Second to Sam

On Sunday we were up early for the SOC event at Queen Elizabeth Country Park. Sufficiently early that by 9 o’clock Emma wanted to go home! It was, to be fair, bitterly cold and the orienteering parking was on the opposite side of the A3 to all the Christmas tree and playground action at the Visitors’ Centre. Perhaps more importantly for a recently potty (but not yet bush) trained child, the toilets were also quite a long way away!

I went out on the brown course and was pleasantly surprised by the area. It’s a while since I’ve run there and I think it must mainly have been during the summer as I just had memories of wading through brambles and nettles. There was a little bramble about but generally the area was runnable with the patches of green tending to add to the navigational challenge rather than detracting from the running. The map is in dire need of an update but typically the changes were what you might expect e.g. areas that were marked as open were now full of young trees. Andy Nash had done a good job planning the course and had avoided the temptation to make us run up and down the steeps hills too many times.

I made a few blunders. On 4-5 I was horribly confused about which east-west path I had ended up on (the white ride on the map having become a fully fledged path). Having judged that I was still quite close to the field I started looking on the wrong side of the path. The situation was rectified fairly quickly when I found one of the other large depressions without a control in it. The other major mistake was at 8. No idea what I was doing really but I do remember thinking that the north line was a path which never helps! My only other error was failing to consider route choice on the long leg from 11 to 12. I just stayed fairly close to the line but in retrospect I would have climbed less if I’d gone to the east.

I did manage to beat Sarah Rollins (only because she messed up number one) but, as the title says, Sam Massey beat me soundly. Results.

20091213 Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Brown, GPX

4 Responses to “Second to Sam”

  1. Neil says:

    While personally I thought the mapping needed updating I put that down to sour grapes at being so slow. Or at least getting off to a very slow start. It took me about 5 controls to get into the swing of things but which time I was about 10 minutes down on everybody else and it just kept getting worse.


    • Dave says:

      You’re right – the map certainly needs updating. The planner said as much before I started. He also said you should have seen the bits he didn’t use (or perhaps you did?!). My point was really just that you could generally work out how it had got from what was on the map to what it looks like today.

      Once you got past the first few controls it looks like, other than 13, you were just a bit slow. Perhaps we’ll have to arrange a coaching session sometime!


  2. Christine says:

    Let’s hope they publish the string course results soon to see if Emma can get a good result for the Curries. Maybe I should start orienteering again in 2010.