Having done an MDOC event over in Rowath a couple of years ago, it was good to learn that they were bringing their Urban series to Glossop this winter. Hopefully with a home advantage, I might be quite good.
It didn't exactly go according to plan, though I had an excellent time. Which is half the battle really.
Lynne and I moseyed on down to the Smithy Fold Wetherspoons (event centre) to register and pick up our control cards. As with most urban events, the controls were things like lamp posts, fire hydrants, substations and post boxes, all of which have unique identifying numbers on them. The control card was a list of these features with some of the numbers written down, all we had to do was complete the numbers.
The day had already included an early morning run, and a speed session, so I wasn't expecting to be entirely competitive in terms of speed, but I wondered about my route finding, and had an idea in my head that I would probably end up just running around the areas I knew well, rather than taking a cunning and well thought out plan and executing it in good style.
This proved to be what happened.
Starting from Norfolk square, I got my map, took a fairly cursory look at it, got confused, and ran off in a panic to get a checkpoint - any checkpoint. Looking back at the map now, I realise it would have been much more cunning to go in a different direction, but it is always difficult to hold back that sense of "I MUST START RUNNING". And off I went.
Most of my nav was pretty good, and everything that I was aiming for I got. My handwriting, at speed, in the dark, with a pencil, on a scoresheet that I fell over on and ended up covered (and I mean, totally and utterly plastered) with mud, slightly let me down.
I ended up getting 30 checkpoints, which, if all of my answers had been a)legible and b)correct would have got me a score of 1170 and somewhere around 6th overall.
My final score was 960, so a good few of the answers I put down were not, technically, correct. After the event I have sat down and looked at my route, making minor adjustments here and there, the main one at the end, which would have gained me an extra 20 points. This would have done nothing in my standings, and as a load of my answers were wrong anyway, its fairly academic.
The guys that came in the top 5 all had about 200 or 300 more points than I (would have) got, which is mind boggling. It is definitely a tactical thing, and I wonder if their tactic is just to ensure they hit every single high pointer on the entire map, and if they happen to get some other points on the way, so be it.
An excellent night out, including the rather spectacular spill I had over need Shire hill. Despite it being an urban event, I was wearing trail shoes, and was determined to get some muddy paths in. I did so, and ended up pretty much covered in mud. Well, it had to be done really.
A great event, with a good few lessons about navigating, intelligent route finding and thinking about how long I was sometimes running without actually dibbing a checkpoint... maybe that's a key as well....? (any tips Nic?)
Well done to Charlie for coming in the highest of the Glossopdalers, followed by Neil, Caity, then me, Lynne, John S and Lindsay. And well done to Lynne for getting the highest score on the handicap as well!
|The Map is a tad muddy... sorry. and the order of Checks visited is on the right.|