Now that Sunday’s courses are up on RouteGadget, the true horror of my run is available for all to see. My first problem was that I was still in “standing in a sunny field collecting car parking money” mode when I started (it had been a last minute reprieve which meant I was rushing to get out so that Christine could have a run afterwards). Three was where things started to go wrong as I just failed to pay attention to the direction I left two in and then tried desperately to make the ground fit the map around where I wanted to be.
The leg 7 to 8 illustrates one of the major problems at the event: bracken. You’d set off along the leg through some beautiful runnable woodland and then hit a block of head high bracken that wasn’t shown on the map at which point you diverted to the nearest path and then generally didn’t leave it until you needed to. Eight was also where the frustration really started to set in. According to the GPS track, I was within 20 metres of the control when I first went past what should have been an obvious feature. The control, however, would appear to have been on the other side of the circle. Much time wasting then ensued. In contrast, control 9 is obviously in the right place but there is nothing to see on the ground. The clearing 150 metres up the hill was much more obvious than the one I was apparently heading straight towards and got to within 25 metres of.
The wiggle on the way to 10 was my fault as was being too far north at 12 (although wading through chest high bracken didn’t help me rectify my mistake). Thirteen, however, is just in the wrong place on the map and there was more bracken to obscure the fact. Fourteen was another feature that didn’t really exist on the ground and the GPS track suggests that it was the edge of the dark green to the west that was badly mapped as the straight line certainly didn’t lead me in to the control.
Even when back out in the open, things didn’t improve. The scattered trees en-route to 16 were hard to discern on the printed map (at least that’s my excuse). Others obviously didn’t have these problems though as the results show that Crickmore Junior took 23 minutes off my time. Emma had a tiring morning having walked round the white with the Broderick girls and then gone round the string course. Christine also put my run to shame by squeezing in a first place on the green before we rushed off to a children’s party.