Thursday, 30 December 2010

Wrekin Orienteers Choc-O - 30/12/2010

Knackered, after a long run and steep climb to CP5

This was the last run of the year (tomorrow's a rest day), and it was a toughie.

Wrekin Orienteers have set up two semi-permanent (here until the weekend, or maybe next weekend) courses up on the Long Mynd, starting from Womerton. The details are on their website:

I will not divulge too many details of the long course route I followed yet (I'll probably add more pics of the controls and details when the courses are taken down), but here are the main lessons learnt.

1. Remember what the controls look like when you're searching for them. I saw the posts for CP2 from around 40m away in the mist, but didn't realise what they were and then hunted around for about 10 minutes trying to find the bloody control.
2. Check routes carefully. I took on too much extra distance on the route from CP2 to CP3, trying to reduce the ascent. If I'd looked at the map carfeully I'd have realised there was a more direct route with little extra ascent.
3. Knowing the ground helps - I ran from CP3 to an obvious CP4 in dense mist without having to do any navigation.
4. Pace distances to navigation waypoints, especially at the start of legs. I went over twice too far on the initial heading from CP4, and ended up on a steep bracken down slope with an extra 0.3 miles of running too, when I should have been running down an easy grassy ridge.
5. Thumb the map - i.e. keep your thumb on your location - saves loads of time when fine navigating.
6. Quick decisions help - I made over 3 minutes on a couple of guys on the short course by moving from CP5 quickly towards a good path in roughly the right direction and then making a route decision on the run.

Hopefully I can put this all into practise on the Kinder Trail if my entry has arrived and there's room...

Today I did 12.1 miles and 1,500' of ascent. For the record I took 2:48:00 from the car park to the final control. It was nice to see many others out walking and running, mainly on the short course. I met Lawrie Jones and Brian Clough at the penultimate checkpoint - nice to meet you both and thanks for taking the photo of me.

The total distance run this month is 120.3 miles (up 15 miles on last month) and this month's climbing was a paltry 15,950' (down 2,160' on last month). The reduction in climbing is down to illness necessitating more runs from home; the increase in distance is probably partly due to doing easier miles. Best innovation this month - the Tuesday night runs from Church Stretton.

PS: Choc-O is so called becuase there are chocolates at the final CP and its O-rienteering.


  1. Never done orienteering but may give it a go in the New Year. Had your photo taken by Brian Clough!- bragging rights indeed!


  2. Ho hum. BC was one of our least successful managers. Better the Don, or I'd settle for Howard. Happy New Year, everyone!