Instead of giving awards to events, I'd like to acknowledge some people. The one thing that stood out for me from this training day was the debt of gratitude that we owe to a number of very talented volunteers in our sport. Firstly, there are the map-makers. For today's event and for most of the events we hold in Woodhill that means Selwyn. Selwyn spends weeks and weeks in the forest mapping every little bit accurately. Without him and others like him we wouldn't get half as much enjoyment from our runs as we do. The exercises we did today were testament to that.
Next I would like to thank Toby, Imogene, Matt and Irena who spent a lot of time preparing the training exercises and maps, putting out controls, making sure everyone knew what to do and all the one on one training they provided.
Finally, it came as no surprise to find Joanna and Alistair coordinating the entries, collecting the money, transporting tents and equipment and generally organising everything to maximise our enjoyment. The amount of work these two do for orienteering from week to week is incredible.
All of which is not to belittle the many other volunteers who spend so much time and energy enabling orienteering events. These are just the ones that stood out to me in the context of this one event. So on to the day itself.
We then swapped roles on the way to Control 2. You will see that my map had a big circle for Control 2, according to the rules I needed to drop Gergo off somewhere in that circle. Unfortunately, the point I decided to drop him off was right next to a control - Control 2, of course.
We repeated this pattern around the course. We managed to navigate directly to the controls each time - with one exception each. Gergo's exception was on Control 4. Once again, I ran him into the circle and just as I was about to drop him off, a flash of orange caught my eye. I immediately turned left and dropped him off in the next re-entrant hoping he hadn't seen the control. He hadn't and proceeded to spend the next few minutes relocating, not noticing the control twice, before he got his bearings and could navigate in.
My issue was with Control 15. My problems began early. As Gergo navigated into Control 14 I failed to keep contact with my map and so when he lead off to the next control I had no idea where we had started from. Hence, I had a vague idea where I was when I was dropped off but I was not definite. Nevertheless, I was able to locate the ridge I was using as an attack point but I was then faced with a clear left v right decision. As it turns out I was almost on top of the control but I turned right and ran along the ridge. Eventually I came across a control but I was confident enough to declare that it wasn't the control I was looking for. I returned back down the ridge and found the correct control. I guessed, correctly, that the first control I had found was probably on the line map. Read down a couple of exercises to see how much help that turned out to be.
After lunch we had an exercise on route choice.
There was one more exercise, a line following exercise. Unfortunately, I seem to have lost the file of that one so I can't share it with you. However, if you've read down this far wanting to know about the control I saw in the first exercise, I can tell you that, yes, I walked right past in on this exercise and, no, I didn't see it. Or the other control that was supposedly near the line. Lesson from this: don't be so busy matching the map to the ground that you don't look around to see what else is around you.