Frozen forest

Orienteering again this weekend just gone. This time it was Guildford’s regional event at Ambersham Commons and Hoyle Plantation. Whilst Christine was out, Emma and I sheltered in the woods, firstly on the string course (not last this time) and then at the finish, in order to avoid the freezing cold wind blowing across the exposed car park. When I eventually got to the start Mark Saunders was just lining up to go. I gave him a three minute head start which also gave me the opportunity to do enough of a warm-up that I could feel my fingers again!

The area is a mixture of open woodland and heathland. There was some bracken, brashing and bramble but it was never enough really enough to impair running speed. Only the tussocks in the open sometimes became timesome. I felt a bit sluggish – perhaps due to giving blood on Monday or the bout of food poisoning on Thursday – but it was still fun running. As you can hopefully see from RouteGadget, I had a pretty clean run. I eventually caught Mark just before number 17 where I then proceeded followed him in to the entrant beyond the control! I’d seen Matthew Franklin at number 12 and the three of us then proceeded to race round with Mark eventually dropping off the back. I always enjoy a good head-to-head race and was pleased to be able to stay in front of Matthew and still be navigating well.

I ended up about 4 minutes down on Matthew with Joe Mercer another 3 in front of that. This put me in 6th place in the results. I can’t help wondering whether I could have made that 5th if I hadn’t had to stop to tie my laces twice on the way to number 12!

I finished at just the right time though – as we pulled out the car park a steady stream of snow was being blow horizontally across the field…

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