Scene at Stapeley

This was definitely worth going to. The weather was good and it makes a nice change to run on grassland instead of through trees. Stapeley Hill is “access land” (I think this is a recent term) just off the A488 between Shrewsbury and Newtown, and the views are great.

I started off well enough on my run on the Blue course, but I didn’t really have the legs. I made a bad route choice towards control 6, but at least it meant I got to see Mitchell’s Fold, an impressive stone circle I’d never heard of before. Control 10 was a bit weird: it seemed to be much closer to #9 than I was expecting it to be. And then came the mistake of the day. I thought I could see the next control, and ran straight to it, but unfortunately it wasn’t mine! The one I’d seen was in the little reentrant about 60 metres NE of my #11. And then I spent a few minutes wading through the bracken on the valley side before it clicked that I should be back up on the grass. (I wonder why such a distinct vegetation boundary isn’t mapped?)

Stapeley map extract

Route:

I found it interesting comparing my splits with Barry McGowan’s, who I travelled with. And it was also interesting comparing the Blue and Brown courses. