Steady Eddie at Epping

We were over at my parents in Hertfordshire for the weekend and had consequently entered the CHIG event at Epping Forest. We nearly didn’t go as Emma had decided to have another wakeful patch of a couple of hours in the middle of the night – something she seems inclined to do when we are away from home. Christine had therefore let me have a lie-in (until eight!) and we had just two hours to pack everything in the car, hot foot it over to Epping and get Christine to the start…

She just made it and I was left to amuse Emma in an absolutely freezing car park. (I should just be grateful that the forecast heavy rain didn’t arrive until we were on the way home.) We had a wander around the string course to escape the bitterly cold wind and I relearned the names of a few Mr Men in the process! We then pottered over to the start and chatted to a few people before it was time to return to the car to meet Christine. Thankfully (given the cold) I was permitted to move my start time forwards half an hour or so.

Given that I keep commenting on how slow my running feels at the moment, I thought I would concentrate on taking things steadily and not messing up. This strategy worked fine until control 14 where I failed to notice the rough open beneath the undergrowth screen and curved round to end up near the road. Having run back to the kite I then failed to keep a straight enough line exiting through the light green and ended up back at the road again far too early for the straight line to 15.

I was then caught up by Paul Couldridge, the eventual winner. This spurred me on to run a bit faster but by number 20 he’d disappeared from sight. I then caught up Owen Lindsell and we faffed around at 23 together for a while. My route in was fine, it just seemed further down the hill than I’d expected and, in my tired state, I preferred not to go down unnecessarily on the basis I’d only have to come back up again!

The final results have me in fifth place, ten minutes down on Paul. Not exactly outstanding given the size of the event. I think I’m going to try the steady approach again though and try to concentrate more when there are other people about. That said, I’ve no idea when we’re going orienteering next!

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