WFDF WOC 2017 Day 5 Update. There was some confusion last night about who was going to move on to the discathon finals for the women. The issue stemmed from the fact that the junior girls have been competing with the women all week and most expected they would continue to do so in the 5 person final which would mean that I could sleep another hour before needing to be at the fields for the disc golf final. But we set an alarm in case we got confirmation that I would need to run. I admit I was disappointed when we woke to a message saying I was in the final as I woke to what felt like an even more burdensome illness. I knew the run was going to hurt and that I would bring up the rear.
We got to the course with little time to spare (by design). I didn’t intend to warm up. With no more than 1 minute before the women’s final was going to start, Rick told me, “a DNF is better than a scratch”. I looked at him as if he was speaking in code. I had no idea what he meant. The final was supposed to have 5 women running. One of the 5 was not present. She would take a scratch for the finals (5th place). So if I start the race, I would be ahead of that and take 4th. It was not necessary for me to finish to take 4th. In my current condition it was nearly impossibly for me to do anything better than that. Note: it would be hard for me to finish better than that even if I was feeling fantastic. So, with 30 seconds to spare I was able to readjust my thought process and assimilate the information I was given. We approached the line, the start was announced. We all threw. The other three took off after there discs. I paused slightly, took a little hop and slowly jogged to my disc. I picked up my disc and walked back to the start to watch the other women run the race. It was strange, but there was no need to expend that energy.
Next up, disc golf. This is the event, for obvious reasons, that I feel the most pressure. I was sitting in second, 2 strokes behind Nilo. Everyone would be playing a full round of 18 to determine the winners. The weather was threatening rain at the start and the winds were strong. I started off well and gained back both strokes in the first few holes. After that we stayed very close. The lead changed back and forth a few times. I was finally making my small puts which was such a relief. The round felt like it went fast even though it lasted 3.5 hours. I managed to stay focused while (mostly) enjoying the ride. I played the course better today then the previous two rounds. With 3 holes left following a ridiculously good, into the wind, 30+ foot putt by Nilo, we found ourselves tied over all. In the end I gained 2 more strokes to take the win.
The last event for the day was Freestyle. We were looking forward to the warmth of playing in a gym and getting out of the cold, rain and wind. There was some confusion with the facilities and it ended up going to a vote as to whether we would play inside or stay on site and play in a tent that was at most 50′ x 40′. The first vote was a tie! But shortly after it was determined we would stay in the tent. This made warm ups tricky as the conditions outside were quite unfavorable. There were 3 pools of players. The first two pools were open players. Rick and his partner, Jason Salkey, were in the first pool. The did absolutely great! They looked like they play together all the time and could read what the other was going to do. It was a really fun routine to watch and they did well enough to make it into the finals! In now 40 years of playing Overall events, this is Rick’s first Freestyle finals!
I had he absolute privilege of playing with Freestyle great, Bianca Strunz from Germany. I am so grateful that she agreed to make the trip to play with me. We did a little warm up, but I got tired fairly quickly and decided it would be better to conserve my energy. We were the last group in the last pool. One advantage to playing in the tent was that the crowd was really into it. They were inches away from the action at times and the energy was fantastic for all the groups. Again, the goal for this performance was to make it to the finals tomorrow. I haven’t seen the scores, but I know that Bianca and I did well enough to play again. It was so much fun. She is an absolute joy to play with. She is so encouraging and always smiling. We executed well and it felt like the crowd loved it. It is such a good feeling to be able to get such energy from the crowd. I’m already looking forward to playing again tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be busy. I am competing in the 5 remaining finals. I have already planned the most strategic times in the day to take my next shot of Beechams which seems to be the English version of DayQuil.
Time for bed.