Our X-Talon 212 shoes propelled committed athlete Graham Gristwood to the 2014 British Night Orienteering Championship title.
Graham reflects on that victory in his latest blog.
I haven’t taken part in the British Championships for the last couple of years due to living in Sweden, but now I am back living in the UK, the home championships are high on my priority list.
I’ve done a lot of night orienteering over the last couple of years, with quite a bit success. The British Championship, however, had eluded me. Until last weekend that is.
Night orienteering might not be a lot of British runners’ cup of tea, but the competition was again fierce this year, with last year’s winner Rich Robinson and three-times victor Nick Barrable both taking part.
I warmed up for the race by coming second at the Scottish Night Championships the previous weekend, just behind club and GB teammate Mark Nixon, who decided not to travel down to the South East for the British Championship event.
The race was held in Pippingford Park, close to Crawley. Having grown up in Surrey, this was terrain I knew well!
I had a fairly good technical performance, with a time loss of around two minutes due to mistakes over the 11km course.
My physical shape was good too, and I was able to win most of the split times to the 34 checkpoints. I found the inov-8 X-Talon 212s were excellent in the wet and muddy conditions. They were light and grippy, while also offering underfoot protection.
My time of 63 minutes was almost five minutes ahead of runner-up Jegor Kostylev (a Russian living in Britain), with Rich and Nick taking third and fourth respectively.
I was delighted to win my first British title since 2011. My aim is to add to my tally later in the year. I will take part in the Long and Relay in May, and the Sprint and Middle distance in September. If I win the Long distance championship, I believe I will be the first athlete ever to win all five titles.