Sunday, December 10, 2006

10th December – Gelt Woods

I was last in Gelt Woods around 1968, fishing with my Dad. The Who and The Stones were playing in Carlisle and United were top of the football league for a glorious couple of weeks. The whole town was buzzing and the bloke who operated the lift in Binns knew everything that was worth knowing. There must have been a cloudburst on the moors because a bore swept down the narrow Gelt gorge forcing us to scramble for safety.

Enough of reminiscing, the Gelt Woods map covers both sides of the steep sided gorge where there is a mixture of woodland and run-ability. The whole area is criss-crossed by path networks. I suppose it’s not the best area in Cumbria but I enjoyed the challenge of linking the complex paths, a skill that doesn’t come naturally to me. I think I ran fairly fast and didn’t make any mistakes apart from maybe some slightly less optimal route choices on a couple of legs.

I am feeling fit again but my ankles are still giving me some trouble so a couple of weeks lay-off will be good. Looking forward to some cycling.


Monday, December 04, 2006

3rd December – Hathersage & Burbage Moors

This was my first time orienteering at Burbage and it seemed slightly strange to be running in an area that I had previously only ever associated with climbing and bouldering. Despite passing through the Secret Garden (the section of birch wood between 3 and 4), and crossing between the two Burbage crags I didn’t recognise any of the climbing areas. I even thought that I was on top of Stanage at one point. Although I didn’t know where I was in the general area I was absolutely focused on the corridor behind the running line and this is one the aspects of orienteering that really inspires me. When you are running and navigating efficiently you utilise the minimum of information for maximum efficiency.

A good run at last. I seem to be running strongly again and I managed to win M45 by a clear margin. It’s a shame Mike Billinghurst and Tim Tett wern’t running. I’m not sure I could have beaten them but I think I could have got fairly close.

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