Orienteering race (WIM Regional Event: M21L) 1:46:38  ** 12.6 km (8:28 / km) +260m 7:40 / km
spiked:15/25c shoes: New Balance RX Terrain
After last week's knackering 12.9km, I was a bit unsure that heading down to the New Forest and running 12.6km the following weekend would be an entirely good plan. However, I felt quite a bit stronger throughout the week (perhaps a rest on Wednesday helped?) and indeed I was running a lot stronger today. I had run M21L and beat the 2 hour mark by almost a quarter of an hour.
The area was pleasant, the weather sunny, and I thought the course was quite well-planned (save the first map changeover, see my grumble later), so it's a shame more people weren't here. (Only five of us from OUOC attended.) They missed an enjoyable event. I also have no other APers to compare splits against. distracted is injured and angryhaggis was hungover so they both ran M21S.
Most of the area is fairly standard New Forest - an undulating mixture of generally runnable forest and rough-open moorland. This one is no different. The course was 50:50 forest/rough open in terms of the number of controls (12 in each, not counting the finish), but the lion's share of the longer legs were in the rough-open. The course started in some less appealing and more green-splattered forest, but it seemed to make good use of it. before heading out to the rough-open moorland section.
I had one grumble about the map. It's two A4 parts, unusually both printed on the same side of an A3 sheet. The leg from 11 disappears off side A of the map and reappears on side B. The two parts of the map do overlap, but it was slightly unnerving for the line to run off the side of the map. Usually when you have to change maps, there's a common control in the overlap. You get to the common control, flip your map over and continue. But not this time. However, you switch back to side A around controls 21-22 and these were on both sides of the map.
My biggest error was at number 15, where I didn't check my compass accurately enough, and ended up running up a parallel re-entrant instead. I then also made a hash of getting to the control, almost completing a Grand Tour of it. I must have run about 1.2km on a sub-400m leg! I also got confused at 22. Thanks to some dodgy map-reading I seemed to think it was in the bottom of the re-entrant, so I headed towards a wrong control about 200m away which was at the bottom.
Overall, a very enjoyable event - thanks very much to Wimborne Orienteers.