The short cut existed, it just wasn't obvious from above. From below, at the control, I could see that there was a dry route through the swamp and up the hill in the direction of Control 5 so I used it. Again taking the right hand option I dropped down the small but still steep gap in the cliff and then ran the flat grass to Control 5. Control 6 was under a canopy of trees but was much more runnable than the light green suggested.
Control 7 posed a problem. I had been warned by Dwayne before my run that the control was not on a pole but rather a manhole cover but he hadn't warned me that it would be lying on the ground in two pieces. As we've had a few controls deliberately lying on the ground this season it was perhaps deliberate but I didn't think so so I took 30 seconds to do some repairs and leave it standing up next to the manhole cover.
The school field en route to Control 8 had gained a couple of extra prefab classrooms since it was last mapped but they didn't hinder navigation. After making my way through the school to the ninth control I was then faced with a fairly big left vs right route choice decision. I chose to go left and had to thread my way between the games of football on the playing fields as I made my way to the bridge into Jaggers Bush. Once again Control 10 was found to be lying on the ground in two pieces and once again I did some impromptu repairs. This time I wasn't at all sure that it was OK to stand it up so I compromised by leaning it against a small earth bank at the side of the track without actually piercing the ground.
The next leg had quite a bit of climb as I ran up the track to Savage St and the hot day had me sweating. Along the road from Control 11 and then down onto the dreaded hillside en route to Control 12. I was only passing through on the track; I did briefly consider dropping straight down to the stream, hoping to cross somewhere to avoid the dog leg back to the track but it was only a brief thought and I ran the track down to the bridge instead. The stream was running deep, fast and dark and would not have been easy to cross. I ended up having a little bit of trouble finding this control. It was at the bottom of a small cliff just inside the vegetation but I didn't spot it as I went past and ended up circling around and up to the top of the cliff before seeing it at the bottom. I descended down to the control and then back up on my way to Control 13. Quite a bit of climbing in an area without contours!
I was back in Western Springs park proper now and enjoyed a fast run to Control 13. Exiting this control I ran up to the track to the east of it; once again the running was easier than the green would suggest. I took the right hand route choice past Control 3 and then ran back up this area on my way to Control 15. Turning the corner near the control I overran the spot where I should have dropped down to the control and caught myself when I found myself on an obvious track. Running back I was just in time to lead an entire of hoard of people down to the control.
A short leg to Control 16 was followed by a choice of left or right around the lake. I went left, crossing paths with Hayley who was running out of Control 17 as it came into view for me. Control 18 was the only control on the dreaded hillside but was placed beside the track and caused no problems. It was a bit of a grunt from there up the track to the road and the run around the top of the map to Control 19. I caught and passed Hayley just before this control and then dropped behind her again when I missed the turnoff onto the indistinctive track down the boundary ridge. The juggling for position continued near the bottom of the hill when she ran right to the bottom and I stopped just before the end and successfully negotiated the cliff into the control. I lead the way up the track to Control 21 and then bush bashed through to the Bullock Track and down to the final control. I ended up running too wide around the pole and seat at the bottom of the hill and she was right behind me as I punched.
I set off across the field with about 300m to go to the finish. Not looking round, I just ran as fast as I could and managed to increase my lead somewhat. All told, I took just over 45 minutes for the 7.6km. Unfortunately, I had forgotten to bring my watch to the event so I had no idea how far I had actually run but even at only 7.6km, this was a fast time for me for a Summer Series event.