Orienteering race 2:05:37 16.72 km (7:31 / km) +537m6:28 / km ahr:160 max:171 shoes: VJ Falcons 11
IOC Classic, M21E, 12.7km, 530n, 30 controls. It turns out it wasn't misty yesterday, not even a bit. Today was misty. #26 and most of the leg to #27 was the only place below the mist, everywhere else had at best 30m visibility, often only 20. What epic conditions to hold a classic race in!
After yesterday's disaster I opted for the 'be very safe' option and went out with the plan to take safe routes, take the time hit in doing so but hoping that it would pay off in the long term.
Not a great start, hit yesterday's #2 on the way to #2 but misidentified it's position and therefore started looking far too early. Stupid.
May not have had any luck yesterday but I got collect some of my deficit on the way to #4. Failed to hit the fence but kept running on the compass (ish) until I hit some peat hags, when I did I headed west to the stream and then hoped to head west to the detailed area to relocate. This is what I thought was happening but in reality I had made a parallel error and was some 500m lower than I thought. Realised soon enough that something was wrong so headed up hill. It was a long hill so I knew I was very low. Very lucky to hit a recognisable peat hag and able to navigate into the control from there.
Super safe route to #5, dropped two minutes to the fasted time in doing so but the consequences of missing the control would have been far ore costly and the only thing to relocate on was the lake and that wasn't very easy to find!
Clean and safe, though slow, through #6 and #7 (saw Josh, Shane, Laurence and someone else all lost in here) and thought I had the route to #8 sussed by my route to #6, but was slightly too far to the north and had to relocate and come back to it, lost a minute or so.
On route to #9 I heard someone behind me and was a little surprised to see that it was Roar (with Boyzone - apparently Dooby was around as well but I never saw him), who had caught 6 minutes on me. However we (and many others if you look at Routegadget) faffed around at an unmapped crag looking for it, Boyzone worked it out first and I followed him into it with just enough of a gap to put the boot in.
I knew that it would be nearly impossible to run away from someone in these conditions as you had to slow down so much to see/find things, so with the little opportunity I had I made a break from Roar and headed as fast but as controlled as I could towards the lake. Lucky to hit a bit of bare rock which meant I could cut the corner a bit and then found the indistinct path to lead me toward the control.
Next loop through #12 to #17 was good, not especially fast but mostly in control of things, a little lucky on #12 which I hit just about straight on and a little miss on #17, but I knew where I was.
Safe route to #18 (the only one to do so?) and running really well to #18, but got into the circle and couldn't find the peat hag that the control was on among all the other peat hags, lost maybe 90 seconds.
Safe again to #21 and took the opportunity to have both a gel and a drink and the water point (can't imagine they were all that busy!). Getting too confident at #22 and and headed to #23 expecting to see the big marsh as an attack point.
According to Routegadet I was in 4th place at this point, just about having caught my 6 minutes back on Roar but still well down on both ColmM and NDobbs.
The problem with #23 is that nothing either on the leg or below the control had been mapped, so trying to tick-off boulders and crags that don't exist isn't very easy, neither is trying to relocate off them! Only option was to head to the top of the hill to relocate, in doing so I bumped into my control. Lucky, lucky, lucky. 4 minutes lost but another 4 minutes saved.
Found the next few controls straightforward and appear to have chosen the best lines, again not very quick but keeping the odds in my favour.
Beast of a leg to #28 and I didn't have the strength to run more than about a third of it, that proved to have been been enough as I was in forth and a couple of minutes down at the bottom of the hill but right in contention at the top.
Safe (out to the path) to #29 and then just was careful but didn't push for the last two short legs. I would have had I known how close it was!
So win number 9 and my second 4 in a row. Very pleased with that. Also pleased that I mostly held it together today. #2 was stupid but my other two major times losses (#10 and #23) were due to the map not being mapped and the conditions exaggerated that.
