I’ve now uploaded my route for Sunday’s National Event at Burnham Beeches. I think my winning of M21L can only be attributed to the fact that nearly everyone else was running the Elite course (I baulked at running 15km). Due to the low numbers, M21L was on the same course as M18E, M20E, M35L and M40L and I had the pleasure of being soundly beaten by the winners on all of those courses.
Things started badly when I noticed Richard Barrett was off 2 minutes in front of me. I therefore shot out of the start and, exiting the first control, followed the purple line to number 6! In my defence the line to number 2 was broken by an out-of-bounds area so was far from obvious. Anyway, that put pay to any chance of seeing Richard. Things then went well enough until control 11 (shown as 12 on RouteGadget which has an additional control at the far end of the taped route from 8). I managed a fairly straight line on the long leg only to stuff it up in the control circle. I was thrown by a really obvious Y-shaped path junction on the ground which wasn’t the one on the map just to the south of the control. Instead, it was just north of the control where one of the paths is shown stopping short of the other on the map. I also blame the woman who kindly put her dog on a leash and whom I was therefore reluctant to run past a second and third time!
A bit more time lost at 13 having been fairly phased out by the massive plastic road constructed by a film crew in the middle of the forest. I lost a bit of time at 19, failing to follow the green round and in to the control. I then lost even more time on 20 as I really couldn’t make out the earthbank on the ground. Everthing was fairly clean from there to the end although my legs were pretty shattered by this point.
Emma had been making her own fun whilst I was out – whilst throwing stones in to a muddy puddle she decided to fall flat on her face! Still not sure how she managed to get a graze on the bridge of her nose though…