Friday, 8 March 2013

Street Orienteering Event - Report

Orienteering Symbol
The invite stated "Meet under the Lamp Post at 7.45pm for a briefing" No Dear Reader I wasn't going to have a romantic encounter where one of us wore a red rose the other a Financial Times newspaper. The Lamp Post is the meeting point of the Orpington Road Runners my secondary affiliation and we were to meet up for the inaugural Street Orienteering event organised by the amazing Peter.

The Delightful Mrs S had taken the car for her work and I was chasing the clock so chose to take the train part way to the meeting point. It was Thursday night so it was also Monkey Feet night so kitted up I ran to the station and jumped onto the train aware that I was being talked about by a couple of women behind me making comments about my VFFs, smiling to myself when one said "They look like a monkey!"

The Run

The general briefing was:

ORR Night Street Orienteering has been designed as a fun event and a basic introduction to orienteering. There are 14 "controls" each worth 2 points to find in any order within 1 hour. 1 point was deducted for each minute over time.

Sounds simple but whilst being fit enough to take on the run, none of us had seen the map and location of the controls yet so after a briefing we were handed the maps and given 3 minutes to review it. If you click on the image on the righy you will note a triangle in the bottom right hand corner, this is the start.

To tell you the truth I had no plan but I had spotted some of the other runners had turned up with pens, plastic folders, I just had my head torch and my Monkey Feet...some of these guys appeared to know what was what and others were fast. I cared not a jot and went out with the intention of doing my best and just enjoy it, after all, it was a fun event.

So we were off, I leapt over the low   fence and darted across the green immediately being overtaken by two runners who went the long way but bounded up the hill to the first control which Peter had marked with laminated card with the control number and a clicker that placed holes into my map to prove I had been there. After that it was a blur of long narrow alleyways and cul-de-sacs. Ever so often I would see another runner coming in the opposite direction and we would laugh and nod as we tried to get away from each other.

Tactical mistake

Arriving at control 71 I got my map I chose to go cross country and travel in the dark to control 70 when in hindsight I had sufficient time to collect 63 and 75 to return for 70 but this is a lesson learnt for next time as I returned to the finish 8 minutes early but would have made no difference to my postion... I was second last having not realised that a good few had run as a group 

In all, really fun and I think everyone got something out of it. What did the winner get? He got a round of applause and bragging rights until next time.

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