The Harvester night orienteering relay was once again within an hour’s drive of our house so no excuse not to get in a couple of teams. There was a last minute panic when we discovered that the ageing headlight that Christine was going to use had completely failed to charge but a fellow club member came to the rescue. Saturday evening was very pleasant as we drove through the magnificent grounds of Sandroyd School to the field which was to be home for the night.
Christine ran second leg for a ladies team and, although she originally had me down for a night leg, we decided that the only way to ensure that we weren’t going to be abandoning the children was for me to run my now traditional long last leg on A. Thanks to the event wi-fi I could keep an eye on my team’s progress each time I woke during the night without having to leave the comfort of my sleeping bag. Things weren’t going quite as well as we had hoped so I had plenty of time for breakfast but still went out half an hour before the mini-mass start.
The earlier runner’s had reported that the forest was full of bracken and nettles. During the morning daylight I could at least see these but that didn’t necessarily mean that they could be avoided completely. Even sticking to the paths was difficult as many of these were also disappearing under the undergrowth and I overshot a couple of supposed path junctions.
We finished 8th on the A course which doesn’t sound too bad until you realise that, of the 12 teams, one was non-competitive and two mispunched… Christine’s team faired better finishing 10th out of 27 and third ladies team. We took the children out on the yellow course in the morning where we could appreciate the area from the safety of the paths. Emma was in a particularly grumpy mood as Duncan wanted to run on ahead the whole time. Unfortunately the night time rain also returned part-way round and we set of for home straight after to go and catch up on some sleep!