Cornwall OC Night Event - 22nd December 2012

The forth round of the Devon and Cornwall Night League 2012/13, found us at Davidstow Aerodrome, nr Camelford on a foul and unpleasant night.  Planner for the night was Will Hancock and his duties with the Environment Agency meant a later start.  I opted for the full running waterproof approach, not stay dry, that was going to be impossible but to stay warm.   Motivation for the night was that to stand a chance of lifting the trophy I would need to be first Devon or Cornwall runner, and the added competition of running against former British Squad member Helen Winskill and current squad member Nick Barrable, how close could I get to the professionals?.  We started at the old control tower, I found #1 spot on, rough barring out but difficult to hold any sort of line in the wind pushed east.  At one point running through the puddles the splashes were being whipped up by the wind and smacking me in the face!!  Took overly safe line to #5, before aiming off to #6.    Running well so kept with the option of being safe with the nav, got confused with #9 didn't see the first set of bunkers on the map, but soon realised mistake.  Used #17 as my attack point to #13 which worked well clean through to the finish and pretty happy with my run, 5.3km 37min, Helen had finished before me in 34min so very happy with my run.  Just awaiting the full results now.  

Took to the car to warm up before getting back out there to collect controls.  Another great event on an interesting new area, in some challenging conditions.  Now looking forward to the challenges 2013 bring, Happy Christmas.


Upcoming Events

27th Dec 2012 - Devon Orienteering Club Christmas Event - Killerton, Exeter

12th January 2013 - Devon Orienteering Club Night Event - Cann Woods, Plympton

20th January 2013 - Cornwall Orienteering Club - Lanhydrock, Bodmin

and dont forget the Southern Orienteering Champs at Penhale on the 14th April, the best orienteers on the best terrain in the south west.

Dartmoor Runners - 16th December 90min Score

Yesterday was the final event of the 18th Dartmoor Runners Winter Series.  The format was a 90min score event starting from High Down, Lydford.  It was a prefect day for a run and although I was feeling below par I was really looking forward to running on one of my favourite areas of the moors.  We were given the map with controls on 2 minutes before the off, so only a little time to plan.  My thoughts were to get out to the 20 pointer to the north and then head south and see what controls I could sweep up.  As it happened I think on another day I could have cleared the course but on this occasion I was probably 10mins off the pace, and missed out on one control.  However I was happy with 6th/32.  Congratulations to all those that cleared the course especially Jamie Parkinson who cleared the course in 70min! After the run we headed over to Lydford Village Hall for Christmas lunch and prize giving.  Dartmoor Runners will return in the New Year with the Summer Series!   

Upcoming Events

22nd Dec 2012 - Cornwall Orienteering Club Night Event - Davidstow, Bodmin

27th Dec 2012 - Devon Orienteering Club Christmas Event - Killerton, Exeter

12th January 2013 - Devon Orienteering Club Night Event - Cann Woods, Plympton

20th January 2013 - Cornwall Orienteering Club - Lanhydrock, Bodmin

and dont forget the Southern Orienteering Champs at Penhale on the 14th April, the best orienteers on the best terrain in the south west.

Devon and Cornwall Night League - 8th December 2012

A clear and windless night greeted us at the car park for this 3rd of 6 Devon and Cornwall Night League fixtures.  I was out to make amends for my mispunch at Lanhydrock a couple of weeks ago.  I shared a lift with Rob Parkinson who is not normally a fan of night orienteering, this being only his second event after taking part in the British Night Champs last year.  We were later getting there than normal so when I got to the start it was clear and I was able to go straight off.  I was surprised to catch someone at #1, but kept focused and was determined to run my own race.  I stayed on the path to #2, but not as long as planned so had a slight hesitation.  Back on path to #3 using the wall corner as a strong attack point.  Aimed off to #4 using gully to lead me in.  Still with the other runner who was running straighter lines than me.  Again aimed off to #6 using wall corner then path arrived just after the other runner.  I couldn't match the pace of the runner in front so he moved away to #7 but I kept on simplifying legs trying to avoid any mistakes.  #8 was all about finding the correct path in the gorse, and I managed to get this spot on.  Was surprised to see the mystery runner coming into #8 from the north as I left.  #9 north to the fence line then into the pit, slight miss as the undergrowth seemed to go on a little further than mapped, turned and straight into the control.  I got forced north to #10  due to the gorse so wasn't sure of my position on entering the wood, so headed south and bounced off the stone wall.  Mystery man passed me and at #10 I caught Barry Olds, I asked who was ahead and he said it was Will Hancock, no chance of catching him now I thought as it was mostly track running, but kept pushing.  Over the bridge to #13 and down the steep slope, clipped  the earthwall and cleanly  into the control to find Will had had a miss and was coming back to it.  Then just the matter of the run to the finish, trying to stay with Will who started drifting south.  Managed to hold Will off just punching in front.  Wow I was exhausted.  4.4km 135m in 33.34.  Route on Endomondo   .
 Blast from the Past

