Sunday, 27 November 2011

Swallowvallets orienteering

On the drive over to the Forest of Dean, the Severn looked engorged and menacing but also dramatically beautiful - a welcome contrast to the manicured and exclusive sterility of the Cotswolds.

We turned-up in good time and sat munching in the car watching the registration tent inflate and strain skywards in the cold wind. Hunched-up figures went about their business of setting-up, stopping from time-to-time to exchange cheerful words.

"Two dibbers..." Sam reminded me with a serious look as I got out of the car to go and register. This was the deal.

NGOC are a very friendly bunch of people, obviously keen to encourage participation at all levels of their sport.

Just as well really because it took me the best part of a quarter-hour to simply realise that the first control simply had the wrong number on it...

A word of warning

It's a dangerous game going for a walk these days. Pic taken at Tarn Howes - obviously
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, 6 November 2011

(Dis)orienteering - Mallards Pike

Family Reid put in a gutsy performance at League 2 of the Orienteering at Mallards Pike, Forest of Dean. After two events we are holding strong at the bottom of the Yellow table. Not bad at all for three-and-a-half year-olds, I reckon.

Genuinely impressed with the boys. A good 0.5km uphill to registration and then the same distance again to the start; also uphill. A 2.2km course that was pretty muddy, sticky and uneven. Then 600m back to registration as well as the walk back to the car.

It was a big effort and Ben and Sam had much need of dried apricots and Soreen.

Must be careful - in my mind I have an image of 'Competitive Dad' off the Fast Show...

Sugar loaf race

Steep tarmac turns into track, track turns into footpath, footpath becomes less distinct and heather encroached with height.

Lose places to road runners but make them back again as it gets steeper. There is cloud and rain on the top but we are up into it then back down and out within minutes. We run round in a loop and leg it back down the way we came up. I lose a few more places but make one back by strongly upping the pace before the end.

It's a fine and charming race. £3 to enter (the majority of which is handed straight over to the pub to provide post-race refreshments), laconic instructions from the race organiser and the prizes awarded to 1st, 10th, 20th (and so on) runner to the top.

Everyone friendly to everyone else. You try your best but miss the point if you take it too seriously...

I was way below par but managed 24th in about 46mins, Matt Farrer was a couple of minutes after (38th) with Mike Wood (45th) about the same time behind again.

Recent runs

I ran up the hill in diluted sunshine. Was taken with the light on a stubbornly surviving willow and the hawthorn berries, their colour almost beyond red.

Stopped by to see The Pigs on the way back down.