Churchill Park is well known for its cows and, in particular, for the difficult conditions underfoot where the cows have churned up the terrain. I dealt with this by sticking to the tracks whereever possible, even when this meant quite a long detour from the direct route. I could certainly feel the difference as I slowed right down when crossing the paddocks. However, many others (including Jonty) took the straight options and this, though less comfortable, appeared to be quicker.
The first leg of any note would be from 7 to 8. Matt Ogden had ovvertaken me at 4 and I wasn't too far behind him as I ran from 6 to 7. I was in time to see him take a route choice back to 8 that followed the southern (true right) bank of the (uncrossable) stream. It looked a bit dodgy to me so I took the street option instead. At the finish Jonty confirmed that he had also taken the south bank option and had ended up with wet feet when the stream cut into the obvious fence / vegetation corner and he didn't want to backtrack. The controls themselves were fairly easy to find with many of them obvious because someone else was already there - reflecting the good turnout to tonight's event. The only control I had any problem with was 20 when I ran past it for some reason and continued 50m down the stream before realising my mistake. I did make a couple of poor route choices; firstly from 14 to 15 where I ran northwest along the path to the second bridge before cutting up when the best option was to go straight and secondly from 17 to 18 where I should have stayed in the park and exited to Riddell Rd from just beyond control 22 but chose to exit west immediately and run the roads instead.
These errors cost me dearly, a fact reflected in my 1 hr 13 min time for the course and the fact that Jonty beat me by 5 minutes (usually we are within a minute or so of each other). He was particularly chuffed as I had recorded the head to head scores on this blog last week and he wishes me to repeat them now. So, for the record, the score for this year is Steve 1 Jonty 1, for this year's Summer Series 5 -2 and since I started this blog 7 -2. I suspect it will get closer yet as Sprint The Bay is only two weeks away and Jonty has had a better record than me at both previous editions. Either way, I'll report it here.