The last time I can remember running a night orienteering race here was January 2005 and I won the Jade course 3.2km 70m in 37min32.

Southern Nights and Devon League - 1st -2nd Dec

We made the journey up to London for the Southern Night O Champs, which were hosted by SLOW on Esher Commons.  I was running the Short Brown which was 7.6km 110m with 24 controls.  These sort of areas tend to have an extensive path network, which can lead to confusion at night.  17.57 came and Phil, Adele and myself stood on the start line poised to do battle with the darkness and the map.  I started cautiously not wanting mess up the first control, wary of small tracks not marked.  Hesitant to the first but no big problems, at #2 I paused and checked the control description, I was surprised to see track crossing, which was where I was standing.  I turned around to see the control. I was starting to get into it now and #3-6 passed cleanly.  Slight miss at #7 but nothing serious.  Decisions were mostly based on when to stay on the tracks and when to go straight.  #17 hit the wall bang on but felt I gone to far so doubled back, returned along the wall to find the control, silly mistake.  #18 was in a grotty area but found cleanly enough.  Ran hard to #19 but didn't have a plan or attackpoint near the circle!  Headless chicken moment before pulling myself together 9 minute split! #21 started on the wrong track and couldn't relocate to the correct one, got in the circle but couldn't locate the control.  All in all pretty happy with 77:54 anything near 10min/kms at night is good for me.  5th in the M40 class of the Southern Nights, Phil 6th M50 and Adele 4th W50 so definitely worth the trip.  

So after a long journey back and it was an early start to try and avoid the forecast rain that was due in around 1200.  I was surprised to see that the Brown course was 8.7km 370m with only 14 controls.  So this was to be a flat out tour of the Five Tors map, I hope my legs are up to it.  #1 was in a large feature so straight up it was time to get the legs moving.  #1 and #2 were both on the same contour so it was a case of balancing how much to climb to cut down the distance, think I did I got the balance about right but legs were feeling last nights efforts.  The climb out of #2 hurt but I tried to push the pace knowing that it was the biggest of the day.  Slight miss at #8 to low and  stayed to high on the way to #14.  I was amazed that I had gone around in 64.04 and came 4th/17.  Happy days!  


Night Orienteering and a Fell Race - 10th/11th November 2012

Devon Orienteering Club - Night Orienteering 10th November 2012

This was the first event of the 2012/13 Devon and Cornwall Night League, held on Whitchurch Common one of the more technically demanding areas to be used this year.  So no real time to get your eye in, we were straight into it.    It didn't start really well with a miss at #1, missed the path junction then scrambled around for a bit, before finding it just as I was about to relocate.  Messed around at #2 trying to find attack point, many other path visible at night!  Down to #3 found wall track crossing to NW but then couldn't locate depression in amongst bracken!  Clean to #4, probably through luck more than judgement as ran on rough compass and counted paths.  Knowing tree are marked on map as white circles would have helped at #5, but unable to see that under night O conditions.  Now caught by Will Hancock, through #7 and #8 OK, then over the tor to #9 and into an area that had much more going on  than on the map.  #10, #11, #12, #13 and #14 all felt like more suitable night O control sites, still challenging but in less vague terrain.  Slight miss on #14 by dropping between the tor and the quarry.  All in all a pretty average performance.  3.9km 180m - 45min 11secs 

