River Dart Country Park - 13th December 2009

Quite a long brown course today 8.2km 410m 26 controls. Hard work out there, still not over my head cold. Still overall happy with the run, even with the bramble marks on my legs.

6th December 2009 Mount Edgcumbe

Brown 6.7km 350m 76.07
Not feeling great to day so surprised to get around as quickly as did. Climb especially hard as very wet and slippery underfoot, decents around 16/17 especially difficult.

Holne Moor - Devon Orienteering Event 22nd November 2009

Brown 7.9km 290m
1hr 26min 18sec

Disaster mispunched. Met up with Roger H on the run down to 15 and got a little distracted. Control 16 was obvious and so punched a run on passed another control not far on 30m poss, within touching distance of it. It turned out this was my control, so a bit gutted. My fault so can't blame anyone but myself, lesson learnt move on. Having said all that, there are a lot of positives to take from the event, seem to be moving well over terrain, again need to be more clinical and confident around the control circle and have better plan for longer legs. Next event Mount Edgecumbe, Sunday 6th December.

Lanhydrock Night Orienteering - 21st November 2009

4.0km 160m
We were fortunate to have a window in the stormy weather to enjoy this night orienteering event. This was the second in the Devon and Cornwall Night League and the first Kerno event of the season. Still awaiting result but I was happy on the whole with my performance, just need to be a little bit more clinical around the control circle. I know that a time of 42min was leading so my time of 49 wasn't going to win but still a good evening.

OMM 2009 - Elan Valley

OMM 2009 – Elan Valley, Wales

So it’s been a year since the infamous events of the Original Mountain Marathon 2008 in Borrowdale. Much was said after the event and it was with great interest competitors waited to see how the event would evolve.

The journey to the event was uneventful no M6 queues, no mammoth drive, just a nice run up to the Royal Welsh Showground in Builth Wells. Parking this year was all on hard standing and the event centre made use of the buildings and facilities on site and included the OMM expo, a bar and plush seating area which was enjoyed by everyone. But come 2200, it was time to turn in as we had a 0803 start time and more importantly a 0638 bus to catch. This was the first of the noticeable changes from last year.

So 0545 came and it was time to pack the tent and make for the bus. We had made sandwiches for breakfast for the journey to the start, all of which was made in the dark. After getting off the bus we got ourselves organised before the short walk up to start area, where we had a 40 min wait until our Medium Score start. The dawn was breaking and the first glimpse of the hills was had. The weather seemed good and we were looking forward to getting started.

Then we were off. We planned on the walk and came up with an achievable route which left us options at the end and places where we could bug out if we weren’t going well. The first control was straight forward nav wise and so we could settle into the map without too much stress. Then two more controls before a nice run down to Craig Goch Dam, no sign of the promised tussocks, 2 hours gone and 75 points on the board.

Then we found good running on north side of the valley up to control BR, until the last 50 metres where we encountered the first of the tussocks. This proved a bad time to try and run and drink out of a cup. We punched and crawled away from the control through the impossible tussocks. The short climb and contour around to CA was hard going and we knew now that the next couple of control where going to be hard work. The choice to AP was around or straight, when the teams near us opted for the straight we follow in there foot steps which gave some relief (not much) from the tussocks. Near the control we found harder ground for a few hundred metres which was some relief. The route to CQ wasn’t as bad as there was a quad track most of the way but still not pleasant. From CQ it was a short section to pick up the track along the edge of Claerwen Reservoir. 1hr 40 min left, with three options on the way, and 9km between us and the finish, not normally an issue but after 4hrs and with packs on it maybe tight. First option DQ 70m steep climb from track for 10 points, no thanks. Going too slowly, next DZ needed 40 mins from the Dam. Got there with 38min left, to close, chose the road option which might allow AG for 10 points if we had 20 mins left, 18 min left at decision point, take a risk? No, make for home play it safe. Got in with 11mins left and 170 points, a lot of what ifs but then, when aren’t there with score events.

There were three tents in the field, so we got ourselves a nice pitch to sit out the 20 hours until our day two start. We were glad that we had packed the bigger tent and that it was dry to pitch it and get sorted. As we started our eatathon, we watched as others weren’t as lucky, pitching tents in heavy rain and strong winds. At around 8 we used a break in the weather to stretch our legs and check the results.

Mark and Steve 109th 170 points

Chris and Graham 117th 220-54=166 points (27 mins late)

I tried to find Chris and Graham to offer them a spare watch but no luck!!!

