Tuesday, 19 July 2011

ShUOC's Harvester Relays

Last weekend was the Harvester Relays - a 7 (or 5) person night-day orienteering relay. ShUOC were hosting this year's race in Eccleshall Woods and Limb Valley, a major undertaking for such a small club, and I'm pleased to say that we managed to do it with some style! Here's a couple of our promotional videos:

Saturday started a bit grim but thankfully after hitting town for some last minute requirements, once we arrived at the assembly the weather had improved and it was a nice afternoon setting up the Ultrasprint maze and watching the competitors bombing around it. Once the ultrasprint was done I set up my controls for the Urban event I was planning in Dore the next morning, before heading to bed to try and get some kip as I was both helping and running in the early morning. Despite lying down for a couple of hours sleep was not forthcoming and I got out of bed to have a look at the GPS tracking (a first for the UK!) of the first leg before heading off to my road-crossing station, where I stood for 1 and a half hours with Kris.
Start of the Relay (pinched from Ralph's fb album).

I was running leg 5 (the first day leg) for the depleted ShUOC team - 10.1km with about 280m climb. The plan was to be clean and controlled, no need to push too hard as I'd then make mistakes. I managed this quite well to start with - a few blips but only losing 20 seconds here and there. However I then made a right doosie at control 17, losing 6-7minutes. Thankfully I had a bit of a cushion on the teams behind us, but it did allow Dickie Wren of EPOC to catch me up a few controls later. The rest of the course was quite controlled, if a bit frantic after my mistake.
harvester leg 5 pic
My Garmin GPS trace quickroute.

Of course the best bit about my mistake was that I was being GPS tracked, so everyone back at the start/finish could see what I was getting up to - I'm the Green 'ShUOC' blob, my run starts at 4.17 on the clock, with my big mistake starting at 5.07 - enjoy!
SYO won overall by a mile, ShUOC's team of Treb, Dan, Daverams, BommyT, myself, Little Rob and Schorah finished in 4th and in doing so managed to retain the UK Relay League trophy.

Once finished (and being the recipient of some quality banter. Well, I did earn it!) I had a bit of a rest before heading into Dore to hang the controls for Sunday morning's urban race. By now I was knackered, a bit hacked off with my mistake in the relay and missing the culmination of the Harvester, so a bit frustrated. We managed to get everything sorted out just in time for the start and everyone seemed to enjoy the courses I'd planned on what, when I first saw it, was a pretty unexciting area for an urban race.

By the time everyone had finished and the controls had been collected I'd been awake for getting on 30 hours and was well ready for a bit of kip before driving home - never before has 40 mph felt like a perfectly legitimate speed on Snake!

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