Dartmoor Runners - 11th November 2012

Now for something completely different!  A 15km fell race over Dartmoor from Scorhill, Gidleigh.  Due to some hasty reading of the final details I managed to get to the start later than planned, this did mean that I was almost at the back of the pack with only Adam Forrest behind me.  My game plan for the day was to run more direct lines as I can sometimes over navigate, and as I am running strongly, taking the direct route does seem to be paying off for me.  I started strongly and was soon setting a good tempo, I got lucky to the first control hitting it straight on, but wasn't expecting it to be in the reentrant but on a gate on the fence line behind.  (Note to self: Must make better note of the control descriptions!).  Felt in good nick and was enjoying my running on a beautiful autumn day on the moors, blue skies and stunning views.  Made up some good time to #3 by running the direct line from the river west of Watern Tor to Wild Tor, and enjoyed the fast decent down to the trod heading to #4.  Managed to get into some knee high heather and gorse crossing the hillside below Buttern Hill, heavy going some 13km in.  Enjoyed the run into the finish and was very happy with my time of 1:44:05.


View Dartmoor Runners 11th November 2012 in a larger map

The OMM 2012 - Howgill Fells

This was 16th OMM/KIMM start, and one of things that attracts me year after year is going to small pockets of wild country that often you wouldn't visit.  Year after that has been the case, until this year when I would be returning to the Howgill Fells for a second time.  However my last visit was just a fleeting experience during the 1998 event commonly referred to as the "Howling Howgills".  We had a very late start time, by which time the the weather was already deteriorating, we headed for our first control but soon turned back when we looked at the river we had to cross to the first control.  1hr 20min after starting we were off the hill and on our way back to the event centre.  

So I was really looking forward to having another go.  The journey up as usual was a pain and we didn't arrive at the event centre at Sedberg until 2100.  We registered and quickly headed for the camping field for an early night.  Clear skies meant that it was going to be a cold night.  

Saturday dawned crisp, clear and very cold, we had breakfast and soon, myself and my partner Steve were off for the 2km walk to the start.

At 9.05 we were off up the hill, through some farmers fields giving us time to plan before the compulsory control saw us out on to the open fell.  A quick valley crossing and climb saw us at #2 before continuing the climb and descending into #3.  Underfoot it was amazingly fast going and it was obvious the faster teams were going to cover long distances.  Contouring into #4 was more of a pleasure than usual, although I did have to stop to make a sock adjustment to prevent a small blister worsening.  
Steve contouring to control 4.

Graham coming out #5 where our plans split
From control #4 we had our first really tough climb of the day, I was feeling quite strong but Steve was finding it tough.  Soon we were up on the tops and dropping into control #5.  We met Graham Pring coming out of #5 and were aware he had a different plan to ours.  I took a look at the map to see what they were up to but we decided to stick with the plan.  A quick run down the valley to control #6 I had time to film a demonstration of how to descend a hill.

Two big climbs on the way to #7 and 4.5 hours gone.  All that was left was to head for home and start the preparations for Day two.

Day One -  19.5km 1500m  5.54.37 170 points 124/209

Rob and Jamie Parkinson 12th Long Score

Steve in our massive tent!!

The dry weather passed through and the rain came to the overnight camp at around 9pm.  

Day 2

The first decision was to whether to go east or south.  We opted for south which turned out to be a good move.  We picked up 4 controls before two at the road crossing.  Then it was a the big climb of the day up to #7 Steve was still finding the climbs tough and the weather wasn't helping cold, wet and windy!  But we knew that once the climb was over we had just one short climb left for the day.  I was glad to find the control at the foot of a crag cleanly and headed off south picking up a contouring path which took us to above #8.  Chris Moncaster came past us here going well on the B course
Chris Moncaster enjoying the day 2 weather! 7th B Class

 We contoured out of #8 before a short climb to #9.  From #9 we had a short but steep climb to #10 before descending into the finish.  It didn't feel like we had done very well on day 2 but it turned out we had made good choices and executed them well and had climbed from a disappointing 124th on Day 1 to 80th overall, so not a bad effort.  Many teams were enticed out east and left themselves with to much to do at the end.

