I was stood outside the Students' Union in Pleasance Courtyard watching the first competitors coming through the spectator control. I stood there in my full waterproofs wondering if I could get away with keeping my waterproofs on and not look like a southern softy. Its wet and cold and the dress state of the competitors coming through varies considerably, from full running waterproofs to singlets and shorts. Whatever I decided on I wouldn't look out of place that's for sure. I decided to keep my waterproof top on and abandon the trousers (waterproofs that is). I jog to the start, 8 mins to go, I join the shivering crowd whilst watching competitors running to a control in a small park across the road. 4 mins to go I stand shivering in pre-start trying to work out how to fit my 33 control long descriptions into the holder. Decided not to worry about the last 5 controls so fold descriptions accordingly. Managed to get that sorted in time for my start ...... just. So off I go, I pick up my Men's Open map (still trying to avoid running the veterans course, sounds so old!) and start off down the path in front, long leg to #1 important to get it right. Decide to go east and follow path through woods. Then back onto road for final run into control. All good. #3 is situated on another University campus (how many are there?) turn north after entering the campus before realising I can't / shouldn't run through the building. Coming out of #6 missed path after control so doubled back and headed south to small fence between building and wall. Unsure whether I should jump it, decided to head back up east side of building. #8 thought I had this one sussed but small gate to west closed so had to loop around to the north. Finding the right ally is key to #14 which I nail, then stand trying to workout where the
control is. Control description said steps bottom. However nothing there........ soon a whippet turns up and seeing my predicament, and without breaking stride points to the control at the bottom of the upper set of steps. If only I could read control descriptions! He's gone before I can even thank him. The Educational Bit - Apparently (reading after the event) the symbol in the first column means upper ....... so Upper Steps Foot.
Anyway onwards ....... #16 was of those urban controls where you can see the control but have to run past it to get to it, a few people stand looking at it longingly!! #17 spectator control, don't care about splits at these just make it look like you know what you are doing!!.
36 mins gone, turn the map over. Lots more to do.......... clean through to #20, then the fun begins. Find the steps to take me down to #21. Head north along the building, I jink left into the control, no control! Definitely in the right place. Check control description hmmm, must be on next level up. Idiot! Spilt 2:09 fastest split 0.35. Run through #23 punching and turning left around building, confronted with uncrossable fence, competitor on other side thinking same thing, at least I wasn't alone. Clean through to #29, although probably a couple of poor route choices to #28 at start and end. Hesitate to #30 but nothing major. On the way to #33 I run down the little ally on the right but as I turn the corner realise it's a deadend! Then into the finish, 6.8km 72.09, actual distance ran 11.2km. A really excellent race, well organised and a great map and terrain. Very happy with my run, and especially happy when I saw this Time Loss Graph. 57th/87, won by Murray Strain (who's he) in 43.11.