A number of kids had taken the left hand route choice to the first control, nipping back in through the small gap between the buildings but most had gone right and so did I. This gave ample opportunity to read ahead on the map with only one corner to negotiate and later experience would show that fences and stairs in the gap would have slowed the left handers down even more. The first controls came up thick and fast and I made my first mistake on the leg from 3 to 4 when I needlessly ran around rather than through a trellised courtyard. My route did give me a good handle on the location of Control 7. Control 4 was at the top of a sharp, steep slope and caused no problems this early on in the run; it would be a different matter when I revisited it as Control 16. The legs to Controls 5 and 6 came with additional mobile obstacles as they were located at the front of the school and lots of people were milling around waiting to be picked up and paying no attention to orienteers moving at a fast clip. Or maybe they had figured out that all the fast Senior Boys had passed through 10 minutes earlier and there was no danger from the aged lumbering M40 trying to reclaim his lost youth at about the pace of an overweight llama.
Having successfully negotiated that area it was back to Control 7, feeling smug that I knew exactly where it was but actually not gaining any advantage from that as the route was obvious anyway. Down the back of the school to Control 8 and then I was threading my way through the samll gap between the buildings out to the top of the playing fields, trying to work out whether it was quicker to leap the fence or zig zag around via the stairs. Zig zagging won the day. From there, the large area of construction marked as out of bounds dictated route choice on the way to Control 10. A short loop around the tennis courts, including a small area of boggy reentrant - hidden until the last minute, of course - was followed by a long leg back to Control 13 where we flipped the map. In an ideal world I would have taken advantage of this leg to read ahead a couple of controls but somehow this never occurred to me at the time and as a result I look back on the legs to Controls 14 and 15 and think that I should have taken the other route choice - especially after comparing splits with Jonty and Allan for these legs later.
I've already mentioned Control 16 and here I was, clambering back up the grassy bank to it. My endurance seems to be fading in recent weeks and I found it a lot harder after just a couple of kilometres of running. The crowd at the front of the school had thinned out somewhat this time round and I only had one close encounter with an unsuspecting pedestrian as I powered through. For the long leg from Control 17 to Control 18 there were two distinct options, threading through the buildings or looping round the outside. I took the outside choice on the basis that there would be less decision making en route. The inside was probably faster.
Control 22 was located on the far side of the playing field, down a hill. As a result, the leg from 22 to 23 was uphill but I was determined to run all the way and finished the course with a bit of a spurt. Sadly, it wouldn't be enough to beat Jonty nor even enough to beat Allan. This is becoming a recent theme.
Links and Results
The results for the kids this blog follows were Jonty second in Senior Boys and third overall in the series; Alice cleaned up Senior Girls again and of course had already qualified top with maximum points in Intermediate Girls; Alyssa finished second in Intermediate Girls and third overall. Meanwhile in Junior Boys Caden took out second in both the race and the series overall, Liam fourth in race and nineth in series, Tarn sixth and seventh, Patrick tenth and fifth and Fergus eleventh and sixth. All the Green Bay Junior Boys qualified for the finals. Meanwhile in Year 7/8 Boys, Alex won again and finished first overall.
AKSS Sprint Series FINAL RESULT: Jonty 4, Steve 2
All events this year: Jonty 15, Steve 7
All events since blog began: Jonty 16, Steve 13