Burley Revisited

467Today we went orienteering on Saturday for a change! SOC was re-running the colour coded courses from last year’s event at Burley West but in reverse (a good way to use up spare maps). Having previously done the long-O the blue course was new to me whichever way you looked at it.

Christine went out first so I wandered around with Emma in the backpack, sheltering from the occasional passing shower. Unfortunately, having handed her over to Christine I could only hear crying as I ran off to the start. Had a reasonable run which is a good start to the year. No major blunders but on several occasions I ended up ten metres or so adrift in the circle – mainly due to over-reliance on my compass on long legs. It felt like I was out for an age but in reality I was back in just over 55 minutes. On a bad note, my ankle has been playing up again at the last couple of events to the extent where it is impacting on my confidence in running through the terrain and, in particularly, brashings, of which there were plenty on Sunday.

Our quick getaway (Christine and Emma had been sat in a freezing car whilst I was out) failed to materialise when we couldn’t find the car key. I had seen it fall on the leaf strewn forest floor when packing up Emma’s stuff but couldn’t remember what had happened next. Whilst we turned the car upside-down and rooted around in the undergrowth Emma managed to fall asleep in her car seat. Eventually it dawned on us that the only place we hadn’t looked was actually in the car seat! Emma was so soundly asleep that I managed to retrieve it from under her without waking her up.

4 Responses to “Burley Revisited”

  1. Neil says:

    being only a novice at orienteering I am wondering how you could over-rely on a compass? What else is there to rely on? Whenever I am out and manage to convince myself that (a) my compass is wrong and (b) the map is wrong I tend to go widely wrong.


  2. Dave says:

    @Neil – even when the compass is stable, the chances are that you can’t follow a bearing to an accuracy of more than about five degrees either way. Consequently you can’t (as I was) attempt to hit a point feature whilst following a bearing over any great distance. (If I’ve done the maths right then over 300 metres you could end up more than 25 metres from the control.) Instead, you should be looking for an attack point closer to the control from where you can safely take a bearing. Unfortunately you may have to go out of your way a bit to reach the attack point so the lazy man’s option (mine) is just to run straight and pray that you hit the control!

  3. Christine says:

    Could you find a more flattering photo of me next time? At least my legs are a bit blurred which suggests I was moving quickly (although in reality it felt pretty slow).

    I just got stuck in green bits of forest and didn’t run fast enough. Nothing fancy like Dave.


  4. Dave says:

    @Christine – They say the camera never lies (except perhaps with the aid of Photoshop). The results generally don’t though!