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!