Cornwall Orienteering Club Race - Idless, Truro - 11th December

With the night event fresh in my legs I should have thought more carefully before tackling the monster 8.9km 285m with 30 controls, but hey I am always up for the challenge.  Roger Hargreaves was the planner and a new formula to base his course planning on.  Anyway I won't bore you with a control by control account but I had a ding dong battle with Steve B  from control 9 onwards, often when this happens I go to pot so was happy to generally keep it together for most of the course this is how it happened.
Part 1 Controls 1 - 17

#9 got very close but talked myself out of it, relocated and Steve appeared and punched just after me.
#11 Steve just behind me on the track kept in front punched a few seconds in front.
#12 Pace too high for me let Steve past.
#16 Saw Steve coming out of 15, heading for eastern track, I came out west and tried to contour around the hill to 16
#18 Steve went further west to main track, I ran through start and took small track option and punched 5 seconds after him.
#19 Confused by numbering on the change of map I headed to 25 (8) before realising I had it wrong, lost a couple of minutes and sight of Steve. 
#21To my relief saw Steve coming out of 4 couple of minutes ahead
#22 punched the control just as Steve jumped the wall from the west and turned north, I followed going to #23, Steve got to the junction before heading back.
#23 Just tried to run but really tired.
#25 Saw Steve coming down the track to #24 as I crossing the track to# 25
#29 Nearly mis-punched luckily I checked my control descriptions, and my control was visable
#30 Could hardly run but knew it was going to be a close call as I didn’t know how long after me Steve started.
Finish Happy to finish a mentally and physically challenging course

Part 2 controls 18 - 30

Devon Orienteering Club - Night Orienteering Race - 10th December

Devon Orienteering Club - Night Event 10th December - Five Tors

4.4km  135m - 45min 38secs

Always enjoy a night event on the moors.  It was a cold evening but unusually still so a base layer and cag were the order of the day.  A nice uphill start as a warm up and a very safe route choice meant I was slow but sure.  Across the hill to #2 no issues then the long leg around the hill to #3 looking for the earth bank or hut circles to come in from, but saw none of them, managed to drop in bang on.  A run straight down the hill and dropped into #4 nicely.  Over to #5 big hole in the ground visible from the whole hillside in the daylight, tried to get away from my 2 followers but messed up to high and missed the paths, used little staple tor as guide to get me back on track.  Nice run down the hill to #6 hit it clean but then messed up again to #7 going to far right, others now in front slightly.  Turned out of 7 and my light gave up.  Got my spare handheld out and used that to get me to #8 whilst trying to get my headlight working.  Got my head torch working and ran hard to #9 to make up time, missed the first path and so got confused, the other two must have punched without me seeing.  Eventually found it and ran hard to #10 which I found clean and that allowed me to home in on the other two who were below me heading to #11, they were to far left and I managed to follow their lights going into the control so allowing me to descend hard.  Didn't quite manage to catch them but it did allow me to finish strongly.

Orienteering 4th December 2011

Devon Orienteering Club hosted this event at Princetown and I decided to run the Brown Course which was 7.5km 190m Climb.  This section of the moor is pretty heavy going so I set about trying keep a stead pace that I could maintain over a large amount of the course.  On the whole this worked and I was happy with my time of 65:13.  Overall I had a very clean run hitting most of the controls bang on, although possibly a little under confident on #4 and #11. The early starters had the bonus of some low cloud to add to the challenge, I was disappointed to miss out on this extra challenge.  



PosNameClubAge ClassTime
1stBen ChestersSARUMM2145:08
2ndWill HancockKERNOM2153:53
3rdChris MoncasterKERNOM5556:38
4thSteve EdmondsDEVONM5057:57
5thPhil NewallKERNOM4559:37
6thMatthew AtkinsDEVONM4060:08
7thMark LockettKERNOM3565:13
8thAdele NewallKERNOW5068:18
9thIan BowlesDEVONM5570:29
10thAndy RimesQOM4571:03
11thRobert NaylorDEVONM4072:51
12thStephen EastleyKERNOM5583:47
13thArthur VinceKERNOM70103:29
14thAlan KnightDEVONM50131:46

GPS Track

Devon Orienteering Club Gallopen - 13th Nov 2011

So decided to run Blue today as still trying to ease myself in, and glad I did.  6.9km 200m against the brown of 8.9km.  As an added bonus from control 2 to 9 I ran in really heavy clag which was really challenging and enjoyable and made it feel more like night O, although I am not sure I thought that at #5 which was on a pretty featureless slope and I lost a lot of time there.  All in all pretty happy with the way I was running and finishing in 82:16.  As always respect to anyone that got round, in some challenging conditions.


