On Sunday, the fire brigade competition season resumed after the Christmas break with a competition in Mooroopna. This was a small gathering, with only 8 teams entered. I was expecting to run in 4 or 5 events, hoping to take it relatively easy, so I could save myself for a bigger target a week later - the Victorian Country Athletics Championships.
Instead, due to a combination of shortages and injuries across both of our teams, I ended up running in 9 events. First was the ladder race. In the heat, I ran a PB (post comeback) of 7.88 seconds (hand timed). For some reason, I was getting on the ladder better, with the only change in recent times being the commencement of triple jump training at athletics in the preceding week. Although narrowly beaten in my heat, I got into the final on the "fastest losers" rule. In the final, I ran 7.93.
Following the ladder race was the C section hose and ladder 5s. My run was a bit ordinary, as I missed grabbing the coupling at the start and had a hiccup getting onto the ladder, but we still ended up with a reasonable time (25.70) and a win. I managed to recover strongly to get up in plenty of time. Following the 5s, I was substituted into the A section side for the hose and ladder 8s. In this event, I ran pole. Nothing too dramatic happened with my part, and we ended up with second place.
In the dry events, I ran the 2 man marshall, where we got 4th place, and the 4 man Y (no places there). Then the pumper events, where I was in the pumper and ladder event. Ran my usual ladder position, with a slow start to the climb. Still made it up in time, but we just missed out on a place.
After a short lunch break, it was time for the reel events. My first event was the C section 4s. This time, I ran branch, requiring me to hit the back of the reel (with someone else) to get it moving, then pushing it almost to the branch line, where I got off, attached the branch to the hose and hit the target. The time was good and we had another win. Following the 4s I substituted in the A side again, this time for the hose and reel 8s. Had a good run, and we ended up with a second place.
We didn't field a team for the 6s, but the A side did. They had enough to run it, but they needed a 7th person to "catch" the reel. This requires standing just behind the targets during the event pretty much in the path of the reel. As it comes past, I have to grab it, so the last person in the pole can get out and finish the event. While I don't often catch these days, I am actually very experienced, mostly from my earlier days in the sport. Following the 6s was the champion 4s. With the only other available person injured earlier in the day, I had to run pole in this event. Although I was starting to get some muscle tightness from the multiple runs (and now hauling the cart), this was completed without incident. We didn't win our heat, which meant the end for us in that event. We also didn't run the Y8, due to insufficient injury free runners by this stage.
Finally, I had to substitute for the A team in the Y8. Here, I ran second branch, with a fairly routine run. Unfortunately, there was a problem later in the run after I hit my target, and our time wasn't good.
Since Sunday, I have been endeavouring to taper down for the Victorian Country Athletics Championships, which start tomorrow. On Tuesday, I just did the warmup, then spent a little time working on my triple jump. At fire brigade training, the hot weather and other factors saw us doing a lighter than normal session, focusing on dry work.