Mendip North - Bristol Orienteering Club - 24th November 2013

A 1.6km walk/jog to the start meant that I was raring to go once I got there.  The remoteness meant that we carried our own rolled and taped map to the start.  I had difficulty folding the map to start with and ended up setting off up the wrong path.  I soon recovered, but my legs felt heavy as I started up the hill, was I paying the price for the previous nights blast around Davidstow? The leg to #1 was a long one, not the norm in orienteering races but I quite like the challenge of getting into the map on a long leg.  I made a pretty good job of it but as I thought the splits suggest I wasn't moving very quickly.  Clean to #3 and making good progress to #4, I impressed myself by checking out the attack point one the way to #1.  I lost confidence from the attack point and avoided the wooded area looking for the depression.  Then I realised the depression was in a wooded area and I was straight onto it.  Blast down the path to #5 and quickly I was through #7 and off down the track.  Overshot #8 didn't notice the parallel track.  Fell short to #9 entering the wood to early.  Went direct to #10 but track option quicker.  Took the track option to #13, then back onto the track along the valley, pace counted 300m then climbed diagonally to #14, took a deep breath for the nasty climb up to #15, 54mins gone.  8 controls left, decided to push the running speed and was happy not to make many mistakes just a slight miss at #20, through the final control and pushed hard on the 350m run in to be greeted by Jamie Hayward with his camera!! Really enjoyable race 7.8km 310m in 71:21 and 10th/26.

Night League - Davidstow 23rd November 2013

Excellent run around Davidstow on a clear and cold night, a total contrast to the stormy and epic conditions of last year.  This year we had the added bonus of an extension to the map to include the wooded area to the south.  This was to be my downfall, with two misses, it was a case of get the wrong ditch and pay the price.  Still managed to get around in 53.20 for the 6.2km (although the GPS tracked 8.2km!!)  The even better news is that this map can be extended into a massive area that stretches all the way to the A30!  That is what I call potential!!

Night League - Lanhydrock 16th November

Second Event of the Devon and Cornwall Night League - 4.4km 90m 39:45

Penhale Sands, South West Orienteering League - 10th November 2013

It's unusual to get a second run on Penhale in the same year, that doesn't however make it any easier!  I love Penhale the orienteering is incredibly absorbing and at the same time very physical.  I had in the back of my mind the 2hrs 5mins it took for my 11.8km course at the Southern Champs.  It was important get the pace right early on and as I was feeling pretty average to get the navigation right.  I started off well and was clean through to #3.  Got dragged south by better terrain and lack of concentration to #4.  Long leg to #5 Ok but got confused by lack of veg changes near to control which are usually so obvious on this map.  Slight miss at #7 but nothing major.  At #10 had it spot on but failed to spot the last climb to the control, lost confidence and went west down the valley until I realised.  Major mistake of the day to #15 ran confidently into fast run section but entered to far west and tried to make it fit, stood by large knoll scratching head until I worked it out.  Decided to loop north to #16 and run down veg boundary but probably good running took me too far north.  Really tried now and struggling, lined up #17 after cresting the hill after #16, and concentrated on keeping moving.  Got to the control to find it was wrong code!  Luckily it was my #18 only 200m away so over to #17 before doubling back to #18.  Last long leg to #19 decided to run on rough bearing and relocate off fence.  Ben Chesters charged past, thought about asking for a lift, but he was gone before I got chance.  Managed to keep it going through #20 and was happy to get onto the path for the run to #21 and the finish.  I was happy to finish the 8.9km course in 87:48 and lay on the soft grass the planner provided at the finish to celebrate.  

and finally........


Night Orienteering Season is Here

Burrator, Natrator Brook to start the night orienteering season!  That's an interesting call I thought, but hey who needs to ease themselves in!  The rain set in as I was leaving Plymouth just to make things even more interesting.  I picked up the map and set off 3 or 4 mins after Nigel Worsley.  I knew the area quite well from previous orienteering events, so decided to slow it down to #1, hit the river got slightly confused by wall not seen on the map.  It's always difficult to read the map at night, but add a plastic bag and rain it ramps up the difficulty.  Pass Nigel just before #2.  Locate #2, #3 and #4 clean but cautious.  #5 going to be difficult, I cross the wall and straight into boulders, try to keep on a bearing but which boulders are mapped?  (Post event I question if you blow up a 1:10000 map to 1:7500 do the features retain the correct position?)  I relocate on wall corner and eventually stumble on control, pit some distance from boulders! Out of control #8, make big error by deciding on wall option over path option and then get confused by where I have crossed the wall.  Try to relocate but, can't, on brink of retiring. Eventually see Nigel on the path south of me and join him. (Nigel was retiring as he had taken his map out of the bag as he couldn't read it and it had disintegrated.) Path through bracken takes me too high, follow the wall south come to another path which is the one marked!! 20min split to #9!! Follow wall to #10 (At night the earthwall symbol blends with the contour lines making reading this map all the more difficult).  From #11 I follow the gully north, over the path, over the wall, back over the wall to hilltop then down the hill north!!  Think my brains gone!!  Back up to large path, down path, then NE on wall to control.......  Clean through to the finish but disappointed by number of stupid mistakes!  The good news is it can only get better! 1:00:15 for 3.1km!!

Next Night Orienteering Race - Lanhydrock 16th November more details at