We had a full car for the drive over to the Guildford Orienteers regional event at Waggoners Wells today. We arrived in plenty of time and I treated myself to a new pair of O-shoes (VJ Integrator spikes again although bizarrely a size up from my last pair). You could start at anytime within your allocated start block which is fine on M21L but I wouldn’t like to have had to wait in the queues for one of the more popular courses, even on such a bright sunny day.
I didn’t get off to a good start. For the first few controls I seemed to be struggling with the 1:10,000 map scale, always overshooting features, even when fighting through some of the greener patches of wood. I caught Simon Evans on the long leg across the open to number five but, despite attempting some different route choices, didn’t manage to pass him until number ten.
I enjoyed the second half of the course much more. Even the steep climbs didn’t seem as tough as I had imagined them when looking at the map whilst nursing my tired legs yesterday evening. It wouldn’t be orienteering without something to gripe about though and I felt the mapper had been a little lazy in marking the area around the finish as open with scattered trees. There were some significant patches of gorse which were anything but open.
The results show that I was second, albeit five minutes down on Alan Velecky. Perhaps it is just as well that were not going to the Ashridge event next weekend as Matthias has narrowed his deficit to just one second. Oh, and my toes certainly enjoyed the extra space in the new shoes!