Saturday, November 05, 2011

The Orienteering Express

I managed to retain the motivation and followed through with the plan. Up early(ish) I got myself sorted and drove over to Cinderford. Parked up and then ran the 5k over to Mallards Pike for the NGOC League 2 Orienteering Race - do you call them races? Whatever. I got there in time for an early start, registered, collected my dibber - I do like a good dib now and again - and got underway.

I chose the Blue route - the most difficult, of course - and was hoping not to make such a damn hopeless mess of it as my first race last year. So having dibbed through the start I collected my map and walked the first couple hundred metres as I focused on the map. Got my bearings. Got my mind set on the map, it's gonna take time, a whole lot of precious time, it's gonna take patience and time, ummm, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it right - where was I? Oh yeah, focusing on the map. So, having zoned in on the scale and all the rest of it. I took my bearing and started ticking off the controls.

As you can see from the gps plot below, I didn't do a bad job today (the orienting event is the part of the track in the bottom right corner). I only made one slight error on control five (of sixteen). I overshot but knew I'd done so almost immediately and didn't waste more than a minute or two.

Overall I reckon I made pretty good route choices. I picked up the main paths provided they were within 100m or so of the direct line. That way I was able to pile the pace far quicker than picking my way through heavy woodland. I also purposefully picked a couple of routes where I could out and back to the control so I knew where I was headed once I dibbed.

All in all I ran a far better race than last time out and I was less than half the time! Still don't have a clue on the symbols, mind, but provided I navigate well it doesn't seem to matter much. I hit 75% of the controls spot on and those that I didn't were close enough to be located inside of a minute. Job done. 65 minutes. Keen to see the official results to see how I've done but what ever the outcome it was a much more pleasing run. Looking forward to the next one. And after all the excitement I ran back to car.

Todays Mallards Pike Orienteering, plus the run to and from. Total distance 11 miles and 1,500 feet of ascent:-