We’ve had a pretty good start to the summer orienteering season – in terms of attendance anyway. Out of seven Summer Series events to date we have made it along to five of them. This week it was at Sheldon Forest, a steep, narrow, forested area following a creek with the remainder on road. In the middle of a very stressful week it was a good bet we weren’t going to beat any records, but a run out in the trees should have been good for our heads if nothing else.
After a screaming farewell from our girls (they did NOT want mummy to run today!) we were quickly out of sight – and apparently instant stop to all screaming as well as they headed off to a playground. The trails were steep! A normal Summer Series map is 1:10,000 or 1:7,500 with 4m or 5m contours. This was a 1:7500 with 10m contours! We knew we were in for a lot of climbing. The trails were rocky, steep, with lots and lots and lots of steps. We started off mainly downhill knowing there was a long slow uphill slog on the way out of the trees and then slightly more level back on the roads. It was still damn tough though! The controls were mostly easy to find and as marked – although a few seemed to be a little out of place.
Nick and I headed our own way after the first few minutes, I couldn’t keep up the pace once we started going uphill more and he was quickly out of sight. I made a big mistake at one point, thinking I was out of bounds and doubling back for a 3 minute (and 400m!) detour, when I had actually been probably only metres from the connecting trail. I struggled and started doing far too much walking. And road shoes really, really suck on technical single trail. Then I needed to pee. With no toilets in sight. Sigh.
Back on the roads things improved again. I didn’t have a lot of time left, but I was running again and collecting controls nicely. My road shoes were a definite advantage here. I ended up with my course pretty much as planned, although none of the “extra” sections I had hoped for. My score was pretty low, but the run helped my head, which really is the main thing, and there was a pretty decent amount of elevation involved. No photos today.
- Distance: 4.96km (so close!)
- Elevation: 143m
- Time: 44:18 (woohoo! still getting in under the 45min limit)
- Effort: 6.4