Orienteering at the Beach

Duncan at Knoll Beach

When we said ‘yes’ to running at Sunday’s CompassSport Cup qualifier I hadn’t quite realised where Agglestone was. It is the heathland that rises up behind the Sandbanks peninsula just over the border in Dorset. We were parked in one of the National Trust car parks on the seashore which meant that, whilst Christine went for her run, the rest of us headed to the beach. As you can probably tell from the photo, although sunny, there was a stiff breeze coming from the sea so nobody was going to be stripping off to run in to the sea but the children certainly enjoyed playing in the sand.

I had started to shed clothes as the scheduled time for our handover approached and was freezing when Christine eventually appeared. I couldn’t believe it when she said I didn’t need a hellie but it was a good call – in land and out of the breeze it was quite warm.

I can’t claim to have had a good run. At the fourth control I lost around three minutes as I just couldn’t get the flat terrain on the map to match the hill on the ground! Looking at my GPS trace, I think the control was also further north than mapped which didn’t help. Some judicious use of form lines on the map would have helped greatly as would more care over the mapping of the gorse and the inclusion of all of the major paths! It’s fair to say that I wasn’t the only one grumbling about the map back in the car park. I finished eighth, over eight minutes down on the winner. The club also came second by some margin to Bristol which means that we don’t progress to the final in the Forest of Dean.

On the ferry on the way back I asked Emma whether she’d prefer a beach or a string course at every event. The power of sweets is remarkable: she opted for the string course!

20130217 Agglestone GPX

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