Somehow, despite the evidence to the contrary, I’m quite fit. I didn’t have any trouble making the distance on Sunday, so (even though I was tired) I decided to run the medium course in the Bournville night-street event last night. Nominally 6.5k, but probably more like 8. Colin Spears had prepared some premarked colour maps for us:

Bournville map extract

All the incident on my run took place at the beginning. Getting to and from control 2 involved negotiating a sodden Manor Farm Park. Once my feet were wet, I thought I might as well run due south across the spongy fields towards control 3, but the stream was far from fordable, leaving me with a detour to the little bridge at the west end of the park.

Then, as I crossed the Bristol Road, I swear it started to snow. Or maybe it was sleet. Luckily it only lasted a couple of minutes, and for the rest of the run the cool, damp conditions were glorious. The only slight problem was “vinyl burn” from my cheap trainers. That’s what I call the way that the insole rubs the arch of my foot. I wore a headlamp for the first time, but none of the people I ran past seemed remotely fazed by the odd sight.

The Bournville carillon chimed the half-hour as I ran close by, and soon after I was back at the Spears’. 72 minutes: respectable mid-table anonymity. 🙂 I was pleased that I beat Robert Vickers. It may seem odd to compare my performance with a gentleman 25 years my senior, but I respect Robert a lot: he’s very fit and a brilliant orienteer. And that’s part of what orienteering’s about: you don’t worry that you’re being beaten by 13-year-old girls, you work to improve your performance against whoever it happens to be that you’re nearly as good as.

I’m not sure whether the event was planned on purpose to be on Shrove Tuesday, but Suzette very kindly provided us with crepes after our runs.

Robert and Russ

With his batteries removed, the winner of the Medium race ponders on how he’s going to make it to his car.

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