Enough of this technology talk, back to the real point of this blog. The first Summer Series event of the year was held on the Carrington map based at Unitec on Carrington Rd in Mt Albert. The weather had been dodgy most of the day but it wasn't raining buckets. The Unitec campus at Carrington is ideal for Summer Series orienteering as the map is big enough to accommodate most courses without having to leave the confines of the campus. Course 1, however, usually needs to loop around a few times to get up to a decent distance but it does mean that we get to visit most of the disparate parts of the map at some stage during the run. This time Kieran used a pivot control in the centre of the map to form three distinct loops. The distance quoted was 8.2km and was very close to the 8.3km that I actually ran.
The first loop took us down to Phyllis St Reserve in the south with a fast flat run to the first control. We then crossed over Oakley Creek and up to Great North Rd on the other side before crossing back to the pivot control. A loop around the central part of the map brought us back to the pivot before the final loop around the northern end. This loop started by dropping us down the escarpement to the creek again. I hit the top of the hill exactly where I wanted but I couldn't see an obvious route down through the very long grass so angled along the top to the north before descending with the help of a conveniently placed bamboo tree. After blasting along the creek path to control 10, the long grass from 10 to the road aorund the buildings sapped both my strangth and my speed. None of the controls were difficult to find but many of them offered some good route choices, particularly 18 to 19 where I chose to run the straight lines through the buildings rather than the shorter grassed route around the outside. The last control is worthy of mention as it was described as "Garden" and was mapped as green. And green it was, although it was easy enough to find once you took the plunge and forced your way into the undergrowth.
Overall, I was happy with my time and with beating Jonty by two and a half minutes in the first event of the year. For those of you who are keeping count, that puts me 1-0 up for the year, 5-1 up for this season's Summer Series and 7-1 up in all events since I started this blog.