Southampton Street-O

I nearly didn’t make the SOC street event on Thursday night thanks to Virgin Cross Country. I’m working in Reading this week and next and the train, for what’s only a 45 minute, left half an hour late. A quick change at the University Playing Fields and I made it to the Crown Inn in Highfield, Southampton with minutes to spare before the start.

Colin Hicks had changed the map this year so that it extended east to the railway and north to Basset Green Road. I didn’t really have my head in gear at the start and left the pub car park in the wrong direction given I’d decided on an anti-clockwise route leaving the low value control near the start for the end. As a consequence, I was chasing Sam Massey for the first few controls. He was going faster than me but obligingly missed out on number 11 and I didn’t see him again after that. I was picking up all of the controls en-route although I had no real thoughts as to whether it was possible to get all 24.

After about 25 minutes I’d made it to Swaythling station and I was confident I’d be able to pick up all of the high scoring controls around Bassett. From there it was a sprint back south to the University as by this time I’d decided it might just be possible to get them all. Unfortunately I then took a wrong turn despite knowing the area pretty well (the paths around the campus aren’t all that precisely mapped). I didn’t lose too much time though and eventually finished with just under three minutes to spare. Sam reappeared a few minutes later having run nearly a kilometre further than me – it just goes to show it’s not all down to running speed!

My route is on Google maps as before.

5 Responses to “Southampton Street-O”

  1. Neil says:

    while it might not be all down to running speed if you don’t run fast enough to get all the controls then you are never going to win. Personally I was just extremely pleased that I could run for an hour without having to stop too often to look at the map (i.e. catch my breath).

    All in all I thought it was a very nice event and one that could be turned into a Tuesday night run without too much trouble.


  2. Dave says:

    @Neil – that’s certainly true. I felt my absence from any Tuesday night runs around Southampton so far this year towards the end. By the time you’ve ironed out the dog-legs you’d probably have to expand the area a bit to make an hour’s run.

  3. Sam says:

    I think my initial burst of speed was just due to my legs preferring the flat tarmac to the Wet long grass of Eveleigh the day before…somehow I managed to keep up some of that speed all the way through. Shame I couldnt manage the same with the Route Choice (which went out the window after 3 controls!).

    Heres my elongated route round Southampton:

    You could easily expand the area eastwards over the Riverside, or Westwards over the Common/Golf Course – and you’ll be safe from the evil ticks in Lords Wood till May!

  4. Dave says:

    @Sam – strange isn’t it – your route actually looks quite smooth but I guess it has that big loop on the return in to the area I visited on the way out which probably accounts for the extra distance.

    Don’t worry – there are already Tuesday night runs that visit all of those areas!

  5. Neil says:

    actually after trying the route from memory last night, you don’t need to
    lengthen the route to make it into a Tuesday night run, you just need to run
    at a more sedate pace – and get lost a couple of times. Of course if we stopped
    getting lost we might have to add a bit but that would be easily done.