Hard to believe after last night’s Night Event in the rain, but today there was glorious sunshine and relatively mild temperatures for a December. Perfect day for an Orienteering race then. A new map for me and having looked at Routegadget beforehand, I decided that the key to today’s race will be to simplify the area well and plan routes that allow for avoiding the detailed tracking of where I am hence slowing down. What I did not know is just how rough some of the rough open areas would be – the physical challenge today came not from the climb (180m over the 10.7km Brown course), but from the strength needed to run through a lot of broken ground, rough undergrowth and such.
The positives – I was there on time (ha!), and it was an enjoyable challenging course. But this wasn’t my day – although nowhere near the catastrophe of some of the recent races, it was a combination of the state of my legs (tired) and random mistakes – I was only able to have the flow for periods. There was always something breaking up the rhythm – either a slight mapping issue causing me to make a mistake (I should be able to handle these by now), my lack of ability to execute the plan of simplification well and slowing down, or just some distraction of some kind.
So, as far as the analysis is concerned, time losses were:
- No. 6 (the first long leg) – I just overly generalised the plan for the leg. The route I took in the end, is not that bad – but, unfortunately as a result of the oversimplification, I had to slow down severely in the middle to figure out where I got to in crossing the many tracks. I had a good hunch but wanted to make sure – so stopping and relocating myself a few time cost about 2:30, and I had a really bad approach through rough to the control as well costing me some time.
- No. 11 – I was on the correct bearing but I just caught up someone before who veered left and unfortunately I did not have the mental strength to resist the pull – did not fully follow him but deviated sufficiently. Realised quickly enough and corrected but this cost me about 30s
- No. 12 – Really bad approach to the control. The map wasn’t 100% here, the rough open was basically hip high gorse, so had to fight through – but worse still, it made me question whether I was in the right place so I hesitated and backtracked a few times – and even on the previous rough open patch was a fight so very slow. Lost about 3 minutes here and got caught up by Kevin F who pulled Dimitry U with him.
- No 14 – I tried to avoid the pull of the train so opted to check out to the road earlier and run on it more – unfortunately, the barbed wire fence was an obstacle – took some time to find a safe place to cross and then it took time. By the time I was out on the road already have seen the 3 men train punching the control and I still had a minute and a half to go there.
- No. 16 – Not sure what the train ahead did but I caught them up here without seeing them for 2 controls…
- No. 18 – I am fairly sure that the pit wasn’t mapped precisely. I ran up the incline next to the ditch, expecting to basically fall into the control – which was nowhere to be seen (the GPS track clearly shows me starting the hunt at the right place). At this point the train in front broke up, I could see most members hunting around me for the control, Kevin was gone, but none of them got the control. As this made me question whether I deviated too far left, I decided to contour to the right in case I was actually tracking the wrong ditch. When I found not other obvious ditch, it became more and more obvious that I was in the right place, I finally bounced back from a patch of marsh with a control and ran back, attacking the control site from above this time and indeed found the very small pit with the control deep inside it. 2 other guys standing 2m from me didn’t see the control, I had to shout it out to them so they would punch (and then follow me). This little loop cost me 2:50s
- 20 was OK if a bit slow in the middle but I think I chose a good attack point for this and made sure to find it before I dove into the complex area, so although a bit slow in the middle but I thought it was good orienteering.
Altogether about 10 and a half minute lost on mistakes then, I am not sure how much on running speed, though…