Day Two - 14.3km 650m 4:37:43 65/205


Dartmoor Runners Fell Race - 6th October 2012

Time for a fell race with Dartmoor Runners from Challacombe Cross, I had chosen this over an orienteering race in a particularly average forest.  I hadn't ever run from this car park before but was really looking forward to it.  After a short road run we joined the path at Lepra Cross, through Moor Gate to West Coombe,  I confess that I am not sure whether we stayed on the path or not, the Harvey's map was a little vague and it wasn't obvious on the ground either.  I was soon caught by the next starter, and together we found our way back onto the open moor.  I managed to leave him at control one as I cut in first and was quickly out and flowing nicely.  I decided to stay low as this looked the best running, the downside of this was that I had to keep pushing hard, not easy as the sheep trods were very slippery after the recent rain.  After a short climb I contoured into the valley west of the trees and out again then around the hill into two.  I lost concentration on the next leg and following the West Webburn river ended south of Hameldown Tor, having climbed too much, but picked up the path and then dropped into control 3 at Grimspound.  I decided to head north west and loop into Birch Tor (52), I managed to find trods most of the way, and kept going over the 300m or so of rougher stuff to the tor, I passed a few runners on this leg but am not sure it was the best route choice.  I headed north off the tor and looped onto the Two moors way track, still running well I had my eye on a runner I had passed as he came off Birch Tor, I like having a target on these events, it seems to keep me motivated.  I caught him at the final control but couldn't shift him on the descent and finished about 10 metres in front.  So 11km in 80min, I really enjoyed my run and felt pretty pleased with my time.

Route on Endomondo

Photos from the finish

View Dartmoor Runners 6th Oct 2012 in a larger map

London City Orienteering Race 2012

What a stunning day to be in the capital for this awesome race, organised by South London Orienteers.  This was my second time and again I really enjoyed the experience.  It was a hot day but as you are mostly running in and out of the shadows, it wasn't over powering. My race started with a under confident stutter to #1, not sure why probably just too many people around.  Managed to get into a good flow until before #6 when a check of the control descriptions would have helped me out as the control was up the top of the stairs and I was ...... !  I was prepared for #7 which was in the barbican centre, a multi layered nightmare, but still messed it up by being up when I should have been down, bumped into Ian Hargreaves who was having issues too.  My head hurt going to #8 and #9, but got in a little pack coming out of #9 and ran fast to keep up with them, but lost map contact then the pack!  Really don't know how I got through the Barbican centre but at last I was free!!  #10 was on the top of the bridge so had to double back on myself, running pretty well so at least that side of things was OK.  Got into a nice flow, and enjoyed my run around the Stock Exchange and St Paul's although quite busy here.  Clean until #24 when I lost map contact but only a slight hesitation, then a poor route choice coming out of #24 to the north instead of south.  Knew the ground to #25 but had to keep concentrating as getting tired now.  Straight forward run to the finish and it was over.  It felt like I had been out an age, and was surprised to see it had only been 75min, even better when I downloaded 73min15sec for 7.9km (straight line) I had actually run 11.5km so I was really happy (64th/128).  What a great race.  My train wasn't until 1700, so after watching the presentations I took a walk along the river in the afternoon sun, very nice. 

Mens Elite Winner Peter Hodkinson OUOC

Cornwall Orienteering Club Summer Series - Lanhydrock

Yesterday saw the final event in the clubs 2012 Summer Series, and was run alongside a fun day at the National Trusts property at Lanhydrock.  The fun day was in full flow when we arrived with lots a people taking part in the clubs maze.  The format for my course was a first for me.  There were 12 control to visited in order (201 - 212) and you had to visit all other controls marked on the map, making 30 in total.  You could dip in and out of the line course as you wanted.  It made for a really interesting racing and although you kept meeting people on the course they always seemed to have a slightly different take on the route choices.  I was very happy with my choices, and was pleased to finish in just under 52mins covering 6.4km.


Dartmoor Runners 90 Minute Score Event

For my last couple of runs I have been running an old Dartmoor Runners 90 minute score event from last December.  Unfortunately I didn't get to the event but I managed to get hold of the map from a friend and it's been sitting waiting for me give it a go ever since.  Last week I managed to give it ago but although I managed to cover 11.85km in 92min I scored, with penalties 35 points.  So I was determined to get back on the horse so to speak and give it another go.  

