Orienteering race (Scottish 6 Days day 6) 1:06:50  **** 7.0 km (9:33 / km) +250m 8:06 / km
spiked:13/15c shoes: Inov8 Mudclaw 270
Finally an area that was close to being fast run! Today's courses were set on a big hillside with spectacular views over the Loch and river. We had plenty of time to enjoy the views as we had a 2km walk to the start, the last 1 km of which we climbed almost 200m: 1 in 5!!
Once on the course, I took it very safe on the short leg to 1 and got it successfully at the first attempt! Long legs to 2 and 3 followed but I missed 3 to the left. I was looking for a mapped flat spur out from the ridge as an attack point below the control but could not find it on the ground! Relocated off a cliff face but lost at least 2 minutes. Good flow through the next few where I was running with a fellow M50, swapping the lead a number of times. A slight error by me on 9 had him back in front but I quickly caught him again and got ahead out of 13.
Going to 14 I looked at the description but couldn't work out what I was looking for and this disrupted my concentration. It was a diamond shaped symbol and the flag was on the east side. Apparently this is “edge of forest”. The circle was on the boundary of white and yellow and I would have expected a clearing symbol. Lost about 2 minutes here which was very annoying.
Despite these couple of errors, this was easily my best run of the event and something to take some positives out of. 39th place today and 68th overall out of 128 in my class. I had hoped for top 3rd but too many mistakes! Garmin distance 8.5km.
Deb had a disappointing run to end the week, placing 44th and dropping down from the teens into the low 20's overall, which is still an great result.
Overall, a well organised event with good facilities at the assembly areas, including excellent gear shops and good food. Courses were generally OK but tended to have a sameness about them and most days had lots of controls, too many in some cases. For example I had 23 on day 3 for 6.6km. The biggest disappointment was that the areas for each of the 6 days were all almost identical (with the exception of day 6) and there was therefore little variety in the terrain or the orienteering challenge. Also, there was no water provided on the courses at all or at the Finish, which all the Aussies found somewhat astonishing and is a blatant deviation from IOF rules! Fortunately, the weather conditions were favourable and none of the Aussies was really affected.