Can't help but feel a little sorry for Colm, to loose by so little after so long was must be hard, but he does have the satisfaction of doing a similar thing to Dooby in the Sprint and knowing that at least two Irish titles have been closer than this!
Looking forward to going back here in good weather, don't think I'd find it quite as special but it would be nice to know what it looks like! Now the problem is that I have to try and defend the title again next year.
Orienteering race 1:16:37 9.22 km (8:19 / km) +406m6:49 / km ahr:151 max:172 shoes: VJ Falcons 11
IOC Middle, Camaderry, M21E, 5.3km, 200m, 16 controls. Really excited about this as the mist came right down shortly after we arrived at the area (right on top of the Wicklow Mountains) reducing visibility to a maximum of 50m. Started conservatively ensuring that I hit the first two safely, then things went wrong. A brief gap in the mist and I thought I spotted my next control site across the valley, off I set, got half way and realised that the distance wasn't right, but had committed myself by that stage. Wasn't surprised to find myself some 300m from my control when I did make it to the wrong boulder. Idiot boy.
After that I decided to be steady and clean, hope for a decent position but conserve energy for tomorrow. This worked well for the next leg but dropped another minute of so at #5 (a boulder amongst many, many other boulders). That was as good as things got though...
After #6 we crossed the valley and headed into the peat hags. These looked clear enough on the map (well they would have been had the printing been good enough to real them) but in reality there were many more (admittedly smaller) ones on the ground. Spend many a minute running around in circles (with Allan Bogle for most of it) trying to work out what was what and where I was.
And that still wasn't the worst of it! Things got a lot worse a few controls later and drastic bailing out to the top of the mountain was the only option. Despite the mist (visibility for most of the course was 100m or so) it wasn't the deciding factor, not being able to interpret the map was. Even being careful with the compass and trying to mark off features didn't yield any results towards the end of the course.
So an unpredictable day, I didn't have any luck but I obviously didn't make any for myself either. David ran a very clean race to take a surprise victory in 42 minutes, whereas I finished all the way down in 15th with the kind of mpks that I haven't done since 1985!
The random results have also completely messed up the Attackpoint rankings! I think a 1:7500 map would have helped, the mist didn't make all that much difference (to me at least) but adjusting the the terrain and the mapping style is what was really needed (peat hags generally had to be about 1.5m to be mapped). Fun, but not in the way I was hoping.
Orienteering race 13:47 3.13 km (4:24 / km) +1m4:24 / km ahr:169 max:177 shoes: La Sportiva Crosslite (2)
IOC Sprint, Maynooth campus, M21, 2.1km, 22 controls. No intention of putting too much effort into this and nor did I, enjoyed it though and ran at a nice steady pace so that I could keep on top of everything. Although having said that I did fail to realise that two controls were on the opposite side of an uncrossable feature, however the area was straight forward technically so it only resulted in a few seconds of time lose on each occasion.
The course made as much of the limited options that were available and the map was beautifully drawn. Enjoyable, and at the price I was happy to run around for a warm up. Finished 11th, 1.42 down on ColmM (who stole a victory off Dooby on the run-in!). Possibly the shorest (non training) course that I have done sine 1985!
Trail run warm up/down 11:59 1.75 km (6:50 / km) ahr:147 max:163 shoes: La Sportiva Crosslite (2)
Trail run warm up/down 50:17 2.11 km (23:47 / km) ahr:84 max:136 shoes: La Sportiva Crosslite (2)
Orienteering1:03:37 8.46 km (7:31 / km) +223m6:39 / km ahr:155 max:183 shoes: Jalas 2010
Training run around Caerphilly Woods, running the event that Clare planned a few weeks ago that I wasn't able to make. Thoroughly enjoyed myself on a very pleasant evening. GD44 challenged me to go straight so I did, and found some really nice bits of woods (and some not quite so nice, but still passable). Some quality bits of woodland and loads of mining features, map was very much a work in progress but great to be able to run on it.