Today an unexpected opportunity gave me another chance and off I went.  It was an ideal day for running hot but with a cooling breeze.  I managed 12.56km in just under 89mins and scored a more impressive 65 points and more to the point had an excellent run over terrain I wouldn't otherwise run.  My track can be found on my endomondo site.  The actual race was won with 75 points so was happy to get so close, even though it was my second attempt.  Feel free to give it a go Map of the Score Checkpoints can be found via the link on a google map.  If you beat 65 let me know, remember time starts and finishes at the car park, don't be late!!

More info on Dartmoor Runner can be found here.

On to Rio 2016

Firstly I would like to say thank you to my couch for the support over the last few weeks, it's been a tough time. My performance during the Olympic's has been enhanced by the technology I have surrounded myself with, namely my Apple IPad, Sky+, Twitter, and the amazing BBC website, with these I would be nothing.  I also managed to experience the Olympic atmosphere live in Weymouth, and at the North Greenwich Arena, amazing experiences.  I will now be taking some time away from the TV and thinking about the committment I can make to Rio 2016, but I am sure I will be back in some form.  My final thanks go to the organisers, volunteers, athletes, commentators and supporters who have made this an amazing two weeks.  Now has anyone seen my running shoes?

Wet and Wild Boar!! - BOKTrot 2012

The prospect of running in the wind and the rain didn't help me get out of bed, but with the entry paid for and staying only 30 miles from the event off I went into the wilds!!!  

I had an early start which for once must have been an advantage as the ground was only going to get heavier as the day went on.  I set out to the start with a waterproof over my windproof to try and keep as warm as possible until my start.  Luckily the start area was in the woods so the waiting around for my start time wasn't to cold.  In the start lanes there was the usual signs a warning of wild boar!! 

So off I went trying not push to hard as I knew from experience this was going to be a long hard course.  Always nice to have #1 in the bag safely, some really runnable forest to #2, slight mistake being to low on the river but no major issues.  Started to flow through the course nicely, made a big effort to #5 as I have made mistakes in this area before, kept in contact with the map a hit it straight on.  Cautious to #8 as again this area can be difficult, but I selected a good attack point and into the control safely.  Climbed out #8 and found myself above #9 very loose under foot sliding around everywhere, punched the control and had to fight back up the hill, two steps up then slipped  back down one!!  Out of control #12 decided on the safe route into the technical area, 10 years ago at this event I retired here, no thought of that today.  Safely to the large track and looking for a path off right to the pond.  Ahead I notice a lady with a dog disappearing off, that must be the track.  Running down the path I got to the pond and then I heard an almighty grunt!!  I jumped out my skin, I looked left to see a massive Boar looking at me.  I had a little chat with it and made my way tentatively onwards down the track.  I caught up with the lady who turned out to be an orienteer and she asked if I had seen it.  "Yes" I said "scared the hell out me", "thank goodness my dog didn't see it" she replied.  Now on full Boar alert I managed to keep wits about me and get into #13 cleanly.  #15 was found cleanly, and still running ok even though I had been out for 85 minutes, I was led into #16 by another competitor and was shocked because I had been navigating to #17 so gave myself a mental slap.  Not sure what happen to #18, I was certain that I was on the track which runs to the east of control 1 but saw a track junction ahead confirming I was to the west! Confused!  Finally crossed into the section of forest with #18 in and then started doubting myself as there were a large number of wet ditches which weren't mapped.  Eventually found the hide, punched and made for the last control and finish.  I kept running from the finish not wanting stop and get too cold.  The weather was going full tilt now so I quickly jumped in the car to get changed.  I thought the course was really challenging, and when you add the conditions in it was a tough event and I was happy with the outcome.  Congratulations to all at Bristol Orienteering Klub who made it all happen in difficult circumstances.



