Orienteering race (OK Nuts, Glovers Wood) 1:00:35  *** 5.5 km (11:01 / km) +165m 9:35 / km
First orienteering since May. Had three requirements: not to fall over, get poked in the eye, lose map contact. And the planning needed to be good. No worries on that score, the courses were excellent. So my watchword was caution. And the keywords handrail and attackpoint ran through the front of my brain like a mantra throughout. Wasn’t bothered about speed or ‘attack’ but actually felt light, fast and skippy the whole way round. Most of the area was fairly fast, too, so it was pretty good to be moving quickly through the trees. Struggled to read the map at speed in the poor light under the trees and some of my simplified routes may not have been ideal. But the main thing was I never ended up ‘lost’. 1 was long-ish (through light green) so I decided just to go round on the paths and get a feel for the forest (and the sport!). That went ok so repeated the procedure for 2. Missed a path and overshot 5 then couldn’t find a safe AP for 7 so lost a minute at these two. It was basically ‘handrail then attackpoint’ over and over, the compass coming increasingly into play as I grew in confidence. By 14 I may even have been visualising, and when I found a control with the wrong code at 16 I worked out where I actually was in seconds. I was very clean through 18 to 21 and finish and still running strong, so when I downloaded and hadn’t mispunched I was both relieved and pleased with things. 60 minutes seemed slow for 5.5 km but on the printout I was 4th from 21 so felt happier still. I guess I do have a lot of orienteering experience and it’s all about putting what I know into practice. And definitely benefited from being the right side of 11 stone.