Results (coming soon)
Routegadet (coming soon)
GPS Track

Devon and Cornwall Night Orienteering League - Race 1

Lanhydrock is probably the prefect way to start the night league, a nice way to get back into it.  Having said that once again I got caught out in the wooded area to the south a came out of 4 all wrong and felt the only sensible thing was to go back to 4 and start again, so plenty of time lost then.  All in all not a bad run and I can start to feel some fitness come back after a longish lay off.

Green 3.2km 110m - 37.20

SW Orienteering Sprint Champs

Two nice courses on a blisteringly hot day.  Still unsure about the title "Sprint" Orienteering I think it just puts people off.  Why not Short Course Orienteering?  Still an excellent event by Wimborne OC with some quick fire orienteering.  Happy with my runs especially the final which was mistake free.

Mens Open Prologue

Prologue 2.8km - 23min 48s

Mens Open Final

Final 2.9km - 23min 29s

Back out on the moors

Back out running after a while off due to calf problems.  I did a 6km route around Haytor Rocks in beautiful weather, a little hotter than I expected.  Calf was OK if a little stiff at the end, so fingers crossed it will be OK for the the OMM at the end of October.  But before that, next week is the SW Sprint Orienteering Champs near Dorchester. 

London City Orienteering Race 2011

James Hargreaves on the run in.

The 10th September saw the fourth edition of the London City Orienteering Race organised by SLOW, 1109 competitors made the start line from over 28 countries.  It was a race that I heard a lot about and was determined to have a go.  Preparation didnt go well and I when I turned up I hadn't really run for a month and half due a double calf injury.  I thought about walking around but as I got closer to the off I decided to give it a go and see how my recovery was going.  The pre race instructions had a lot about the mapping around the barbican estate which had multiple levels, this just confused me so I didn't dwell on it to much.  So after chatting to the Hargreaves brothers I headed to the start.  Off I went to the first control which was on some steps.  I soon reached the top of steps, as we had obviously started on the upper level no control, checked the control description, foot of, so down I went.  Now off into the city, quick route choices and clean execution the order of the day.  Into a small park and then back onto the street.  Now this wasn't a sprint event so, it was important to control the speed as the men's short was 6.1km straight line, so nearer to 10km probably.  Obvious control sites early on so I concentrated on flow through the controls which felt good, even if my basic speed was not.  The first city landmark came on the way to 4 when I ran around the famous gherkin, then Lloyds of London.  Control 10 was the first mistake. I ran down the road looking for the control in the park, to find an uncrossable wall, had to double back and around to the park entrance to eventually find the control only 1m from where I had been standing!!!!  Out of the park and due south to St Paul's, around the front and through a massive crowd waiting for the cathedral to open, which had a wedding take place.  Easy route to 12 but no sign of the control just about to check the map then there it was 10 metres away but down a level, after 50m detour I was at the control.  Clean to 15, before the tricky leg to 16, keeping it simple I ran up the main road to steps on the east side knowing I needed to go up a level, no steps! So back across the road to underground entrance up the steps and over the bridge.  The steps I was originally looking for turned out to be steps off the bridge easily confused!!  Clean in to 17, steps on way out took me to subterranean playground with no way out, two runners had follow so felt OK about this small mistake, decided to retrace steps to road to make things easy.  18, 19 clean but slowing now as legs getting painful.  Ended up in dead end in middle of leg, then wrong level so not a great leg to 20, went in early to 21 so lost small amount of time.  All in all I was really pleased with my run 71:51 for 6.1km and 22 controls. Really great event, which keeps you focused at all times, map contact key as it can be difficult to relocate.  The different levels of the Barbican proved a challenge but are well mapped, and make for interesting orienteering.  On the whole an amazing event and well worth the trip to London, next it will be city race on the Saturday and the southern champs on Sunday so well worth the journey.