BOKtrot 2012 - New Beechenhurst, Forest of Dean

Brown 10.4km 355

10th/16 Mark Lockett 106.12

Short Brown 8.2km 270m

27th/53 Phil Newall 88:36

Blue 6.6km 245m

28th/93 Graham Pring 72.02

40th/93 Barry Olds 78.03

Short Blue 5.4km 220m

15th/62 Adele Newall 64.56

26th/62 Peter Morton 70.41

Short Green 3.7km 110m

14th/34 Annabel Pring 68.43

27th/34 Pauline Olds 81.51

Cornwall Orienteering Club Race - Mount Edgcumbe

So to Mount Edgcumbe for a Cornwall Orienteering Club league race, I ran the Brown course 8.3km 290m with 28 controls.  And run I did, Mount Edgcumbe is always more physical than technical but with 28 controls you still had to keep your head.  It's easy early on to push the pace and pay for it with some sloppy nav.  This event used butterfly loops on the brown course which added interest to this area which we have used on many occasions before.  I was really happy with my run and am feeling the benefit of my recent weight loss especially on the hills.  71mins put me in amongst competitors that I don't usually compete with which is very motivating.  Looking forward to running at the BOKtrot next weekend in the Forest of Dean.  

Weight loss update 12kg since January!!

NGOC Gallopen - 18th March 2012

Great event from NGOC today, definitely worth the trip up.  I ran Brown which was 9.6km 375m, and it felt like it to.  I messed up #1 which had a bit of felling near it and I dropped to low.  Later I had a great run to #4 came out of the forest bang on the path junction but couldn't make the terrain fit and lost time confused.  My eyes just couldn't see the hill!!  Messed up #10, but then clean for the rest of the run, if a little slow on the climb out of #18.  Quite happy with my run, and looking forward to Cornwall OC race at Trelissick next weekend.

GPS Track 

Kerno Results

Brown 9.6km 375
9th Phil Newall - 102:19
10th Mark Lockett 108:51
19 Competitors

12th Chris Moncaster 68:02
44th Barry Olds 83:01
57th Roger Hargreaves 94:28
61st Adele Newall 97:02
81 Competitors

75th Sandy Cowan 94:40
86 Competitors

Short Green
15th Pauline Olds 68:44
Elise Hargreaves mp
24 Competitors

Devon Score Event - 4th March 2012

"The idea of the Technical Score (28 Controls) is to provide a flexible event for all abilities and ages. This will be achieved by having no time limitation. The competitor can stay out as long as they wish 1 point will be deducted from their score for every minute (or part minute) spent out on the course. Each control will score 10 points."

An interesting event from Devon OC, with penalty points being racked up as you went, I missed #4 because of a badly folded map, apart from that I had an enjoyable run in some testing slippery conditions, there was also a fair amount of climb especially between 14 and 17. I did 7.72km 88:17. 


oh and did I mention that I have lost 8kg this year so training is going well!!!! 

British Night Orienteering Champs 2012 - Hamptworth.

When the British Night Champs comes to town (well the South West Region) I am always up for it, but I also understand its going to be an incredible challenge.

So to the New Forest for the big challenge, I got there early so made use of my time with some retail therapy O style, and invested in some new O shoes.  Soon it was time to make my way to the start and prepare for the 9.3km 200m Climb that lay in front. 

#1 Path option aimed off to ditch then along to control, safe start. 4.01

#2 Straight line to path aimed off to second path, around double reentrant and in to control tentatively 6:46 (10:47)

#3 Bearing into 3 but first found large rootstock to east. 1:58 (12:45)

#4 bearing again wondered to east but saw clearing 2:10 (14:55)

#5 up to steep bank followed along then picked up fence missed distinctive tree but picked up gullies 4:48 (19:43)

#6 Cut across to wet ditch followed down to bend then into control 3:35 (23:18)

#7 missed first ditch hit second 2:15 (25:33)

#8 bearing to square earth bank pick up ditch and in 4:38 (30:11)

#9 Aimed off to double rootstock contour two knolls into third knoll 3:09 (33:20)

#10 straight in 0:58 (34:18)

#11 Down the hill too far east,  glad they had taped out of bounds! Over ditch failed to locate control quickly so decided to relocate to #2 but found control before. 9:44 (44:02)

#12  found route through maze of green to path turned north on small path across to thicket 4:32 (48:34)

#13 Path option off path to north of first thicket around to control site. 1:58 (50:32)

#14 back onto path through open area head off to large thicket.  Get confused, spend long time trying to figure out where on the thicket I am. decide to follow thicket to path and relocate. Find control on way. 9:31 (60:03)

#15 Go carefully not wanting to make another mistake.  3:53 (63:56)

#16 Head out to path and make my way to #16 get lost cant make anything fit, eventually head south and start again this time coming in from earth bank path junction tick off thickets and find control easily but have lost a lot of time 13:50 (77:46)

#17 In bid to make up time run hard to track, take a stick to the shin and fall down hard, get back up and continue to run hard chasing runner who's just passed me. Hit track turn west come off track cut corner to wet ditch, then parallel it into control. 6:07 (83:53)
#18 Find way through green stuff aim off to ditch and then follow into control 4:09 (88:02) Catch runner turns out to be Jamie Parkinson of Devon. 