Day Two

Now with 20 hours prep, it’s amazing that we failed to get to the start on time, but we were 4 mins late, so we started a little bit flustered. But were happy to see a 50 pointer on the agenda, so off we went, feeling ok after 20 hours in the tent. Having a later start we picked up some trods so made good progress. But we were cautious after the slow going we had experienced in the middle section of the previous day. AT first and again simple route choice so nice easy intro. Then it was the choice of the day, go via AU (30) or straight to AO the 50 pointer. We decided on the latter and after getting to AO regretted it, leaving little choice and what would surly be an early finish. Oh well have to live with it now, and we continue to DK on terrain that provided good running and quick going. We now decide to get away from the crowds and head for AI, which made for a nice leg 2hrs 10 gone. Up the biggest climb of the weekend and a loop around DL, BI and BM over to DA for the long run to the finish via the compulsory. The finish was a little bit of anti-climax as it was away from the event centre which was a shame. But soup, tea and juice was on offer at the local village hall, before the bus journey back to the event centre.

The run in from DA Day 2 photo ©Simon Caldwell

Day Two Results

Mark and Steve 125th 210 points (42 mins early)

Chris and Graham 78th 280-48=232 points (24 mins late)


Chris and Graham 96th 398 points

Mark and Steve 115th 380 points

(Maybe Chris and Graham will do Long Score next year or buy a watch)

Hardhead Down's 18th October 2009

I think this probably ranks up there as one of best run's on a brown course 7.0km 170m 58.27. I was right in the mix with people I don't usually sit with in the results, so a good day for me, but I have always loved this area. Next week I am off to compete in my 14th OMM in Wales and am now really looking forward to it.
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SW Champs - Haytor Dartmoor

19th September 2009

South West Champs

Haytor, Dartmoor

Brown (M35L)

8.5km  410m  2hr 04min 18secs


Now I am not sure why it was a called a Brown course because it wasn’t like any Brown course I have run before.  But it was like an M35L course and was tough and with the weather being hot especially in the valley and in amongst the bracken (of which there was plenty).  So why compare it with a brown course and not just call it course 2 (which they did as well).  I seemed to have the most difficulty in amongst the tors and found interpreting the rocky features a nightmare, losing most of my time on controls 14 and 22.  So I was surprised to be around mid way in the results 12th/22.  Now I am looking forward to seeing routegadet later this week.


Results http://www.devonorienteering.co.uk/

BCU (UKCC) Level Two Paddlesport Training

Last week I attended a paddlesport coaching course at Totnes Kayaks. There was a lot of Coaching Theory to take on board and it has taken me a while to process that infomation. I am now looking forward to getting ready for my assessment some time next year.

Dunmere Woods 26th July 2009

Excellent event today and the planner made the best use of area which has become a little over grown over time. Really nice blast at the end of the course just as the concentration was starting to slip. Looking forward to seeing Route Gadget and comparing splits, as everyone retreated to their cars to get warm and dry straight after their run.

Devon Orienteering Club Harris Relay
19th July 2009

Nice to be back Orienteering after a bit of a break and back on the Moors as well. We entered a two man team into this three person relay, and as my team mate hadn't really orienteered before it was left to me to get the bulk of the controls. 1-6 were manadatory and one member of the team had to visit the other controls. I was happy with my nav apart from getting mixed up at 12 thinking I was at 13 (not sure why) then spending time looking for 10 above small tor. When I realised I shot off to 13 and everything went OK from there. Had a change of plan at 9 and decided on 16, 3, 2 then 8 but met team mate at 2 and he had managed to take in 8 already so we could run for home.
Great event on a nice area. Need to get a extra team member next year!

Quantock Orienteering Event - Staple Hill

Although I have been orienteering in the South West Region for 10 years now I have to confess this was my first Quantock event. Now I had heard stories about how their areas where tough and Staple Hill didn't disappoint. It was difficult to get into any rhythm at all, light green and white often seemed to blend into each other and all terrains proved tough going, so I guess that I wasn’t too disappointed with 1:29:16 for 5.5km 255m, but as so often it could have been so much better. Quantock’s also use the Joe Lee punching system as seen on the KIMM for a number of years and this does seem rather fiddly compared with SI or Emit. Having said all that I did enjoy trip and would go back.

My Marathon Days are over........

