Like last week, I planned a route to collect 18 controls and gave myself the option to cut it short to 14 if I was feeling tired half way around. This meant running a clockwise route rather than the anti-clockwise one I had initially planned. I started off a few minutes after Jonty and decided to get XB first, leaving XV for the return trip. I ran up the road and then back down it looking for anything that may be considered a "long sign". I peered carefully at the map, deciding that the control was shown on the eastern side of the road but checking on the west as well, just in case. Eventually I decided I would have to give up and as I ran off in the direction of XN I spotted a long sign right at the road bend, at the top of the control circle. Sure enough, hiding behind it was the control. Most people didn't have a problem with this control no doubt because the flood of runners that we had seen earlier had all headed here first and followed each other into the control. Jonty, on the other hand, had the same problem as me and never did find it.
The road to XN and the intersection where it was located were still busy at this time of night. I went right to the control and punched it but many people I spoke to afterwards had just gazed at it from the opposite side of the road and decided that they could eliminate two possible road accidents by not bothering to cross the road twice. Back down towards XX I ran down the first hill of the night and started to enjoy my run.
From XX I ran to XI and then headed off towards XD before grinding to a halt 20m later as I realised the loop I had planned for myself called for me to visit XM at this point instead. Back past XI I went and got XM and XR quickly. I then got XD and XK and headed off towards XJ. I was running into a head breeze and was giving more and more consideration to cutting the evening short and just getting 14 controls. I passed Dwayne heading in the opposite direction and he seemed to be running much more comfortably than I felt. This helped me make my decision, 14 it was.
From XJ (another control that Jonty ran past on the wrong side of the road) I doubled back and then ran south to XC. This control was hard to find. Looking at the map it was obviously at or near the end of the road and from the control description I knew it was on a pole outside number 15 but - here's the thing - at the end of the road the house numbers aren't sequential. I saw number 8 and ran to the opposite side of the road only to find myself looking at number 15, back across the road and could that be number 1? In the end I checked out every pole in the vicinity and eventually found it, outside number 15 as promised, hidden behind a parked car as well. As I ran back down the cul de sac to the main road I passed Allan running in. I faced a moral dilemma: do I tell him about the numbering problem? While I tried to decide we passed each other and then it was too late. Sorry, Allan.
I faced another fairly long straight road run to XT and XA with both of these controls being up a short hill. I returned to the main road after XT but continued up the hill after XA and then around to XS. Interestingly, both XA and XS were on the eastern side of the road but the eastern numbers on XA's road were odd while at XS they were even. Obviously I was running too slowly if I had the time and concentration to notice trivia like that. XS also seemed a lot further down the hill than it looked on the map.
I now only had one control to get so I ran back up the hill and then down the other side to XV. Once again, this seemed to be further up the road than it showed on the map - it was probably at the top of the control circle if not a bit further north - and had I realised this at the start I would have got it first and had a shorter run to the finish. But there wasn't much in it and it was a shortish run from XV to the finish. I ended up beating Dwayne by 20 seconds although, with the late decision to cut down from 18 to 14, I ran 300m further than him. Neither of us had the best performance on the night, that went to Kayla and friends who came in over a minute ahead of us.