#19 Follow ditch to path then north on path cut back to ditch around green area, (Jamie continues on path goes in further north) then head north to hit path then into control helped by Jamie. 5:55 (93:57)

#20 On path then aim to hit gully in middle section. Get distracted by Jamie who thinks we have gone past.  He heads north and finds path junction, confirming the ditch is the right one 4:57 (98:54)

#21 head south to pick up wet ditch, must have missed it follow wall with ditch next to it thinking its our ditch.  But no parallel ditches.  Jamie decides to bin it as course closing time is approaching I decide to carry on and head NW to find the control, hit it straight on.  7:15 (106:09)

#22 Head south to track then at track junction turn north west realise mistake when get to path junction and realised game is up so decide to run home via #26 + 27

And so my Run was over, but what an experience, I am gutted, sure but hey if it's not a challenge to me then I wouldn't turn up.  This is first orienteering event I have failed to finish for quite a while, but a great experience, I'll be back.

Check here for my GPS track of the event

Devon OC - Smallhanger Waste Night Event - 29th Jan 2012

So to Smallhanger Waste near Plympton, for the fifth round of the Devon and Cornwall Night League.  I was feeling rough but this was my last chance to run on this map before I plan the final event as part of the Tamar Triple event on the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.  Then the waste from a local tungsten mine will be dumped on this area.  So off I went cautious start surprised the gorse that had covered the area on route to number one had gone and was clear and very runnable.  Aimed off for #2 picked up ditch and in safely.  Now it gets difficult, tick off the path then ditch, boulder come in but drift down on lower path and get confused, hit second path and realise mistake head north and stumble on control 3 before path I intend to relocate to.  Out to #4, bounce back to #5, then slow it to #6 but hit it nicely.  North to the path to #7 no problems.  Long leg to #8, try to keep map contact, but struggle nearer to control, decide to run to distinctive trees or failing that relocate on the road junction, pick up Phil (who must have passed me on the way to #3) on the way who is looking short of control sight.  See trees and adjust into control Phil slightly ahead, I take a higher line to #9 than Phil but still to low, but again find control before path.  Out to #10 stay high and drop onto it.  Back to the path then in clean to #11, before the run into the finish.  A really enjoyable event, in a technical area for night O.  Looking forward to getting back out there  and planning the South West Middle Distance Championships.           

Lanhydrock, Cornwall Orienteering Club - 15th January 2012

This was to be my forth run in four days, so I choose Blue which was 6.2km 200m as oppose to the Brown which was 9.2km 300m!, how glad I was.  Really enjoyed the course but made silly errors at #12, #13 and #15 which spoiled my run, probably due to tiredness.  As always a great event and it was nice to get back to the famous Kerno tea tent, for a cuppa, chat and catch up.

6.2km 200m - 74min 26secs

Quantock Orienteering After Dark - 14th January 2012

First route in red, second in maroon
So to Taunton I went for one of Quantock Orienteering Clubs after dark series.  The format was an hour score event with second master map, all in an urban setting.  Once you switched to the second set of controls then you couldn't go back to the first set.  I decided to try an split the maps 50/50 and managed to get back to the master map bang on 30 minutes.  But how much did I have left in the tank?  The second set were quite a struggle and by the time I was at the 50 pointer to the North East of the map my decision making was pretty shot, I could have picked up control 17 on the way back but decided against it as I could where the road south was!!  It always amazes me the effect running has on your ability to make simple decisions.  I got back with 5 minutes to spare, but not a lot left in the tank.  These events combine all I love in orienteering, interesting formats, the added interest in running in the dark and the pressure of the score format.  Thanks to Quantock Orienteering Club for a great event.

55 minutes 7.8km. 

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