So the Marathon has been and gone, and the medal is gathering dust. The training didn't go to plan and a head cold and hot conditions made for a trying day and a slow time 5.26.33. But the cold has gone and the benefits of the training seems to be shining through. I have been out with a running club this week and wished I had joined before the marathon, I got a friendly welcome and think that this maybe the key to improved running speed and training motivation. I have been itching to get back out orienteering and so today after running a coaching session at a local primary school I went to the permanent Orienteering course in Central Park, Plymouth. What a great way go for a run. The map is available at http://www.devonorienteering.co.uk/

Time : 34:01

Route: 10,26,1,22,27,2,23,3,28,5,4,6,7,8,29,11,24,12,30,17,18,31,32,19,25,20,33,13,34,35,21,14,15,36,16

so there's the challenge


March Update


March update - Well managed the Half Marathon and for good measure they added a bit extra on by sending us the wrong way so 1st March - 13.4miles.  Then 2nd March a painful 3 miles. 4th March 2.5miles.  5th March - 8 miles which went really well.  6th March - 4 miles not very pleasant.  9th March 4 miles.  Then a break to go to Disney, I took my stuff but after a day in the park I was so knackered......  Anyway 15th March back into it 13 miles felt good apart from the heat......... hope its not going to be too hot!!!!!! 

Friday 20th February 09

Now that I am a professional athlete…………. Well out of work youth worker, I can spend my days training hard for the marathon!  SO today I went out and ran 6.4 km in 36min which is fast for me. Yesterday I got myself lost in the local woods and ended up doing around 8km but took over 70min.  I have also set myself the challenge of running the Bideford Half Marathon, partly to get used running an event, but mainly to take the boredom out of training which is proving to be the hardest part of it all.   Give me a map any day.  I am also looking forward to the Dartmoor Mountain Marathon in June.


Anyway if there is anyone out there who wants to come for a run let me know.

Catch up

12th February 2009

Run around the hoe with Martyn probably our last as Martyn goes away soon and I have left work to (to concentrate on my training - I wish!!!). Anyway we extended the run a little and went out around Coxside as well. Still not getting enough runs during the week, but I guess with time on my hands I will have no excuses.
6.3km 4 miles
15th February 2009
Went out to run 13 miles, but only got 10 done as I had decided to wear my old shoes and they after many miles decided to give me hassle from 6 miles so decided to cut short. I am looking forward to getting back to orienteering soon as road running is so boring...... However may have found a group to run with on a Sunday to relieve the bordom.....
10miles 16km

8th February 2009

8th February 2009 - Went out should have been doing 10miles but really didn't feel like but after running for half an hour felt good and ended up running 17.3km 10.8 miles. So things going OK need to run more during the week this coming week.

5th February 2009 - 5miles 8km ran home from work wet again.........

Catch Up

29th January - Out for a quick blast a round the Hoe after work with Martyn. 2.7 miles 4.5km 21min 38sec. Hoping to get that time down as training goes on.

31st January - Night Orienteering out on the moors, pretty wild night 2.5 miles 4.1 km 47mins that does count the distance covered running around in circles??!!

1st February - Nice run out to Yelverton over Roborough Down great views over the moors, hard work against the wind in some of the more exposed bits. 8.1 miles 13.1km 1hr 23:08

27th January - Road Run

Out with Martyn nice to run with someone, got wet but legs felt OK even after Orienteering, Exercise Tolerance Test and a Hash in the last couple of days. Having a rest day tomrrow and looking forward to it.

4.4miles 6.8km

26th January - Hash

Good Hash in an area I haven't really explored before near Cornwood. Out for about an Hour.


Orienteering 25th January 2009

Lanhydrock - Cornwall

A really beautiful day and although conditions underfoot were heavy, the course was physically challenging. You know when you have enjoyed an event because all you have thought about all the way around is getting the next point. Of course after winning the Blue league last year it was a case of up you go to Brown, now I've never enjoyed Brown apart from the odd open moorland event, but I am hoping the marathon training will see an end to that. It was certainly the case yesterday.

7.0 km 250m


Road Run

Interesting run interupted by someone collapsing in front of me, and having to call an Ambulance!! Looking forward to some Orienteering at the weekend.
4.4mile 6.8km

Snowmen and Road Run - 21st January 2009

Well spent the day out on Dartmoor with a group, made a snowman and tried to keep warm. This evening I ran home in the rain, which was miserable. But felt OK apart from the odd pain in my right calf, but think I am just a little sensitive at the moment.

5miles 8km

1hr 3 min

Sunday 18th January - Long Run

Well after over a month out with Calf strain, Christmas bug, ankle etc etc, I finally managed to get a run in today. So the Marathon seems a little more likely now. Out for 86min and managed 12.1km (7.5miles) so not a bad start, although a little long than I had plan after my map memory let me down....... Body seems to have held up pretty well but we will have to see how I feel in the morning! Remember you can sponsor me at http://www.justgiving.com/marklockett