So to the River Dart Country Park, Ashburton the site of my first orienteering adventure fifteen years ago. With the JK coming up I keen to get a second race in my legs to see how I was going, I wasn't so keen when I saw the Brown course advertised as 6.8km 420m, that was really going to test my legs. Still off I went, met Helen and Abbie on the way to my first control enjoying the park, if slightly off track. Through #5 going OK but feeling the climb already, Shane Ohly stormed past on the way to #6 and my safe option meant he was long gone by the time I got to the control. Closing in on #7 I see Shane's head pop up, he's having problems, I am on line for once and he punches before me and disappears again. Running legs not really playing the game now on the climbs so concentrating on a clean run, with good plans. See Shane on his way up to #12 as I am on my way to #13, slight miss at #13 unsure of the special feature which appeared to be a ball of wire, didn't hang around as wanted to get away from Shane, the climbs were behind us so it was all out fight to the finish now. Out of #14 see Shane going in, push the pace to the simple #15, and keep pushing. Just out of #16 and Shane flows past at what seems an easy pace, try to stay with him but just don't have the speed so concentrate on being accurate. Not far behind at #18 then Shane has a miss at #19 and overshoots, I punch and go for it, still ahead at #20 but Shane flows past again. Good nav means I punch just in front at #21, but he's soon past again! Shane's on the path going to #23 so I opt for the direct route but am just able to maintain the gap, through #23 and now its just a straight forward run to the finish, no hope of catching him now!!!
I really enjoyed the battle with Shane and it just goes to show that running speed is only part of orienteering. It was good have a blast around the park, and I now looking forward to the JK sprint race at Reading Uni on Good Friday. 6.8km 420m in 78.15 4th out 15. Helen and Abbie did really well completing the Yellow course, they did get a little distracted by an adventure playground which slow them down somewhat!