Monday, 21 May 2012

Sexy Lakes Orienteering

So whilst people were flogging around the OCT, I was also in the Lakes - albeit based a bit further south around High Dam tarn near Finsthwaite on the south-western end of Windermere, for MDOC'S fantastic Twin Peaks weekend based on the excellent High Dam area (I did get a late call-up to Derbyshire's Intercounties team, but am not quite feeling up to a balls-out race after illness - now a target for next year!).

Apparently this is High Dam - I only caught a glimpse of it though (the view towards Coniston Old Man area was cracking - not that I got much of a view of that either whilst slogging around!)
I've only just started feeling confident on Lake District O areas as they're so much more technical than anything else you get in England, pushing the Scottish areas for toughness. I've found it's taken a while to pick up the mapping style used here (not all rocks are mapped as there's too many of them) and the wealth of contour detail here seems much vaguer than elsewhere!

I think the look of grim determination is mainly due to the fact I binned 90secs on the penultimate control of Sunday's Middle. Courtesy Wendy Carlyle.
Anyway, we were treated to a Classic Distance (The Northern Champs no less!) race on the Saturday and a middle-distance race on the Sunday. The quality of the area meant that both races provided excellent courses, challenging both physically and mentally whilst being immensely enjoyable and rewarding. As we were running on a top-quality area there were also lots of people from around the country to catch up with (even if I did catch up with them at BOC 2 weeks previously!)

Saturday's Northern Champs (11.3km/485m). Unfortunatly mu GPS played up, so I only have a trace from 19 onwards. Generally clean through to 10 before losing a lot of time on #11, I was then very hesitant from there to the finish.
As for my performances - at times I'm feeling like a proper Orienteer, running well through terrain, minimal hesitations and the kite popping out just where I expect it. Every now and then I don't have a plan and muck up a bit, although I am getting better at not doing this it still creeps in every so often, and towards the end of the course I get a bit tired and make some silly mistakes. 

Sunday's middle (6.1km/160m)

...and with my route
The UK O-season is coming to a bit of a close now, the Scottish Champs (and World Champs selection races) in a fortnight being the last major races. This coming weekend I'm running my first proper road race at the Sheffield Half Marathon - please donate to Leukaemia & Lymphoma research in memory of my friend Ed here, it would be much appreciated. After that it's back onto the fells - I'm now starting to feel more Like I was at the back end of last year and have some real impetus to get some good training in before the summer's objectives - Champs races, SLMM, Wasdale and looking forward to the OMM, IHMR, UKA Relays and hopefully Three Shires and Langdale to fit in a Lakeland Classics set, as well as as many other races as I can squeeze in!

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