A last minute decision to go to the first Moonlight Madness of the year – a 45 minute orienteering run similar in style to the Summer Series. Last minute being relative of course, with 2 young kids, there is no real last minute. In this case, it meant I decided two days prior. The main difference between this one and Summer Series, with daylight savings all done and winter approaching, is running in the dark. Headlamps or torches are a must – we picked up cheap Energizer ones from Bunnings last year – and pace inevitably slows down when running in the dark in new locations.
Tonight the starting point was Pymble and I was reasonably familiar with the surrounding hilly streets, but it all depended on whether the map was mainly north or south of the start. I was utterly delighted when I got my hands on the map to see that it was mostly in St Ives! My home for over 10 years and the map area covered my old street, friends places and old haunts. For once, picking a route was fairly easy, while there were some big hills, I was able to plan the rest to minimise the ups and downs, a couple of options if we needed to cut things short or extend at the end, and we were off with little delay.
A duck and weave into state forest at the start, avoiding trails in the dark and sticking to roads as much as possible. Then it was off for the big loop around familiar streets. I was feeling strong and positive, running was done at a decent pace and walking the steeper hills to save energy and check the map. So much fun running past places I hadn’t seen for close to 20 years – there have been a lot of changes in that time, but plenty still remained the same.
A couple of minor errors in navigation (things look different in the dark), but nothing major, a push along part of my old “walk to school” path, a loop around for an additional 40 points and past my old house. A creek crossing, so civilised with a bridge now, and heading back for the final hill to the finish.
A couple of minutes over time, by our numbers our final tally for the night was 350 (320 after time penalty) and 6km covered. Scoring is old school for these events, you have to carry a scorecard and pencil as well as the map and note down the code at each checkpoint. The whole run felt great. I pushed harder than usual and did it easily, my legs gave me almost no trouble, a slight twinge in my calf towards the end, but not enough to slow me down.
My only complaint is my Garmin got confused and thinks that I ran this activity on 31 May 2016 – some six weeks in the future. So it’s not syncing with Strava and all my other goodies like RunDownUnder and Running Heroes.
- Distance: 6km
- Elevation: 80m
- Time: 47:29