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)