What a beautiful day, and what a beautiful corner of Worcestershire. Birmingham University O Club put on this event (with the assistance of some of the great and the good of HOC) and hats off to them. But… it was a case of “Nice event, shame about the wood.” There’s 75% bramble cover so it was a bit of a slog. (Memo to self: buy some gaiters.)

Eymore workers

That said, I had a good run. 10th on Green (4k, 175m climb) out of 42 runners. Checking the splits, I didn’t have a bad leg. A bit of statistics: my leg rankings were as follows: 9th, 20th, 15th, 23rd, 24th, 8th, 22nd, 11th, 9th, 16th, 11th, 11th, 3rd. (In other words, I ran the 9th fastest time on the first leg, etc.) All very average, but that’s good. One of the other runners had the following stats: 8th, 11th, 8th, 10th, 9th, 5th, 38th, 9th, 10th, 8th, 10th, 42nd, 26th. Clearly a better orienteer than me, but because of those two bad legs he came 14th. (Also notice the psychological effects on our run-ins to the finish.)

As usual my later legs were faster than my early ones. I was 17th at control 5. Oddly, despite 6-7 being one of my worst legs, I moved up to 11th there. Others had even worse trouble finding it than I did.

 Eymore map extract

On Winsplits, bad legs are highlighted in pink, and the middle of the course (nos. 6, 7, 8.) caused most trouble. #6 was behind a tree in a very shallow reentrant. #7 and #8 were both holes in the ground. So a quick hypothesis is that controls are trickier if they’re not visible from let’s say 15 metres away. I made good route choices on 7 and 8: I aimed at the controls from attack points on paths. I did overrun a bit and end up a little west of #8, but finding the ditches, it was obvious where to go next. If I’d run in to #8 through the trees on a bearing I probably would’ve ended up looking into half a dozen holes before I found the right one.

Something like that happened to Roy Lindsell. I started just behind him but he was three or four minutes ahead before he had trouble on #8. I caught up with him briefly but then he zoomed off again, taking only 12 minutes for the last 5 legs. That’s the Adrian Bailey effect! 🙂