Thursday, 10 October 2013

Awesome wall, Awesome comp! by Flo Tilley

Well, that was one full on weekend. Saturday- The British Junior Lead Champs and Sunday- The British Senior Lead Champs and The British Junior Speed Champs.

I started off the weekend well, topping my first qualifier, a sustained crimpy climb. I couldn’t help however, but to keep the belayer on his toes, clipping from the last hold to do a sketchy double clip to the top!

Qualifier 1, Senior Lead
With my first climb out the way most the nerves had gone, enabling me to concentrate on the next rout. The climb looked progressively harder the further up you made your way to the top. I was psyched for the climb, imagining myself climbing well, pushing on through the crux. Unfortunately, when the time came to test my imagery, my lock off strength, once again failed me, coming off just as it stared to get interesting! I was frustrated because it put me in a slightly lower position but more because the rout looked so good I just wanted to finish it!

Never the less, this still securely got me into the final in 4th place. The isolation was good, the set out made it possible for us to have the whole of the bouldering wall, giving all the competitors space to warm up. The atmosphere was good, everyone warming up together, all waiting for our time to be called out. When it was my turn, I was feeling psyched, well warmed up for the rout ahead, trying to think of that podium spot. I walk up to my rout, gave it one last read, I dusted my shoes off on my leg, I look down, blood dripped down my shin. Ah, not good. A scab had been dusted off along with the grit. Never mind, time concentrate on the climb! I started well, climbing efficiently; the climb winding its way round the edge of the main overhang. I was ¼ of the way up, I knew I had to keep going, but my head, I realised I was too calm. I wanted to climb higher, but the fight wasn’t as strong a usual, I got to a cruxy sequence, I knew the next hold wasn’t positive, a bad slopa, or so I had in my head. I went for it but that fight wasn’t there to stick the hold; I came down, knowing I just didn’t try hard enough. However at the end of the day, I still got 4th place, not a bad position to have!

Podium! John standing in for Alexia!!
This year was my first year I was able to compete in the seniors, so Sunday brought me a whole new competition, The British senior championships! Our first qualifier was a vertical, techy rout, the type I love! When I was climbing I felt slightly sketchy, the nerves not quite subsided but I pulled through, making sure I kept breathing and after a burly move off a crimp I found myself clipping the chain. It felt good to top and relaxed me for the next climb. The next rout was as technical and also just my style! Once climbing I felt good, psyched for the moves ahead of me and getting into a no hands rest allowed me to recuperate on rout! I knew only a top would get me in the final, anything less and I would have to just watch them. Just 4 moves from topping, having passed all the cruxy sections my energy lacked from two full on days and left me with no power to carry on. However all was not lost, not reaching the finals meant the speed comp was still on for me!

I entered it for the fun, I knew I would be no good. Having only climbed on the speed wall a couple of times, a year before, and never having trained my speed I didn’t expect much. Never the less, the qualifiers went on and then the semi’s, then quarter finals and I realised I was in for a chance. The thought occurred to me that I could actually become British speed champion. It seemed obscure, but possible. And then I suddenly found my self getting nervous. I was ‘on my marks’ for 1st or 2nd place against Alexia Basch and I suddenly realised I wanted to win, I wanted the title! And then I was off. I was tired from the weekend but kept pushing, I could see Alexia next to me, climbing as fast (/ as slow), catching me up, but then I was hitting the top, 0.1 seconds before Alexia, with my fastest time and I am now British Junior Speed Champion with a speed of… wait for it… 25.88 seconds!!

It was an amazing weekend, climbing on the amazing new awesome walls and all I can say is I’m psyched to get training on it for the youth open in December!! A big thank you to Evolve for my new Shaman LV’s, an amazing fit, love the bump!!

Peace x

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