complaining something is hurting its not a good sign and with an adventure race in Brazil to do next week he went back to the medical tent 3 times before they started to listen to him. He disappeared while we all went to the buses, which we all thought was typical Chris being slack. But turns out he never made it to the bus and was taken by Ambulance to Hospital. The doctors spent a few hours figuring out if there was anything there and whether they could do anything but eventually they decided to cut him open and operate. So while we were at the Closing Ceremony he was spending the evening in the Hospital 30min out of town. Eventually we got word he was ok but it wasn’t until 3am this morning that a solemn Chris he made it back to the hotel, with stitches, anti-biotics and a limp.
The Closing Ceremony fairly amazing consisting of the Colombian good old pass time of waiting. The place was crawling with Police and Helicopters circled above the entire time. Eventually we entered the stadium to 50,000 excited people. Minna of course was really getting the crowd into it which was highly amusing! A lot of Salsa dancing made up the rest of the Ceremony (Cali is famous for Salsa), and it was topped off with some pretty amazing fireworks.
Now Rachael, Georgia, myself and Kathryn Preston head of for a few days of sightseeing while a disappointed Chris has a few days wait and a doctors appointment on Tuesday and now its highly likely that he is heading home instead of racing in Brazil which is according to the advice given by the doctors.
(Written by Tane)