Lowe Alpine Mountain Marathon 2011

Beinn Dearg 11th – 12th June

Mark Lockett and Oliver Marner

We were picked up from Inverness Airport by our chauffeurs for the weekend Rich and Will Kromhout (QO) and transported to the event centre near Ullapool. The drive took us through some spectacular scenery, and the realisation set in that it was going to be a tough weekend. The last mountain marathon we had completed in the Scottish highlands was in 2004, it snowed and we took 17hrs 19min for the 42.6km 2610m on the B course it was an epic. Recently the LAMM have introduced a score class so it was nice know that we would only be out 7hrs + 6hrs, barring disaster. We registered, pitched our tent, had tea in the sun looking out over Loch Broom, before the rain forced us into the bar, we sank a couple of local pints before heading for bed.

Saturday morning dawned bright and fine (well I say dawned it never seemed to get dark!!) and we made our way to the bus, picking our event maps on the way. The maps were 1:40000 based on the OS 1:50000 and had all control points for the weekend pre-marked. We first stopped to drop off the B Class, before reaching our start along with C and Elite class competitors. There were four starts in all which meant that competitors were well spread out from the off. As we started we received our control descriptions and proceeded in plotting all the controls on our map quickly discarding some before settling on a route that would bag us 170 points and involve a climb to 1084m to a 60 pointer on top of Ben Dearg. We started with a run across a flattish, boggy area before our first river crossing only a km in, always a shock to the system, before starting the 300m climb to the first control it was a around 8am and was already worryingly hot. Next a 4km contour walk which was a real ankle tester, but all seemed fine, and a bit of good nav which saw us in and out quickly, too quickly we missed a 10 pointer in the valley. Now in its self not really an issue on a score class but it was to have ramifications. We dropped down to cross Loch Prille and across at its outlet, which would put us in good position to contour and climb above Loch Tuach around Cona’ Mheall and set us up for the climb up Beinn Dearg. Unfortunately this is where we found out the limitations of 1:50000 basemap being used, in that hillside was covered in scree and crags none of which were marked. This really slowed us down and we lost a lot of time crossing the slope. We eventually reached the summit the 4km leg had taken us 1hr 53min with a total of 4hrs gone. We descended the way we had come up and made our way to Eididh nan Clach Geala 928m, on the way I asked Oliver if he had taken in the view at the last summit, we were both shocked that after such a struggle we had simply punched, turned and headed back down, we did make up for it at the next summit. 5hr 20 gone now getting tight, but major climb done but over 10km left we could do with some fast terrain but not looking likely. We decend to the north but only find patchy running, at last we pick up a path but it’s short lived, we hope there is good running to be had along the river but we pick up the control at the river still searching for good ground. When we finally get some I am spent nothing in the tank and now it’s a damage limitation exercise. We finally pick up the track which will take us most of the way to the overnight camp, again the map lies to us and it starts a 1km further on than we expect. It was a long track and finally we make it to the overnight 55min 45secs late!!! We score the 170 points we set out for, but 112 penalty points means we end day on 58 points 79th out 89 finishers. We find the Kromhouts and pitch our tent, they have had a better day finishing in 7th position with 230 points. Soon we are forced into the tent as the forecast rain starts.

Sunday 0500.

The overnight camp is so remote that there’s not the traditional piper for the wake up call, just a man and a megaphone!! But he’s here to tell us to get out and enjoy the sunrise, which we do and are glad we did. We eat breakfast and pack away and make our way to the start. Any control east of the camp and south of the event centre don’t even get marked, we not going to be late again. And we are off we mark up a route to take in 160 points we make a mix up the way to first so miss out on a 10 pointer. We reassess at the first control and decide to miss the 30 pointer to the north west. Not a difficult decision, but would we have given it up so easily if we’d realised it was a 50 pointer!! So we head back to the 10 pointer. The route doesn’t have the climb of day 1 but the going under foot is fairly slow still (Plus I am knackered!!). Nav is difficult trying to pick out where the contour cuts the ground, glad its another clear day as nav would be tricky in low vis. A short track run gives us time to reassess and we agree to miss a 20 pointer to the north. Into a 30 pointer 3hrs 51 gone, 9km to go. Got lucky with decent into Srath Nimhe avoiding scree and use path to start climb. Long crossing with going hard work, get to control with 43mins to go, 5kms and 510m of decent, its going to be tough and we need a bit of help from the terrain. Off the top and pick up quad track, it takes us all the way to a fence line, not allowed to climb the deer fence but I see a river, and send Oliver to investigate, off comes his pack and through he goes, I pass the packs through and follow half in the river, its cold but it might be the difference. Through the trees and drop onto the track. 20mins to go, find a single track and the running is good, get to the compulsory with 9 mins left and 1100m and make the finish with 2mins 2 secs to spare. Really don’t understand the instructions at the download, to spaced out. We finished 31st on the day and 61st overall. Not to bad after the hash we made of day 1. We covered 52km with over 1700m of ascent in 13hr 53min. The Kromhout’s on Day 2…… well I think they should tell that story!!

