Boxing Day Canter

On Boxing Day we were registered for Wimborne Orienteers’ Boxing Day Canter: a one hour score with bonus points for the unmapped Father Christmas, fairies and Christmas Tree. Sue hobbled round with the children (ankle operation in the New Year) so the other three of us all had a run. Christine having pointed out Santa in the distance shortly before the start, I was the first to reach him. This was something of a mistake as I failed to punch a control on the way and, as I then fell in just behind Tim Britton, I knew I was already a control down. Tim was making more direct routes and was generally faster in the terrain. I had to rely on the occasional falter on his part to stay in contention.

With 40 minutes on the clock I was in front and heading to the high point controls at the North end of the map. After a couple of blunders that must have cost me around four minutes in total it was going to be a long sprint back in to try to make it back in the allotted time. Instead, I decided a late return picking up more controls on the way would be a better bet. This also had the benefit that it increased my changes of finding the so far elusive fairies and tree. I was nearly eight minutes late in the end but I was rewarded with a clean sweep on the bonus points. In the final reckoning I was in fourth place. Interestingly, four out of the top five were also back late which suggests that this may actually be a good tactic. You can see my route on RouteGadget.

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