So after winning the illustrious title of most lost male at last year’s MMM I decided to try and do better. Like most of my ideas I had grand plans. This one involved self designed courses with small points to find in the Pentlands where I would hone my map reading and navigation skills. While I didn’t get around to doing that I did manage to do one Long Green orienteering event around Castle Law. In hindsight the worst part of that run was my misreading of the map on the first CP (a sign of things to come?). So I was feeling energised going into Friday night’s event.
I arrived in good time so that I wouldn’t be stuck out in the dark. After finding out how brutal the time penalties can be my primary goal was to get back in time. I set off and found the first CP fairly easily (it was a gate on a path I’ve run a number of times) and then promptly set off a cross a field in the wrong direction. In my defence it was the right direction if I had picked the right woods to go to. Unfortunately I did not read the map as well as I could have. As usual once I knew where I was on the map I knew where I had to go. So I headed off again. Found the next two CPs fairly quickly.
Then came decision time. Up or around. I chose around. Which was ok. I found the next CP. Four down and nine to go not doing too bad. A quick look at the watch shows that actually I am not doing well at all.
Next CP. Think. Read map. Look at contours. I will try and stick to this contour and I should get right to it. Of course it is nicer to run on a path and before you know it I am well below where I should be. Next decision. Up or down. I’d rather down but for some reason I think “lets do up”. So up I went. One more CP found (five). Well I’m already here may as well keep going up. I can get two or three more and then back home. Not a great tally but if I manage in time it will all be ok.
It should come as no surprise (at least not me in the cold light of Saturday morning) that my plan did not work out very well. I went up and spent quite a bit of time scrounging around for a flag in a spot that was actually between two CPs. I could blame it on not having been up Turnhouse in a while, but the truth is it was my poor map reading again. I eventually gave up and started home. On the way I faffed about a bit looking for another CP to no avail (again map reading).
In the end I got back a bit over time with more CPs missed than found. Based on the times on the google sheet so far I may be in the running for another last place. We’ll see. The good news is I’ve got another 12 months to execute my plan to improve my map reading and navigation. Thanks for a great week of running Mark.
Strava flyby is quite amusing.