Scottish Six Days Day Three - Culbin.

First we were off to the string course and Abbie decided to go around on her own, it is great to see her grow in confidence as the week has gone on.  She also enjoyed her White course and manage to beat me on the finish split! She spent the rest of the time playing with Mazie in the Asembly field.  I am glad she is enjoying her first taste of a big orienteering event.

Now to my run! Drifted left to #1 and onto path but didn't waste too much time.  
#2 really set the tone tough going but looking forward to hitting the ride, never saw it eventually made it on to the path and turned wrong way, realised, turned back and hacked across to other track.  Took easy option of veg boundary as attackpoint and bearing in.  Met Will Hancock at #4 unfortunately injured and retiring.  Some relief of the hard going to #6 but once in the open area things got tough again so opted for path run to #7.  Nice run along the coast to #8.  To conservative to #10 hit veg boundary further SW than I wanted.  Energy going on the way to #11 but happy to see competitor speed pass 10m to my left, obviously on a track, switched to join it but nothing there, how do those guys run so quickly over this terrain.  Tiring big time to #17 but managing to keep it clean.  Tom longer track/ride option to #18 but ride did not provide the good running I hoped for.  Missed large ride on the way to #20 stood scraping head for a time but managed to get it back together.  Glad to get over the finish line cheered on by Cornwall OC club mates.  8.2km 80m climb 84:42. (Actually distance run 9.8km)

Next up a rest day and a spot of Dolphin spotting.  I can hear my legs saying thank you!

Scottish Six Days Day Two - Carse of Ardersier

Into overdrive!  Early start today so no tracks established early on.  Came off the track to #2 and quickly realised today was going to be tougher under foot than yesterday and with 9.2km and it being hot I needed to get the pace right for the whole run.  Major hill of the day at #5 all 15m of it but a steep little thing.  The technical side of things ramped up at #8, and the tough terrain and complex nature made for a slow split.  Made up for it to #9 and #10 with well executed nav.  Off track to #13 but came out of the light green and saw fence crossing in front of me. Phew! (not as route on map extract) #14 follow unmarked ditch from south all the way to control.  Caught a break going towards #20 picked up unmarked track from man made feature which took me all the way to path south of the control.  Scrabbled around a bit at #24 but nothing major and was happy to make it home in 87min 53sec for 9.2km (actual distance run 11.1km)

Abbie mean while completed her White course in 19.51secs, did the string, cheered in all the runners from Cornwall Orienteering Club and got a mention on the run into the finish from the commentary team. Way to go! 

Tomorrow the challenges of Culbin and 8.6km, it gonna be technical............ 

Scottish 6 Days - Day One Lossie

I must admit that I wasn't looking forward to getting out of the van into the rain to make my way to the start.  However right on cue the rain stopped and I made my way to the start picking up Kerno members on the way for a quick chat.  Keep it clean was the mantra for my run.  Slow and steady to #1 Glad of the veg boundary to the south.  ran slightly past #2 but nothing major.  #7 pace counted from veg boundary, first use of a new skill, found it bang on, still need to practice more but starting to think why haven't I done this before...... Fool! Safe path option to #9 and #10.  Bearing and paced to #11 but out, but bearing good and straight to it.  Keen not to make mistakes to #12 but mistook ride to the south for top path!! Came off path bend to #14 but must have been extra path, relocated.  Brain dead to to #16 which seemed to take an age from veg covered ride.  Clean into #17 then the run for home glad for the well established elephant track.  Thumbs up for my first day of Scottish orienteering.  

Tomorrow 9.5km on the Carse of Ardersier....... Bring it on!

Small Area, SI punching and a lot of head scratching! - Mylor Bridge Street O

Off to deepest darkest Cornwall with the offer of a BBQ, Street O, and swimming in the creek at Mylor Bridge, Nr Falmouth.  Always happy for an excuse to run map in hand so off we headed.  Cornish holiday traffic meant that we arrived close to the 2pm start, so we quickly changed and headed out of Phil and Adele's beautiful house.  We were presented with a map, which had the rules of the game on (See below).  This is a format that they have used a number of times at the Cornwall OC summer series but one that I had not previously experienced.  So I was trying to get my head around it and explain it to Helen who has going out with Abbie to have a run (and hopefully an Ice Cream!).  When I turned around most runners had gone and I was getting pressure from Phil to get out there!!   

Mylor Bridge

So off I went, still trying to get my head around what the hell I should be doing.  No brainer at 191 just punch and go, ran past 192 thinking I should get some more 10 pointers first! Mistake.  At the 6 road junction I took the wrong road but quickly realised my mistake mostly because of the jeering from others!  #201, #211 this seems pointless so quickly moves on to 30 pointers.  #213, #203, #223, #233 the bonus really hot now!  Wondered where Roger H was off to then noticed #214 over the fold in my map.  Dunked my head in the estuary just off the quay at #204, was offered a hose down by a local, but declined.  20 mins in, up the hill passing #232 but not punching....... #224, #234.  Back down to #215, killer hill up to #225 really hot now.  #205, #235, #195 40 mins in (shortest stretch of the creek might come back here!) #216.  Didn't fancy going around so asked some locals on the quay at #204 how deep it was.  They said there were stepping stones across at #195.  Stepping waist deep, but much deeper when I fell off them so swam the last half.  #206 47mins gone.  Cruised back past the finish picked up #196 then back to the finish.  53min 7.8km now time for a swim..........  Abbie and Helen got their Ice Cream and won the best junior prize.

What great format, on a map that Phil prepared which did the Job perfectly. 

Thanks all, and a great party afterwards. 

The Rules of the Game

Harvester Relays 2013

We arrived at Longmoor Army Camp around 2130, and quick set up our tents.  As I was on the third leg I quickly got my head down for a couple of hours kip.   I was awake again at around midnight I watched as 18 team runners went out on the mass start.  Phil Newall was out first with just over 8km's.  The advantage of being on the 3 leg is that you can pick up good advice from the incoming runners as they hand over.  I seem to pick on the theme that runners were telling their team mates to keep it simple, something I tend to do well on night events. Phil came in and handed over to Graham Pring in 15th place but with 4 other teams within 6 minutes.  But Phil's efforts came at a price he had done some damage to his knee early on but hadn't wanted to give up, his run was looking better by the minute.  Graham didn't hang around and came in 11th.  So it was around 0300 when I ran out into the dark for my 9.3km 265m 22c.  On the way to #1 I tried to cut a corner through some runnable woods, but it was a big mistake and I ended up head high bracken, lesson learnt.  I took that on board and opted for track options most of the way with solid attack points.  Slight miss at #5 couldn't locate indistinct path but hit contour feature to the north of the path. By #10 dawn was beginning to break, which was stunning.  But still needed the light of the headtorch in the woods.  #14 didn't find small path as I cut across to it so didn't have firm attackpoint.  Second fastest split to #17!!  I handed over to Steve Eastley in 14th place.  Steve had a solid run and brought us back in 16th place.  Then Club Captain Gavin Henderson had a stunner and back up to 14th.  At 0730 Andrew Campbell-Howes (his first event for Kerno) and Scott Collier went out in the mini mass start, and even though it was only 0730 the day was really hotting up.  Scott had the longest leg of the event 13.5km and got around in an amazing 121mins (Don't mention Anne's time!) Andrew did well to get around, having only just returned to orienteering and apart from 1 disastrous 49 min split had had a good run.  We eventually finished 17th/18, but in good spirits determined to return.   Congratulations to BAOC for putting on an amazing event.

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Harvester Relays 2013, a set on Flickr.