Saturday, October 13, 2012

Another Heap Of Kak

Another day. Another orienteering event. Another couple of horrendously badly run controls - and I even managed to get off to a good start for once! I guess that was my downfall. I got cocky - except I didn't, not really. I just plained screwed up a couple of times. At that cost me. Ho hum.

As it was an informal/training event you get the map before you start but I didn't look at it other than to fold it in an appropriate place. I wanted to treat it like the real thing. So I dibbed my dibber - and then I dibbed my electronic score card to start the clock - fnah fnah.

I decided to focus on choosing the right route rather than the straightest line. It worked well to begin with. I picked off one and two quickly. Made an error of judgement out from two to pick up the path. The undergrowth was too dense and it slowed me. I really do need to start learning to read these fancy pants orienteering maps.

Once I hit the track I got over to three, four, five and six quickly. Seven was alright but I cocked up to eight. I misread the path I was on and faffed somewhat before realising I hadn't travelled far enough. I lost myself three or four minutes on what was really a very simple control.

Nine and ten were on the money but I monumentally mucked up eleven. I knew what I was looking for in terms of the symbol - an earth bank - but on the ground I really wasn't seeing it. My gps track looks like a spiders got at it. That pretty much spoilt what was going to be a decent performance - for once. Still, as long as I can learn from it I'll have a more chance of knowing what to look for in the future.

From there it was all pretty easy apart from a slight blip on fourteen but I didn't cost me too much time, maybe 15 seconds. All in all I pretty happy with how I orienteered today. I'm starting use the map features more and the compass less - and that's a good thing. I'm starting to run to the map and not solely the compass and it seems to make one hell of a difference.

I'm finally starting to get the symbols but I still have a long way to go with the map features, mainly the density and feature boundaries. As my Nepalese Ghuru would say, there's no alternative to practice, practice and yet more practice. I really enjoyed it out there today. Oh, and did I say I jogged a couple of k there and back for warm up and cool down. All that's left to do now is pack my kit for tomorrow's Fell Relays and then sit back and relax. Come on the Harriers let's do ourself proud - by not coming last...