Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Glossop MDOC Orienteering event

The MDOC orienteering events always guarantee a good run, a great test of navigation and equal amounts of fun. So when I heard there was one happening in Manor Park, Glossop, it was a done deal that I'd enter. Taking place on Saturday 24th March the organisers timed it to start after parkrun.

So after a very early start to see Tim off for the 4 Inns race (3.45am alarm!) I got myself across to Manor Park and ran parkrun. Some good socialising with fellow parkrunners and Glossopdale Harriers filled in the 45mins or so until we could start the orienteering course.

Myself, Emma and John all opted for the long course, which would take us out of Manor Park but not by much. It'd been a while since I've done an orienteering event, so my first few check points (CPs) were slower than they should have been. The O-maps never show names and while beautifully drawn, the colours and symbols are different to the usual OS maps I use so it took me a while to sync back into reading things at speed. There's also the scale difference at just 1:5,000 whereas I'm used to 1:25k.

I was the first of us three to set off, and with 3 other courses in the park all following different routes I made sure not to get drawn into following anyone. Do your own nav, trust only yourself.

CPs 1 and 2 in the park were quickly followed by our first CPs out of the park. Down High Street East and I'm onto CP3 quickly, then a long leg (though still only about 400m) to CP4. I could soon see that Emma was not too far behind me. My promise to just have a relaxed run around the course soon turned into 'you're being chased, don't slow down' mode!!  I contemplated just letting her catch me but each time I thought she had me, she disappeared as I pushed on to the next CP.  I was thinking my local knowledge might be helping a little too - o-events are so much smoother if you recognise where you need to get to and just head off without needing to do the micro-nav, especially urban ones.

CP5 and 6 ticked off then round to CP7 - then a long drag uphill to CP8. Surely Emma would catch me on that leg? Nope. I'm dibbing and away as she rounds the corner. By now I'm in O-mode - seeing where the CP after the next one is and route planning as I move. As I left CP8 I knew my route to CP9 so could just run run run. A small uphill road allowed me to plan CP9 to 10, then back into Manor Park.

Quite muddy in places
The great thing about o-events is that there are numerous people all running around clutching maps - lots of hello's and smiles as you pass each other. On this event there were several times where you nipped to get a CP then doubled back....all to the bemusement of non-runners who clearly were wondering what the heck all these people were doing!

Back in Manor Park and CPs 11 through 16 are ticked off. Turn the map over for the remainder of the course all within the confines of the park, but taking you to each far corner. Lots of doubling back, lots of double checking I'd got to the correct CP. I found the numbering of them really confusing. On the map I was going for say, CP17, which on the ground was #103. So I was having to remember two numbers in my head....and then be thinking of the next CP and related two numbers....

By the 20th CP I was quite number fatigued...and still had Emma chasing me down. She was quicker than me from CP21 to 22...and down the steep muddy bank to CP23. I was still in her wake at CP24 and up (past the start/finish area) to CP25 where we took slightly different route, popping out at the CP only just behind her. Emma made a slight nav error setting off in the wrong direction and allowing me to catch her up....and then she paused to recheck her map for CP26 but I know where it was....I overtake....down to the far side of the kids playground and it's just the run in to the finish.
Emma and I at the finish
(despite the banner in the background!)

So much for my easy run round the course. Emma literally dibs right behind me on the final CP and I'm sprinting to the finish....no way is she getting me now. A moot point given she set off after me so is most likely going to get a quicker finish time anyway. But, it's good to push after 6km of running around dibbing CPs (and after parkrun) and it made Emma work hard for the last bit too!!

Great fun. Had Emma not been right behind me my time would have been a good chunk longer. As it was, I was pushed and managed to come 2nd Glossopdale Harrier and 5th overall in the event. Quite probably my highest ever placing!!

Apologies for the lack of photos. If you haven't gathered, I was hot-footing it around with Emma chasing!!

Provisional results here.