After a summer of sport climbing I was pretty psyched for lead climbing and looking forward to the British Lead Climbing Champs (BLCCs). Being selected for the Puurs (Belgium) Lead World Cup was a surprise though as I hadn't really planned to start lead internationally this year. But because of being selected I thought I may as well give it a go and get an idea of the standard. I regretted my decision about a week before Puurs as I watched loads of videos of previous comps there and realised how flipping massive the wall was. I was feeling pretty good though and fitter than I had done in a while so slowly started to look forward to the trip.
It was nice going out to Belgium with a small team and Mechelen, where we stayed, was an impressive place with huge churches and big squares round every corner. The comp however did not really go well. Looking at the routes I was nicely surprised as the holds looked positive and none of the moves looked super hard, but unfortunately I still panicked when I pulled on and let nerves get the better of me. I fought on for a bit but was quite disappointed with my first route. I tried so hard to calm myself down for the second route I became too lethargic and forgot to pull. Again another disappointing result. It was hard to stay in mood too long with a supportive team who were all climbing really well; Molly managing to make semis!
After getting home and reflecting on the comp as a whole I'm feeling pretty positive. The routes weren't too hard for me, they were too long but I knew I hadn't done as much endurance as I would have liked. And I came 34th which isn't too bad for my first lead world cup.
The week after Puurs was BLCCs. Having got into the habit of one lead comp a year I wasn't sure how I was feeling about this comp. I think in the end that did me good, I felt very relaxed throughout the comp and managed to climb the routes how I wanted to, as fast as possible.
The field was stronger than it has been in years and I only just made it into finals in joint 5th (7 made finals). I came out first (as they'd randomised the bottom 3 joint qualifiers) which always suits me. I raced up the first half of the route, desperately trying not to get pumped, had a breathe, then kept going. The route was pretty long so I was so happy to still be on it through the roof. I fell going for a big move round a corner, which was the same place as a couple of others but my speed paid off and I came 3rd, my best result in a senior national!
BLCCs Final Video (vimeo)
|Podium : Lucy, Molly and Me|
I was super happy with my result but glad I could pack my harness away for the rest of the year and get back to bouldering.
The winter boulder comps started almost straight away with The Battle of Britain at the Depot Leeds the weekend after. Qualifiers didn't go that well for me as I still find a busy, 30 problem format tricky, but I made finals in 4th place. Finals went much better and I managed to get another 3rd place :)
Battle of Britain Final Video
I've got a few weeks before the next comp so proper training has started. I'm enjoying it so far!