Chasers Sherbrook Badge Event

This week was back to the orienteering, this time a Chasers badge (regional) event. As always I entered M21S which although short was still 8.4km with 210m of climb.

Although my start time was 12:52 I set off a bit early as I had offered to collect controls in later on. From the start I made a fairly big cock up and lost a minute - there was a path to cross then a second path just after the control to act as a catching feature. I came to the first path and for some reason assumed I had gone too far which resulted in me looking for the control west of the first path crossing. Eventually I realised, then found a different control (earth bank) which wasn't mine before hitting the second path. At this point I knew I had gone too far and eventually managed to find the control.

Over the next four controls I managed to get three fastest splits by around 8-15 secs. I didn't do anything brilliantly here so only assume my leg speed and decision making was a bit faster. It was at this stage that I overturned my early deficit and was now first overall.

On control 5-6 I got a fastest split by about a minute on what was a fairly average length leg. Again I didn't do anything brilliantly here - I just guess that my leg speed was pretty good when working up the hill. 6-7 was much of the same but this time gained an advantage of 1.30 over the next fastest. I had a pretty good leg here, but again assume that it was down to me running pretty quickly and hitting the control perfectly. It was one of those pits where if you missed it by more than 10 metres you wouldn't see it - perhaps this accounted for a lot of my advantage. These two controls turned out to be fairly pivotal from being 40 secs down to being 2.30 up on Iain Stamp who came third overall and 4.40 up on Beat Bergmann who came second overall.

Between controls 7-11 I had a fairly mixed bag with fastest in one control but being no more than about 10 secs behind on the others. I made a slight mistake near 11 where I ended up in the wrong re-entrant so lost about 15 secs. 11-13 I was fastest in both, gaining 10 secs on my nearest rivals. Again this is probably down to leg speed and hitting the controls dead on. At the time I had wondered whether to go round the re-entrants to avoid the deep heather and climb, but looking again at the map my route was definitely better.

13-14 was one of the longest legs. I gained another minute on Bergmann and 3.30 on Iain. I really tried to work on the hill coming out of the valley and I think my route choice was pretty decent. 14-17 were a series of very short controls. I lost 5-10 secs on the first two then gained 5 on the last.

17-18 was probably the most interesting route choice leg. I climbed up a steep re-entrant, crossing the open area and then following a track down on the other side. I then followed a path which was quite steep going up. Unfortunately I lost concentration and didn't count how many re-entrants I had passed so ended up cutting off early through the deep heather which resulted in me having to make another sharp climb across another re-entrant to get to the correct feature. The control was a bit hidden in the heather but luckily managed to hit it dead on. It was only after I finished that I was told that both Iain and Dave Brown avoided the climbs by turned East out of 16, headed into the forest then went North to 18. Even with my mistake I still managed to gain another 20 secs on this leg so am fairly satisfied, especially since I was working hard on the hills.

At this stage I thought I had an outside chance of finishing in less than 60 mins so really tried hard over the last few short controls. I lost 27 secs to 19 (no idea how!), and gained 10 secs to control 20 by cutting off as much of the corner as possible. Only other control of note was 22-F which I did in 13 secs as me and another youngster were sprinting each other to the line - turned out to be a dead heat! How on earth I lost a second here to Iain beats me!

Overall I won in a time of 59.57 so just managed to sneak in under an hour, and beat Beat Bergmann by 7.36 and Iain by 9.03, which was pleasing as Beat tends to be around the same standard as me and Iain is normally a few minutes faster. What was also pleasing was that I was consistently 10-20 secs faster on a lot of controls which shows my recent training is beginning to pay off. I also managed to have a reasonably clean run except for the first control.

Overall I got 1259 ranking points which keeps me in a solid fourth in the M21S list. I also managed to get a Gold standard which is fairly rare for me as its normally based upon pretty fast orienteers on the 'Long' course. I did the course in 7.1mins/km which is quite satisfying.

Next week is a West Mids League event on the Lickey Hills which I haven't been to before. Also to add that I've now changed the setup of comments to my posts - anyone can post anonymously, but all posts need to be approved by myself first (to avoid SPAM). I've changed the setup so that I get emailed whenever anyone posts so in the majority of cases the comments will get posted to the site the same day.


Popular posts from this blog

Spine Race - Some Stats (2012-2024) - Updated following 2024 race.

Ranger Ultras - High Peak 100k

Ranger Ultras Pennine Bridleway 270km