Sorry for those looking for an ultra running post but it's more bloody orienteering.
First off. A big congratulations to Ex Walton Chaser Bruce Duncan and Ant Emmett for completing their truly Epic Tri. These adventure racing guys make ultra runners look right jessies. Sleep is for the weak. I won't elaborate but just check out what they have achieved.
Back to the orienteering
A couple of weekends back I attended the Walton Chasers orienteering training weekend in my on going quest to get myself at least semi proficient at getting around an easy orienteering course like the ones found on cannock Chase without fumbling around or stopping too much.
|Attack point exercise|
The 2 courses I attempted after the exercises were very tough for me and it was pretty much walking pace most of the way around as keeping in contact with the map was the main objective but I was ensured that Cannock Chase would be easy after this. It was so easy to get lost and a few times I was standing on top of dunes huffing and puffing but kept reminding myself it was just training.
A good days training in the sunshine finished off with a race down the big dipper, the largest single sand dune in Europe and we were off with the 20 or so other chasers to stay at the Pwll Du adventure centre set in the Blaenavon world heritage site for some Chilli and rest.
Sunday morning was another warm one and it was time to put into practice my new found skills of contour reading on a real 8.8km long course just outside the centre. Based on a 2004 Welsh six day event, I could see only after the first 2 controls why we were brought here. This is great orienteering terrain which is very exposed and nothing like Cannock Chase.
The answer to this posts title is - on this terrain with my navigation skills 2 hours 20 minutes. So here is how I set such a blistering pace.
|Too much red|
Stat - 1. Good feature in the broken fence line that I headed for then up a gully straight to the control. Good start.
1 - 2. Took my time and followed the bearing checking off the features as I went along...and what do you know I went straight to it.
2 - 3. This is where it all went wrong. As you can see from the quickroute I was within a few metres of the control on the first attempt but didn't go far enough into the re-entrant then went silly trying to find my way from the fence further down where I went close again. Third time lucky though. That one was well hidden.
3 - 7. Found these o.k. almost looks like I know what I'm doing.
7 - 8. Dropped onto the path and around the hill but a little hesitant.
|Some good. Mostly bad|
9 - 10. Took a bearing but went off course. Didn't know if the brick building was the X or black square on the map. cock up.
10 - 12. Aimed off course again on both these but managed to relocate without too much grief.
12 - 13. Got back on path and set compass on map as I went for the direct attack on 13 then thinking ahead straight on to 14.
14 - 15. Didn't bother setting compass and paid for it. had to re-locate and go from fence corner by the pool.
15 - 16. Stupid line in on the long leg but found it o.k
16 - 17. Should have stayed on low ground parallel with the path instead of fighting back up the black sand gully
|More post mortem|
18 - 19. Feeling a bit dry now after 1:40 on the go with no drink so slow it down a bit (if that was possible). And take a direct route up the steep slopes.
19 - 20. Not sure if this was the best way. Seemed awfully slow, off camber and steep in places.
20 - 21. Probably the biggest cock up. lost concentration and ended up on the wrong path on the way to 2. Confidence went so took the most obvious paths to 21.
21 - finish. Slowed down to slower than my previous slow and made sure I got to all controls first time else I'd be out there all night.
So all in all it was a great weekend filled with frustration on day 1 and good 'time on feet' while navigating on day 2