|Peter leads the way|
After that it was the traditional GB team picnic. This has taken many forms in the past, including a memorable taking over of a hotel corridor in the Ukraine in 2007, but this year everyone descended on the GB team hotel just south of Sigulda. It was the standard mix of athletes, coaches, parents, hangers-on (that's us) and even honorary Brits (Warren Key and some of his family). Peter had gone fully prepared with the photos he wanted, and all the athletes were brilliant in joining in.
GB Women's day to forgetRelay day brings us to the grounds of the castle at Turaida. Helen is happy because there is somewhere to sit on the slope above the finish run-in, thus avoiding hours more standing as it was for the sprint races. The British women have one of those days. Jo Shepherd has a steady run to hand over just over three minutes down in 13th. Megan attempts a novel round route choice near the end that gets her stuck in an area of rough open, and then gets confused right at the end around the castle. Cat starts fast but investigates a hill that no-one else had been to, and in the end the team failed to register a result since Megan had run straight past her penultimate control without punching it. Mystery of the day was why Tove Alexandersson hesitated so much in the parkland at the end of the last lap and allowed Judith Wyder to run Switzerland to victory.
GB Men's day to remember
Stat-O37 seconds behind the winners sounded like quite a good result, so I had a more detailed look. This showed that it would have won 26 silver medals, six bronze medals and two fourth places in the previous 34 WOC relays. The Latvians can feel even more hard done by. They ended up 58 seconds down in eighth place, and the stats for that are almost identical.
The other two major stats of the week so far were the first medal for New Zealand (Tim Robertson in the sprint) and the first medal for a French woman (Isia Basset in the middle). France become the tenth country to win individual medals for both men and women, joining Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Finland, Russia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Great Britain and Ukraine.