Friday, December 29, 2006

WAROC Training Event - Black Fell

Bilbo planned an excellent 5.5k course with 13 controls at Black Fell, near Skelwith Bridge - a new area for me! The map scale was 1:7500 - a large enough scale to make the deteiled areas legible, without being so large as to produce an unwieldy map! The course was all on open fell and was surprisingly tricky - catching me out on several occasions. Felt very tired from recent hard training.

Map with course.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Night Training - Abbey Craig

I reran a course I did at Abbey Craig (the wood around the Wallace Monument) almost 7 years ago. The course was 4.0k with 16 controls and took ca 40 minutes. I didn't make any significant errors, but found some inaccuracies with the map; notably in respect of mapped fences no longer being there.

Map with course.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

FVO Night Event - Hermitage Woods

Hermitage Woods from Airthrey Loch.

I planned one course which was 6.2k, with 18 controls (with a short alternative by going from 3-7 and 12-15, which was 4.4k with 13 controls) with pre-marked maps on waterproof paper (- no map case needed!) and a mass start. Controls were reflective tape - no punching! 17 people ran. Fraser Purves won the long and Steve Barrett just held-off son, Jack, to take the short.


Map with course.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Ben Ledi

The rain has stopped at last and the sun is shining! Given there were no orienteering events on, I decided to take a run up Ben Ledi, 879m, to the west of Callander.

Managed to run all of the ascent (ca 750m of climb with snow above ca 600m) in 40 minutes. Attempted to take a photo using my mobile phone, but found out when I got home that I had taken some video footage instead!

Video I took from the summit.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

TAY Christmas Score Event - King's Seat and Dunkeld House

This event is always a nice way to end the year - low key, friendly and fun - with sweets at some controls!

The time allowed was an hour and I just managed to get all 27 controls within it - 57 minutes! I went anti-clockwise around the area - which meant I hit the rougher, hillier forest towards the end; but am reasonably satisfied I took a pretty good route. The points system was further complicated by there being additional points for collecting sweets and balloons from some controls, and for listing the birds which were also pictured at some controls - so I have absolutely no idea where I ended-up!


Map with course.

Map with my route.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

SOA Coach Education Day - Stirling University

Stirling University on Google Earth.

I participated in the afternoon session which was attended by a good mix of orienteers and outdoor educationalists. Andy Kitchen gave a presentation on short racing. He focused on the skills required to perform well in short races and also analysed how to coach athletes for short races.

Dick Carmichael then gave a presentation on night orienteering. Dick spoke of his passion for night orienteering, advocated more night races (possibly a Scottish Night League) and commented on the lack of guidelines. He analysed routes taken at the recent Tinto Twin Night Event at Stone Hill, pointing out that poor technique tends to be punished more than in day events and highlighting how longer, safe routes are often fastest at night. I then had the opportunity to put some of these ideas into practice by running a 2.6k, 4 control course that had been laid out in the University grounds.

Map with night course.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

MAROC Colour Coded Event - Dess Wood and Deeside Activity Park

One of the organisers commented that I'd travelled a long way for the event! The reason is simple - MAROC have good forests and maps, plan good courses, provide pre-marked maps and use elctronic punching - ingredients for good orienteering! The event also provided a good excuse for not going christmas shopping!

I ran the brown course which was 7.3k with 350m of climb and 19 controls. I had a good run, save for being a bit hesitant into controls 11 and 12; and enjoyed the event. The last part of the course went through an area used for off-roading and quad biking, and reminded me of some of the army training areas in SE England.


Map with my course.

Map with my route.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

FVO Night Event - Minewoods and Bridge of Allan

Minewoods and Bridge of Allan.

I planned one course which was 4.8k, with 230m of climb and 19 controls (with a short cut by going from 9 -17 which was - 3.1k, with 150m of climb and 12 controls) with pre-marked maps and a mass start. Controls were reflective tape - no punching! 14 people ran. Kyle Heron won the long in 36.30 and Hilary Quick won the short in 33.05.


Map with course.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

LINOC Scottish Score Championships - Beecraigs

Country Park map.

Beecraigs on Google Earth - with Linlithgow, its loch, the M9, Bo'ness and the Forth Estuary in the background.

It's been a few years since I last ran at Beecraigs - a Country Park near Linlithgow, in part because the area was subject to storm damage but also because of the demise of the local club - it's good to see them back!

The M45's had 50 minutes to get as many of the 28 controls as possible. As usual, I set out to get them all - which, with the benfit of hindsight, was a mistake! I got 19 and incurred penalties for being 3 minutes late. Was scrappy at 13, 27 and 28; and gave up trying to get to 17 from the south, where the slow run was impenetrable!

There was some confusion over road crossings. Apparently, I should have visited control 13 twice - on the way into and out of the area with controls 21, 33 and 34. And I shouldn't have run along the road between 13 and 15 as I did. Crosses on the road might have provided clarity - but it's always easy to be wise after the event!

Despite these hicups, I enjoyed the area and the event, and also the tea room in Linlithgow which was frequented by a good number of orienteers.

Controls visited.

Map with my course.

Map with my route.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Training - Cambusmore Woods

A note of my training - not something I normally record in my blog!

Went for a 40 minute run on paths and in the terrain at Cambusmore Woods between Doune and Callander. My route is marked on the Google Earth image which has Callander in the background - ran anti-clockwise around it. Found the small path (- which I usually follow) by the River Teith was flooded and had to run on the adjacent track instead.

Orienteering Videos

Scottish orienteering by Mharky.

Mens relays at 2006 World Cup Finals in France.

2005 Scottish Sprint Orienteering Championships by Nopesport.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

STAG SoSOL - Dalnamein

Dalnamein is located adjacent to the A9, a few miles north of Blair Atholl and is a new area for orienteering. It is a mix of pine plantation and open hill, has some areas of quite detailed moraine and was covered with a thin blanket of snow.

I ran the brown course which was 8.4k with 190m of climb and 22 controls, and which took me 57 minutes. The course had a number of transitions from wood to open and vice verca, which is always challenging; and controls which were hung on the far side of the features - as they should be! The limited visibility and rounded features in parts of the forest also provided a good test of compass work and confidence.

I was tired from organising the FVO Club Championships the previous day and from the Clubs dinner dance the previous evening, but apart from that ran reasonably well. I overshot 5 by ca 45 seconds, was hesitant into 13 and drifted off line from 14 to 15, where the walk forest was much less thick than I anticipated it would be.


Map with my course.

Map with my route.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

FVO Club Championships - Barr Wood

I planned and organised the FVO Club Championships at Barr Wood which is a small, but quite detailed area near Stirling. I used Sportident electronic punching and kept things simple with the use of a thermal printer.

Courses can be found on RouteGadget.

Map with the Brown course.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

SWOC Veteran Home International Individual - Merthyr Common

I ran M45 which was 8.1k with 215m of climb and 16 controls. I had a bad start, losing time at the first 2 controls. As I climbed to 3, the underfoot conditions became rougher and stonier and the mist came down; reducing visibilty and increasing the technical challenge. Fortunately, I didn't try to make up for the lost time and concentrated on picking up distinct features to guide me between the controls. Chatting with Rob Lee afterwards, I discovered that he had adopted a similar "join the dots" strategy. From 3, I navigated to 4 via the knoll and then the crag; and to 5 I went via the 2 cairns and the small reentrant. I managed to maintain good concentration for the remainder of the course and whilst I encountered the occasional difficulty in making the map fit the ground, managed to complete the rest of the course without significant navigational errors and in a time of 55 minutes. Overall, Scotland again just lost out to England.


Map with my course.

Map with my route.