This weekend was the Tinto Twin event in Speyside, Inshriach North. I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Inshriach having had a bit of a ‘mare there in 2008, but had a fairly decent run at Spey 2007. I had decided to run the long course at night (*only* 6.5km) and the blue today (6.1km). This was probably about my limit for a weekend of orienteering at the moment.
Night Event – 30/10/2010
Saturday saw the night event after a leisurely drive up North during the day. I was a little apprehensive about this having only done one night-o in recent months, and that was on King’s Buildings – an Edinburgh University Campus (which is pretty well lit!). I decided to set off slowly and see how I got on… I was ok while on the path on the way to number 1 but as soon as I left it my confidence deserted me and I started floundering around, luckily I had pointed myself in the right direction and was pretty much on target! Number 2 was my gratuitous bingo control of the weekend, I had found a ride parallel to the one I had intended to use which luckily spat me out right next to the control. Lost my bearing slightly on the way to 3 and ended up going round the path. After that was a long track run (had had enough of bashing through forest in the dark) to 4 which I got spot on! 5 was probably my biggest mistake as I went in too early and got a bit lost in the forest. After 6 it got easier, I was getting into it and didn’t make any mistakes until 10. 10 was in the notorious ‘maze’ at Inshriach, I had decided to follow the edge of it until I hit the marsh then go in, which I did, I even picked the right path to find the control on but the problem was that it wasn’t visible from the path I checked the next one along only to confirm I had actually been in the right place! It was at this point that SimonG caught me (good to see him back in the forest after his accident) but I got ahead of him when his light started to fail. 11 looked like a hard control so I went down the path to the boulder and took a bearing which turned out to be the best approach. I went a bit right on 12 but got there eventually and then staggered into the finish!
Not a brilliant showing from me in the O stakes but got round comfortably without any major errors which was a good confidence booster for the day event the next day!
Saturday night was spent in good company, a bunch of us had hired out a cottage near the event (about a mile away!) which warm and cosy, had a good night chatting and making fun of Crawford!
Day Event – 31/10/2010
The Sunday started very well, not only did I get an extra hour in bed (thank you GMT) but I started off well on my run! In fact, for the first 13 controls I was really going well, albeit fairly slowly given my lack of fitness. I think the thing that made today easier was the fact it was the same area as the night before. Features were so much easier to pick out and the maze had posts at every path intersection so I could count them off (hadn’t spotted them the night before!). At control 13 I was lying 5th, good but not great for a blue, then control 14 came along…
Control 14 was one of ‘those’ controls. You think you’re going well then all of a sudden you have no idea where you are or where to go. I even had a backup plan that failed, then the backup backup plan pulled through resulting in a loss of only 6.5mins You can see my gps trace below and I now see what I did. That bit of forest was fairly vague and I stupidly decided to rely on the contours. My main error was cutting in too high and too soon, then making things fit, they obviously didn’t so I headed south west, directly towards the control, but I wasn’t confident so I decided to bail out to the path. As I was doing this people were going the other way, to my control as it turns out. I hit the path and worked out where I thought I was on it (was actually 2 contours above where I thought I was) and dived into the forest again, only to end up in the control circle to then give up and decide to head to the green to the South. I found this and as I did I spotted a control thinking there was a chance it was my 15th. It was! Easy, now just straight back to 14, where I met Dave Coustick who I’d passed at number 8! Aaaaargh. What I should have done was either go round the path or round the green, oh well.
I cruised round the last few in a fairly crappy mood, after thinking about it I am happy with my run, mistake aside (!). On a positive note for ESOC, Elisabeth Henkes flew round the blue in 51mins. I would say ‘ good news for relays next year’ but I have a funny feeling she’s only in Scotland for 6 months.
The main thing I got out of this weekend is that I am really really weak running in terrain, which is to be expected really! Something to work on over the winter… Perhaps should do something about not making nav mistakes too