Archive for the ‘Orienteering’ Category

Start of Summer Series

Saturday, April 9th, 2016

Emma finishing at Fleming ParkToday was the start of SOC’s Summer Series of events at Fleming Park. Christine cycled down early to spectate the parkrun (her calf is currently knackered) and then the rest of us joined her.

Duncan declined to start so Emma went round the yellow with Christine in tow. She was really pleased with her second place so will hopefully be a bit more enthusiastic before the next event. I enjoyed my subsequent run round the light green although could have done without the cold showers (it was lovely sunny day when we arrived). I was in first place when I finished although, to be fair, both Rob and Roger had done the parkrun beforehand. Most importantly, there was a great turnout. Let’s hope it continues for the rest of the series.

Classic Burley

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Yesterday was the first Sunday of November which can only mean one thing: the November Classic. We were down to help on the start. Christine was down to run first and I was on duty calling out names (always an embarrassing job when you can’t remember the names of people you’ve known for decades!). As is usually the case with SOC, the start was well staffed and the children weren’t needed so they sat in their folding chairs and read (something that Duncan wouldn’t have been able to do a year ago). The mist took a while to burn off but it was otherwise dry and the autumn colours were lovely.

I didn’t get off to a great start on my run wasting about 3 minutes on the second control which shows up well on RouteGadget. (Christine tells me the path I should have set off down was not obvious but no excuse really as the angle was totally wrong.) Next wobble was at 18 where I must have been stood on top of the control before running away and then coming back again. In my haste to get away I then veered off to the left on the next leg but didn’t lose much time correcting myself.

When we eventually made it to the assembly field to download I was going to complain that I seemed to have an extra four minutes on my time but then remembered I had auto-pause enabled on my Garmin. Shows just how much standing around I must have been doing! The time was good enough to win the Brown course though even if all the action was on the Black. Mostly I was just pleased that, other than when climbing through the odd fence, my back hadn’t given me any problems on the way round (and doesn’t appear to be any the worse for it today).

Hincheslea O

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Wilverley PlainOur Autumn orienteering season kicked off yesterday with a SOC event at Hincheslea on the western side of the forest. It was raining as we left home but the showers soon passed over leaving some lovely sunshine. This meant we had a very pleasant task in manning the start. When I left for my run the children had settled in to their usual task of getting maps out the boxes for competitors.

I enjoyed my course as the area offers high speed running when you’re not fighting your way through the head high bracken and gorse! I messed up two controls. I ran round in circles at #5 as I wasn’t confident that I was at the right gully so didn’t go looking in the undergrowth. I also wasted time at #11 where I was way off to the right which threw me completely.

Duncan orienteeringWhen I got back, Christine went round the yellow with Emma. Once we’d packed up the start, Duncan and I set off as well. Despite saying he didn’t want to do it, Duncan set off at a fair lick and kept it up most of the way round what was quite a long course. His motivation was quite clear when he came back from download with a big grin having beaten his sister by a couple of minutes.

BBQ Washout

Friday, July 24th, 2015

SOC Bake-offSOC 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.

End of a Series

Saturday, July 18th, 2015

wpid-duncan-rvcp.jpgWe 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.

Stoke Park Orange

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

Duncan punchingDuncan 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.

Overgrown Harvester

Tuesday, June 30th, 2015

Rushmore EstateThe 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!

Map Management

Sunday, January 18th, 2015

Duncan on dutySOC 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.

Emma startsThey 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.