Sunday, November 23, 2014

Well That Was A Lesson In How Not To Orienteer...

That was, as they say, about as inauspicious as it gets. You know you're in for a bad day at the forest when you struggle to find control number one, a mere 100m from the start. I opted for the brown course, and despite my legs feeling a little heavy I felt I'd go okay. I'd already jogged a couple of km from where I parked the car and on arrival at the assembly I got straight to it.

The best thing I can say is that I never really got too far away from my chosen route plan but just struggled in a few places to find the control. By the mid way point tiredness started to kick in and the mental aspects of orienteering became a challenge. I never really lost control of position, even stopping at one point to indicate to a younger orienteer where he was on the map, he thanked me and headed off to his control.

A few controls later I came across him again, looking equally perplexed before asking for assistance - him not me - which again, I was able to provide. It was after my brain really began to creak and by the twenties I actually had to stop at each control to check what number it was supposed to be - gone was the ability to look at the map and recall instantly the control number.

My fatal error came at 25. I say fatal, but no one really died - other than my ego. I was spot on to it but 26 was close and as I came away from 25, I aligned my compass out of 26 towards 27 and well, the rest was history. I downloaded my dibber - ooh, behave - at the registration only to be told, "you didn't get 26", "yes I did", I replied while looking to the map.. "you're right, I didn't get 26", I added. I could instantly see what I'd done. It was a shame to DDTA but my time was slow, my hair was long, caught somewhere between a bad orienteer and a good, so there was no harm done.

After a quick chat I plodded back the couple of kilometres to the car and home for a much welcome shower to wash away the mud, sweat and tears that is orienteering...