WSX Chat 31st Jan

Posted on Sun, 31st January 2021 by Jolyon Medlock
Club News, Off-topic

V.C. Musings

Even though there is no O, your committee isn’t just sitting on its hands during all this, far from it. Documents are being revised, the web site is being updated, more importantly; POC’s and VOC’s are being updated, ready for when we can all get out and about. With no actual O to report; more musings for you to ponder upon.

I learnt a good lockdown tip from Vassos Alexander (Chris Evans breakfast show on Virgin radio) the other day: If you are planning on going out running sometime that day then put on your running gear as soon as you get up. Put top clothes over your running gear if you aren’t going straight out. This then makes it much easier to just peel off a couple of layers and go for your run rather than giving yourself the excuse for not running, of having to change your clothes.

Most of my runs, even during winter, are first thing in the morning: Get up, running gear on, coffee, run, home, shower, shave and start the day. Mind you when the alarm goes off and its still dark outside and only 2I do sometimes just turn over and go back to sleep for an hour or so. Retirement has to have its benefits!

Running first thing for me is a relatively slow affair. I have a number of ‘routes’ and can easily compare my times which bears this out. If I want a quick run then sometime between midday and 15:00 appears to be the optimum for my body. Which had me thinking about how this equates to orienteering. Excepting ‘stupid’ races like Jukola or the Harvester Relay, both of which I was usually running at 3:00am, when is the best time to start your run if you want to gain those vital few seconds?

Regular races have a start window between 10:30 and 13:00. If you are a morning person then 10:30 to 11:00 will be your preference. If you take a while to get going, plus require numerous caffeine slugs, then 12:30 to 13:00 will be your preference. But, as we all know, there is more to it than that. Some of us prefer a virgin forest, with just the local wildlife for company, no distractions from other competitors (until later on when getting closer to the finish when it’s inevitable you will come across competitors from shorter courses). However there are distinct advantages from running later and if you are ever nerdy enough to study free option start times you will inevitably see the ‘good’ runners starting as late as possible. This won’t be a definitive list but my thoughts are as follows: Point one is that you can be pretty confident the controls are all in the right place. There will be someone to watch on the start line and see which way they head off. There are always people on your course to catch up. There will be people on your course dipping into your control in front of you. There will be other course competitors going to your control, possible from an angle, giving you a good dissecting point. There will be competitors leaving your controls, giving you confidence that’s the way to go. The course will ‘track up’ and even if it’s nothing major, there will be tell tail signs of the way competitors have gone (good orienteers inevitably make good trackers!). Any unmarked bracken or brambles (sometimes even marked bracken and brambles if it’s a quicker direct line) will have paths trodden through them making them quicker. Finally, you’ll inevitably have someone fast to chase from the last control to the finish line. I’m sure you can think of others to add.

Have fun, enjoy this strange time as much as you can.


Orienteering Club