|Oli Johnson (DP, SYO, GB), at Edale Skyline 2011, map in left hand (Don't know who took the photo, will remove if required.)|
OK, so I wasn't racing, I was trying to get from my new place in Stockton-on-Tees to Albert Park in Middlesbrough for this morning's Parkrun. I had a good idea of where I was going (all on road and very flat unfortunately) having looked at the 1:50000 OS map and Googlemaps - Across the Tees, over the A66, through a cinema car-park, over the A19, up the road to a cemetery, right there onto a road which lead straight to the park.
Only once I got to the cemetery there were 2 roads going right, both the same in terms of business, width etc. I took the first immediate right instead of the required more straight-right and ended up way too far south, adding about 2.5km to the run, stopping several times to check the map (which was now out of my bag). It took me a while to relocate and as I turned up to the park it was 9.10 and the race was 10 minutes old. Oops.
Just goes to show that, no matter how much you plan (or what level your nav is at) and think you know a route, it can all go wrong in the execution and you can make a mistake without knowing it. A quick check of the map today and I'd have realised that I wanted the other road and not spent 20 minutes touring Middlesbrough (albeit one of its more salubrious areas I imagine). Also, as Fell Runners are (fairly) notorious at having off days navigationally, a quick check of the map can confirm that they are correct or not so - this came in handy at Sedbergh where, after the calf a lot of people followed the fence-line whereas I could tell the path was quicker. I made a fair amount of ground on those around me during this section (although I did need a bit of help from a walker as to when to take a cut-off - I knew we were in the right place but as the clag was down couldn't see the trod.
|Sedbergh Hills race, part of Calf-Winder leg. Red(top) = Calder cut-off that several people missed. Yellow - route a lot of peple ahead of me took - rougher ground and more undulating. I stuck to the path.|
Anyway, sorry about the rambling, but there's no races to write up this week!