I parked up by the northern end of Cannop Ponds and ran along the cycle path, past Parkend and into the forest for the start of the Parkend Orienteering. It was only 5k but I ran too fast. It was meant to be just an easy warm up but it ended up being a run at practically my (current) top speed. I just couldn't slow myself down for some reason. Each kilometre clocked up was too quick. Slow down you fool. I thought I did. Next kilometre, just as fast. Doh.
After a few pleasantries before the start I set out on the Blue. Control one went well but from there it went down hill. I struggled to find control two in a large flat featureless area. Finally got it after losing a few minutes. Three on the other hand, was a utter nightmare. What I thought would be fairly easy - and quick - turned out to be the pits.
I got myself into the ball park but couldn't find it. I found '48', checked my list, no not on it. Cue the moment of the headless chicken. That's the moment in time where you run from pit to pit completely randomly, trying to work out which pit is which on the map but failing completely. Suddenly after much clucking, I realised '48' was on my course later towards the end so went back to it. Took a baring. Forty paces. Bingo. What a bloody fool. I lost a good five or six minutes. Morale was low.
I must admit to following Rich C to the next couple of controls before finding some enthusiasm for it again and began to start enjoying it again, the painful memory of three having dulled. Having said that, I soon got snarled in a dense area but eventually got through. Why is it you only see the path on map that you should've taken, heading not far off line, after you've gone direct and got snarled up? After that, I went quite well and mostly went direct to the rest of the controls - I certainly didn't waste much time getting '48' for real, that's for sure.
Overall, I'm happy how I nav'd - taking two and three to one side, of course. I took 75 mins but it could've been 65. Oh well, there's always next time...
With the orienteering done I headed back, retracing my 5k from earlier, back to the car and home. I feel quite knackered now but I'm sure I will be recharged for Tomorrow's Pontypool LCL Cross Country - still can't believe I'm going to run the cross country. I hate cross country. Must've received a knock on the head at some point I guess. Apparently this one is one of the best though, so maybe won't be quite so bad..