An earlier start to the day, with the athletes expected to have breakfasted and be ready for their ‘JWOC shuttle’ service to the start of the Long distance simulation by 8.30am. It was an 80 minute drive to the town of Marchaevo. We arrived at the finish area, then ‘shuttled’ the athletes up a very narrow, winding, blackberry lined, steep, pot-holed road to the start.
There was a small warm up map to use to look at some of the forest detail, before each runner was called into the starting grid.
The course lengths were 2.55km for women and 3.75km for the men and several of the legs allowed for route choice options. The course was mostly downhill through runnable forest. Those with GPS watches recorded their run to be able to download back at the hotel. Toph is going to put these routes on to the programme “3D Re-run” and we can further analyse the variety of route choice options that were taken.
The simulation exercise was a great opportunity for everyone to put their preferred JWOC race routine into practice. After a picnic lunch we returned to Samakov, for snack supplies, an unsuccessful attempt to find a laundrette (looks like handwashing in the large hotel baths is our only option now) and for a chance to wander around the area to get a feel for the area prior to the JWOC Sprint.
It was good to return to the hotel by 4.30pm where we could all choose our preferred means of relaxation; blogging, reading, internet catch up time, swimming, sauna or cocooned up in a relaxation pod listening to ‘chilled out’ music and dreaming about the good food being prepared in the hotel kitchen for our dinner.