The first round of the CompassSport Cup was scheduled early this year. The event for our area was at Yateley Heath and Minley Woods. For a change I was off before Christine which meant I was probably a little more focussed when I reached the start. Matthias Mahr was starting a minute before me which I hoped would lead to a good race.
I stumbled a bit at the third control, looking round the back of the wrong thicket. With 27 controls on the course I realised I couldn’t afford to waste even a small amount of time at each and attempted to focus more on spiking the control. It wasn’t until the road crossing that I caught sight of Matthias where the taped route doubled back on itself. A further five controls passed before I finally passed him on the way to 14 and I didn’t look back.
I managed to keep it together until 22 where I caught fellow SOC member Peter Smith. Racing along the following long leg we deviated significantly from the straight line. Then, when we hit the earthworks near the finish I miserably failed to interpret the contours correctly. (Undoubtedly what the planner was hoping for!) Peter got to the control before me and then overtook me again on the way to 26 when I failed to see the edge of the large depression under the line/circle and ended up too far east.
Overall I was fairly pleased with my time of 64:09 (including the road crossing) for just under 10km. No major blunders and I really felt I was running hard for much of the time. (I was certainly glad not to have run the Hants X-Country the day before.) The Emit website is down at the moment (again) so I can’t check the results but I understand Tuomas Tala did around 55 minutes and there was talk of some mystery runner having taken 51 (which I find hard to believe). We’ll have to wait and see how SOC fares in the Cup but with both TVOC and SLOW present we’ll be lucky to get through to the final.