A bit chilly in North Warwickshire today. Ran the green course (4.7k), came 27th out of 42.

Arley map extract

I started slowly, carefully checking my compass if I was away from the paths, and my main error came near the beginning, at control 6. I aimed a bit (!) off and ran to the main path bend that’s NNW of the control. Of course, when I got there I didn’t realise that that was where I was until I noticed the contours. I lost four minutes but at least I was able to reorient myself.

If I take those 4 minutes off, and the minute I lost on #14, I would’ve come 21st and qualified for the Green badge standard, so there’s hope!

(You’re double penalised for getting lost in orienteering: losing time for not finding the control and then losing more time while you desperately try to get to it from wherever you’ve ended up!)

I notice from the results that I was 35th at control 14, so I’m pleased that I was able to catch up eight places on the final ten legs. I felt good (I’d warmed up nicely!) and got a bit of proper speed up. Maybe I was a bit more confident too because I was revisiting a part of the forest I’d been in earlier in the race.

Something new I tried today was pace counting. 100 paces/100 m seemed about right, and was helpful on a few of the legs.

What to do about the cold at the start? I only had a long-sleeved t-shirt on, and my hands were freezing. I don’t mind a bid of body chill at the start–rather that than be too hot later on–but I hate the cold hands. I guess I should have some light gloves that I can put away in my pocket after a few minutes.

Finally, although the brambles weren’t too much of a problem, I did get my leg caught on them a couple of times, so I need to remember to pack my bramble-bashers.