A few problems with the printer towards the end of my stint meant that I was very late getting to the start. By the time I got there Mike had already dismantled it, having been told there would be no more starters. He found the start box and pointed me off in the rough direction of the start triangle. The first three controls were classic Woodhill where it was important to read the broad outlines of the contours and only micro-navigate in the circle and then we plunged across Coast Rd into the dreaded coastal strip. Actually, the few controls we had in this area were not as difficult as many previous events. I used the track to make my way through the (very) rough open and then set off on a compass bearing for Control 4. The flat area surrounding it was obvious and the track beyond it led me all the way from there to a convenient bend just before Control 5. The fastest way from there to Control 6 took me out into a clearing with a grassy sand dune to climb in the sun; the first indication that this was going to be a hot run. It was also more of a training run than a competition so I didn't bust a gut getting up the hill.
I returned back across the rough open using the same track that I had used to enter the coastal strip. This was probably excessively cautious but it was safe and fairly quick running the whole way. I then set a compass bearing and ran fast to the track junction below Control 15 before running up the big reentrant to Control 7. Then it was a fast exhilarating run down the hill back to Coast Rd. Local knowledge came in handy here as I knew there would be an elephant track through the rough open leaving from the bend in the road. I found it easily and minimised my time in the sun before heading directly to Control 8. This was the last control in the coastal strip and I hadn't encountered any problems with any of them.
I was feeling pretty confident so it was obviously time for an error. And in the vagueness that surrounded Control 9 I managed to run too far north and wandered around a bit on the hill there before regaining my contact with the map and running to where the control obviously was. As I was leaving the control and heading directly to the water stop at the road / track junction I came across Peter running in the opposite direction; the first Orienteer I had encountered since about Control 4. We stopped and had a discussion about how long we had been running and how much longer we expected to be out there. He was running Course 1 and would be pushing up hard against the course closure by the time he finished; in fact, he would get to the second or third to last control and discover it had already been collected and take that as a hint that his run for the day was finished.
By the time I got to the water stop there wasn't much water left and what there was had heated up to an uncomfortably luke warm in the sun. I drank a cup full and then ran to Control 10 on a compass bearing, finding it easily. I deviated slightly right to the other water stop on my way to 11 and found that it was much better stocked and, being in the shade, still of an acceptable temperature. I took the time to drink my fill as, with the possible exception of Peter, I didn't think anybody else would be using the water today. The bend on the small track then acted as a great attack point to lead me into Control 11.
As I ran up towards Control 12 I was conscious of the fact that this area of the forest had caused me problems in the past and that I probably shouldn't rely too much on the tracks. In fact, I seemed to cross all three tracks roughly where I expected them as I aimed off to the right and ran along the top of the big slope, leading me directly into the control. My plan for the leg to 13 was to cross the track and then sidle around the south west of the large hill, hanging a right there to head to the control. Unfortunately, I got seduced by the sight of what may have been a control (it wasn't) in what would have been the right position on the big hill (if it had been the small spur I was looking for) as I went past and I climbed up to investigate. In the heat this took quite a long time so I spent far longer on this leg than I should have. As soon as I was on the hill I knew what I had done wrong - I knew all along, I think - so I headed to the correct spur and found the control.
I set a compass bearing for Control 14 and ran flat out. I kept an eye on the major features as I ran past although mostly I was expecting to use the track as a catching feature. In fact, I ran straight into the control. I then ran too far to the left on the next leg, surprising myself as I saw the track junction off to my left. I was able to use this to relocate myself and then had an easy run down the ridge towards the control once I had crossed the big track. I bounced off the track on the leg to Control 16 and then ran down the track to the finish. The last three or four legs had come and gone very quickly.