SOC was meant to have a BBQ tonight and, to be fair, we did have a BBQ. Truth be told though only one person attempted to cook their food on the BBQ with everyone else seeking the warmth, shelter and food of the IBM clubhouse. Sadly the rain also meant there weren’t many takers for H’s Hidden in Plain Sight photo-O. Luckily my local knowledge meant that, with a bit of a cerebral workout, we could work out most of the controls with a beer in hand! Christine had also organised a bake-off, with Rob’s chocolate coated 3D-map taking first prize.
Archive for the ‘Orienteering’ Category
We went to the last of the SOC summer series events today at Royal Victoria Country Park. I went round the yellow with the children with the expression instruction of just making it fun as orienteering is still out of favour with Emma. Duncan therefore spent most of the course waving a large stick around and we took a detour on the way from 3 to 4 to take in the boardwalk!
I went round the Light Green after Christine got back which meant that I had the distincct advantage of knowing which controls were misplaced before I started! We haven’t made it to as many events in the series this year due to other commitments but it’s still been fun and I hope the club continues with regular local events next summer.
Duncan and I had a Saturday morning to kill together so went along to the SOC event at Stoke Park Woods. Seeing as we weren’t trying to fit in multiple runs I suggested that we do the orange. Really we should have stuck to the yellow as Duncan would have been able to do more of the navigation himself. He didn’t seem to grasp, for example, that we didn’t have to follow the purple line which meant we made some interesting route choices ploughing cross-country through the undergrowth. As you’ll see from the photo, some of the control placement made punching interesting for Duncan too! He seemed to enjoy himself though but I think we’ll go back to yellow next time.
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!
SOC had an event at Busketts Lawn (near Ashurst) today. We’d offered to help and a very thoughtful organiser had suggested that we should assist on the start which would save us the 1.8km walk there and back. Christine went out for her run first and I and the children were left in charge of the all important task of putting a map under each box so that competitors don’t have to faff around with trying to take just one map from the pile. The children seemed to love this job and, other than the odd complaint about cold toes, they kept going until Christine got back from her run.
They then went out on the White course and I was relieved from my post shortly to go out on the Brown. I dawdled around the first half until Rob Patterson caught me up. We raced around the next six or seven controls together before I finally got away. I probably clawed back a minute by the end but he still beat me by four overall. Looking at the download from my Garmin I ran a full min/km faster in the second half and my average heart rate went up from 144 to 160!
The area didn’t offer much variety with the strategy for most legs being to run straight trying to check off features on the way and not worry too much about missing the feature as a bit of running in circles in the right vicinty would usually pay off. It was still a nice place to run through despite all the mud.
Due to a change in venue, the Wessex Night League came to Romsey this week for an hour’s street-O. I didn’t have the best run. My first mistake was only taking a small Petzl. I should know better from previous events that Romsey has its fair share of dark alleyways, open areas and even some small patches of woodland. Starting out around the city centre I was also quite embarrased how poorly I know Romsey. I don’t think I’ve ever been in Memorial Park before for example.
I then wound my way out in to surrounding residential areas and managed to get myself hopelessly lost in an area where it’s impossible to tell which road is the main thoroughfare and which is yet another dead end. At this point I concluded that I wasn’t going to get all of the controls which was a mistake as, with about 15 mins to go, I realised that actually it probably was still possible. I then promptly ran in to a stream (not literally thankfully) and had to detour significantly to get across. I was doing something like 3.5 min/km by the end and managed to scrape in with just 16 seconds to spare.
The official results aren’t out yet due to a failed control but it looks like Tim Morgan made it round in a mere 10 mins less than me! Still, it got me out of the house and despite my cough/cold, I didn’t feel too bad afterwards.
Our first orienteering of the year took us over to the WIM Galoppen at Moors Valley Country Park. I went out on the Brown whilst Christine shepherded both children around the White. Emma started two minutes after Duncan and Christine and had caught them by the second control. Duncan exacted his revenge on the string course! I’ve succumbed to the children’s cough over the past few days which, combined with a general lack of core strength, meant that I found all of the brashings and furrows hard going (and the planner had, unfortunately, done his best to ensure that use of the extensive path network was minimal). I may have been sixth in the results but I was a good 12 minutes behind the winner! Thanks to Simon Errington implementing my feature request, I can also now link directly to my route on RouteGadget.
Whilst Christine was out on her course we relocated the car round to the main Country Park car park and the children used up what remaining energy they had in the play ground and on the play trail. They certainly went to sleep quickly this evening! We’re booked in for orienteering the next two weekends so it’s good that they enjoyed the day out.
Last night the orienteering club had a BBQ over at Hugh Risebrow’s beautifully situated place on the edge of the Hampton Ridge map. There was a 60 minute score event which had the added complication that the Forestry Commission permit required that we stay on the paths. I managed to visit all the controls in 56 mins but took the FC ruling to apply to all paths on the ground, not necessarily just those on the map! In addition to the BBQ, I also managed a game of croquet.
Today it was the last Summer Series event. As it was on home turf at Hursley, I’d been helping with permissions, map corrections, and the first time planner. It was a damp start to the day as we hung controls and there was a minor panic when I realised I was 5 stakes and a kite short. Thankfully the stakes were liberated from road signs and the start managed without a kite. I did then proceed to hang one of the yellow controls in the wrong place as I wasn’t looking at the map!
By first start everything was in place though and the sun also saw fit to shine. I had a quick run (strictly non-competitive this time) before heading back to pick up the rest of the family. Christine secured her second place in the Summer Series handicap whilst I took the children round the yellow course for their first win of the season. They then enjoyed thrashing the nettles with big sticks with the other youngsters!