Christine’s brother and fiancÃ©e have been here this weekend and today we had planned to go to the SOC district event at Burley North (to the west of Bolderwood, just North of Lyndhurst). Shortly after we arrived it started to absolutely tip it down and both myself and the running buggy I had just assembled got completely soaked. There seems to be a bit of a design flaw with the latter where the roof drains down the back of the seat and the water collects in a puddle where the child is meant to sit! Fortunately the rain soon subsided (there was even a bit of sunshine) and with Sarah’s wetsuit lining the buggy, Emma had a relatively dry place to sit.
I went out on the Brown course and my concentration was put to the test by having Matthew Whipple start just behind me. He had caught me by the third control and we tracked each other round for the rest of the course. I was pleased when I got ahead a couple of times but didn’t have the energy to attempt to pull away. It didn’t help that I wimped out at the stream after control 4 and went round to the manned crossing whilst Matthew ploughed straight through.
Unfortunately my concentration went to pot when I overtook Christine’s brother at number 11. Although on a straight line in to 12, I thought I was too close to the green to the north and consequently veered south at the last minute. Matters got worse still when, on the way to the next control, I crossed the deep north-south stream only to have to cross back over it again. Those two errors combined probably cost me a couple of minutes so on the whole I’m happy with my fourth place in the results, four minutes down on Richard Barrett. (Although I know Mark Saunders would have been a further two minutes ahead if his card had registered at number four.) It’s a shame SplitsBrowser hasn’t been given the start times as those running earlier in the day would certainly have had the worst of the weather.