Over the last two weekends the final two national competitions of the year were held. The first was the first round of the British Cup at Awesome Walls in Sheffield and the second was the December Open bouldering competition held at the Unit in Derby.
This was the first British Cup ever held because before they were just stand alone competitions so all of a sudden this competition meant a lot more to me, because winning the cup would be a great achievement. I’ve had many competitions at Awesome walls, so I don’t really need to describe it but something that was different this time was; the amount of training I had done prior to the competition. I’d been advised to take the remainder of the year off so I hadn’t done any hard work for a good month before. My first two qualifiers were surprisingly steady and I managed to top them both out. I was safely through to the final. The final was on the overhanging wall with a little roof at the bottom. While route-reading I thought I could do this as all the moves seemed very straight forward. Isolation I always find stressful and end up sitting quietly focussing on my performance. My heart beats faster when I get called out and suddenly you are in front of a large crowd being expected to climb as well as you can. However this is probably the part I enjoy most about competitions that nervous excitement. I pull on to the route, the holds are red and I enjoy it as the moves linked together really well. I turn the lip and have a really disgusting match but then I’m off again. I start to feel lactic acid build up in my arms as they start struggling to hold on in a relaxed position, however I’m almost at the top and I cross to a sloper and find I can’t even hold it! I tried getting a better grip but nothing came finally I just gave everything I had a slipped out of the hold.
I found out I was in first with only Jim about to climb. He climbed really well and managed to go again to the hold I fell going to. In the end I finished in 2nd place after Jim which I was really pleased with because it kept me in the running for the cup. Also I did well enough to get reselected for the GB team for 2015
The following weekend was the Boulder open in Derby. I’d visited this wall a couple of weeks ago for a quick look about so I knew it quite well. This competition we only had three tries on each problem which was really annoying because it meant it was less like a real European competition, also it put more pressure on each try. We are given 8 boulders to complete. We had 4 slabby ones and 4 powerful ones so it was a good range of technics required. Our time started and I got my confidence up by flashing the first one which was really easy. Next I tried a vertical one and I fell on the last move! This knocked me and I knew I had to keep my head in a good place if I was to have a chance of making final. Next I flashed two more and did the one I fell on which was a relief. Sometimes I get lucky with my height and find a short person problem which happened on the next one. I was able to get my feet really high therefore allowing me to get it on my third attempt. The next two problems where on the competition wall. The first was a massive roof which I flashed and it was the coolest problem with loads of squeezing with the limbs. Next was a wall with a stopper last move. This killed me and I knew if I could get this I’d have a good chance of finals, however the last hold was awful and I kept not quite holding it. This left the last slab, I knew I had to do this to make finals. For once I had to really pull it out of the bag. First and second go I fell. Left was my third I felt the pressure. I gave it absolutely everything I’d got but couldn’t quite get the push to reach the top. I fell and was gutted for the first time I hadn’t made a boulder final.
Once the results came out I found out I was in 10th position, I wasn’t happy with this and I really want to improve it. Sitting out of the finals I saw the problems and thought that the final would have suited me. Although I did really enjoy both competition and it has made me psyched for the up and coming competition season so let’s see how it goes!!