We got there to find that there was a problem with the SportIdent software and that it was likely that downloading would need to be done at Epsom that afternoon. Luckily it was sorted out quite quickly and before anyone had finished their course so didn't disadvantage anyone.
We had run on this map twice before with the first usage being the Sprint Series Final last year when Robbie managed to get the map finished at 1am the night before the race. The map was pretty raw with no scale, no contours and no north arrows. It had been tidied up a lot by the time it was used for the Auckland Championships last October. Guess which version of the map we got to use today?
This tends to be a runner's map but I thought the course today made better use of the buildings than either of the previous two courses. It required decision making right from the start as the best route to the first control involved making a left hand turn only five metres from the start triangle and if you got it wrongyou had quite a bit further to travel. I picked it up in time; Jonty didn't. The third control had the non-ISSOM compliant description "concrete end" and was hidden down a ramp. If you weren't confident you could lose a lot of time here as it wasn't visible until the last second. Other control descriptions found on this course that aren't usually encountered included "clothes line", "shade house" and "palm tree" (twice). I only noticed this after the event, of course, during the race I concentrated on the number only.
A few seconds could probably have been saved by approaching Control 4 by circling the building in an anti-clockwise direction and, likewise, I probably should have gone up the left hand side of the building on the leg from 6 to 7. Control 11 had me hesitating as the surroundings were doing their best to look like an out of bounds area and I had to stop to make sure I was allowed into the market garden type compound.
Coming out of Control 12 I probably went the wrong way when I headed back past Control 6 and the Start. I think it would have been shorter and quicker to turn left at the long thin building instead. Control 13 was really the last of the building controls as the course then changed to a series of longer more open legs. Entering and leaving Control 16 we were running through someone's front yard which once again had me searching the map to see if I had missed an out of bounds symbol. The residents didn't seem the slightest bit bothered and, living at a school, I guess they are used to hoards of kids invading their privacy all the time.
I was slowing down now as the constant sprinting was taking its toll on my stamina but a glance at my watch as I headed out of Control 23 and off on a circuit of the playing fields showed me that if I could pick up the pace a bit I might even be able to beat Jonty this time. Of course, I immediately stuffed up Control 25 by running up the wrong side of the trees and then being unable to quickly relocate off the vegetation features by the road. This is where contours would have come in useful as there was quite a slope from where I was running down to main road on the western side of the map. This error cost me dearly and I failed to beat either Jonty or Brent who was running a minute or so after me.
Links and Results
As there were runners from all four regions competing together, there are a few more kids than in previous events that may be of interest to readers of this blog. In Senior Boys, Jonty came fourth. There were wins in Senior Girls for Helena and in Intermediate Boys for Matthew. In Intermediate Girls Alice won, Lauren came fifth, the other Hayley eighth and Alyssa fourteenth. In Junior Boys, Andrei won with Caden the best from GBHS in seventh, Patrick nineteenth, Tarn twenty-first, Fergus twenty-fifth and Liam thirty-first. Alex finished fourth in Year 7/8 Boys.
All events this year: Jonty 16, Steve 7
All events since blog began: Jonty 17, Steve 13