First up on the new profile page is Wrekins latest signing, Duncan Birtwistle. I asked Duncan a few probing questions to kick us off..
- Great to see you joining up with Wrekin Orienteers, what brings you to Shropshire?
Too be honest, before I moved I didn't really know much about Shifnal, Telford (where I live) or the rest of Shropshire! Apart from that Mercia Fell Runners were loosely based in these parts and that there was a bit of a downhill mountain bike scene.
Coming here though I really love it, particularly the Wrekin, Long Mynd and the network of paths around my house. Shrewsbury and Bridgnorth are nice and it's pretty easy to get the train east into Birmingham and beyond, or west into Wales.
- Congratulations on an excellent JK, was your 22nd in the elite in the sprint your best result of the weekend?
I thought our Senior Mens relay team did really well too setting great times on the longest relay course to finish 14th. Thanks to Craig Storey and Clive Richardson for being up for racing against some elite foreigners!
- How did you take on Bigland both mentally and physically?
Due to the steepness and technicality of the final section it was clear that the running wouldn't be too fast in that part - meaning I should run extra hard everywhere else. That worked pretty well and I came through the spectator run-through hearing I was 2 1/2 minutes down on the lead which I was satisfied with.
Knowing it was technical going into the steep stuff I slowed right down. On one checkpoint though, perhaps due to tiredness, I didn't slow down enough and lost 5 minutes by being on the wrong side of a big spur. This meant I was caught by Alasdair McLeod and got to see how he raced the rest of the course.
- I see you're up to 17th in the UK rankings, do you see yourself in the top ten soon and are you looking at the selection races for the world champs?
- I guess your running in the BOC 2015 at Forest of Dean whats your target and do you have any local knowledge you can share?
- You are clearly a talented endurance athlete what ambitions have you for other sports?
Complimenting Wrekin's Tuesday evening orienteering (starting 28th April at Edgemond Hall) the Shropshire Fell Race Summer Series on Wednesday nights will be fun and hopefully I'll beat Lloyd Taggart the next time I race him.
I took delivery of a cyclocross bike off eBay this week and once the summer is over I'd like to record a sub-4hr time in the Yorkshire Three Peaks Cyclocross race.