Monday, October 23, 2006

The Twin Peaks Weekend

Two areas either side of the Goyt Valley near Buxton.

Day 1 was a mixture of pine and birch forest with some extremely un-run-able open moor. I really enjoyed the technical legs in the green. Recent trips to Scotland have definitely helped my technique and I’m starting to feel quite at home blindly bashing through green on a bearing to pickup a vegetation change or clearing. One technique that I found particularly useful on some of the more ‘hit and miss’ controls was to get as close to the control as possible on some kind of line feature such as a ride or fence, even if it means running off line, before heading into the green This minimises the distance you have to run on a bearing alone, and reduces the margin of error in your bearing once you reach the vicinity of the control.

I finished 4th in M45L which was a bit frustrating because I seemed to be competing well on the technical legs but lost time on the pure running sections where I normally do well. Unlike the previous weekend I didn’t feel that I was running strongly. So much for keeping off the beer!

Day 2 was on the opposite side of the valley being typical open Pennine moor contrasting to the forest of Saturday’s race. I lost some time by not taking a direct line between 1 and 2, also missed 3 slightly otherwise no problems apart from not feeling particularly sprightly again. I finished 3rd behind Kevin Harding and Tim Tett but felt that I might have won if I hadn’t made those small errors – I guess that’s part of game.

Pat did really well in one of her first W50L’s to finish 3rd overall. Pretty impressive for someone who has been orienteering for less than a year.

Overall Results

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Shaiba, Catterick.

This event was centred on the Catterick Army Garrison in N.Yorkshire.

Open heath, steep sided wooded valleys and some street O. I really enjoyed the contrasting technique to the previous weekend, which was easy nav, but fast with some path/track route choices.


Saturday, October 14, 2006

My O-Mantras

Here are a few simple tips that I find helpful before and during races.

“If you’re finding it hard, so is everyone else” – Martin Dean

“Simplify to the big features” – Jonathan Lagoe

“Adapt your technique according to the terrain” – Michael Billinghurst

“Visualise what’s in the circle” – Martin Bagness

“Orienteering is easy! All the information you need is on the map” – David Brickhill-Jones

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Deishar 8th Oct

Another superb Speyside forest. Open run-able pine forest with very little brash. Plenty of crag and contour features.

Really enjoyed the race but made a few 2 min errors, which put me 6 mins behind Martin Dean’s time of 65 mins (I did 71 mins). I had a particularly bad miss on 7 where I got confused by an unmapped marsh a 100m or so before the control. I was going pretty well to 6 and was slightly up on Martin at that point. The error blew my concentration and I was messy going to 8. Had a miss on the cairn and the pond too.

An excellent video of the event


Sunday, October 01, 2006


A very runable forest on a steep hillside with some open heather moor on top. The forest is covered in a forgiving carpet of moss which helped running speed. Quite a contrast to Raemoir. Wearing orthotics seems to be an effective solution to yesterday’s ankle pain. Felt pretty strong running and was really enjoying the course until I completely lost it at 12. I got confused with some rides and ended up punching 13 by mistake. Probably lost about 10-12 mins. I’ll put it down to over relaxing on the last few controls – most annoying. Looking forward to seeing Martin Dean’s splits to 11, which will give me some indication of how I was doing.

Pat and I are staying at Kincraig for the week. We are hoping to do some good training in the Speyside forests. I (we) need the practice.