I really came away with a new respect for those that lead their class; the way these guys and girls move through the mountains is amazing. I also leave with a renewed respect for the Scottish Highlands. Another great event in great terrain next up the OMM in October.

View Route Gadget here:   

Mike Nelson BOKtrot 3rd April 2011

Not my best performance ever.  Really found the going tough and after the long leg to 4 found it difficult stay focused.  The forest was quite scraggy and I found getting into the 1:15000 map difficult.  Do we have to have 1:15000 for a level B event.  I never understand why we can't have 1:10000.  Anyway we will see how bad it really was when the ranking points get published.


Cornwall Orienteering Club Race - Mount Egdcumbe 26th Feb

Brown Course 7.2km 370m

Mount Edgcumbe always lulls you into a false sense of security. You go there thinking that your going to get an easy time of it, nice nav and a run around the park. But when your out there you start to remember previous encounters, the difficulty moving on the steep wooded areas to the North, memories of your lungs busting trying to make up time in the parkland, and the climb which seems to be a constant companion.

This race was to be no different! although the going underfoot was worse than ever before. After 12 controls I was gone and knew that control 14 was within 50 metres of the car, I nearly gave it up. I was caught at this point by Peter Morton who I knew had start a few minutes after me. I wondered if I could make that back and so that was my focus for the rest of the race. I tried a few different route choices, but we were together all the way swapping leads into the controls, and I just managed to get to the finish before Peter but the results showed me 3 minutes behind.

Happy to get around in 81mins, winning time 56mins!!

Cornwall OC - Lanhydrock Race 20th Feb 11

Picked up the map to find a blast around the parkland was in order straight off, no time to think. First 9 controls all done in just under 14 mins, even with a slight miss to 2.  Need to get back in control but miss the 10th and have to relocate off the path!!  Path option to 11 only way to go at Lanhydrock, fly down the hill to 12 but find myself having to come back up the hill a little, never a good thing.  Clean from there just slow especially up the hill to 18.  7.0km 235m in 74.32.  Pretty happy apart from the miss to 10 which was careless.  Look forward to seeing the results, graph and routegadget.

Dartmoor Runners - Hay Tor

Catch Up

23rd January 2011
Classic Devon OC event.  Brown 7.6km 360m, well that's what it said, but a mix up with scales produced a 50% error which meant it was 11.4km 360m. It felt a long time, but I was glad I didn't take my watch as I think I would have packed it in thinking I was the worse orienteer ever rather than just a slow orienteer which I can accept!!  Anyway a time of 1:56:14 wasn't to bad for what should have been a M35L course and after a busy couple of days.

 22nd January 2011
Another excellent night event from QO.  This was the second time on this format and it is a really good way of getting an hours event on to a relatively small area.  All you have to do is choose a colour to start on then figure out when to switch, once you change you can't go back.  Oh and make sure you get back in time!!  I managed 5.8km in 59:58 so a close shave.

21st January 2011
Out for a run on the moors see my Dartmoor tors blog

Endomondo Running Workout

Endomondo Running Workout: "was out running 7.20 km in 56m:02s using Endomondo."

First run back after some Southern Hemisphere warm weather training!! Well drinking and eating. Good to be back out on the moors, felt OK but lack a little endurance. Really looking forward to this year and getting back into the training and knock off the remaining Dartmoor Tors and Hilltops on my list.