French 5-Day, Day 5, France, 1984, M40
So after four days I had a lead of a little over 8 minutes, a very comfortable margin for the chase start, but it just seemed to make me more nervous -- like, I might really win this thing -- and the result was not pretty. It didn't take long on the way to the first control (#21) to feel quite lost, have trouble telling what was up and what was down, and I was sliding into panic mode far too quickly. And a pattern -- blowing the first control in a chase start -- that would repeat itself more often than I cared for over the following years....
Missed the second one (22) also. High anziety for the next few controls, none of which were easy, but all of which I nailed, until an easy one (70 to 31), top of the hill, missed it too plus a questionable route. More panic, but fortunately the rest went well and I'd only sqandered 5 minutes of the lead. All's well that ends well, I suppose, and I think the prize was a nice bottle of red Bordeaux, but not a good omen for the future.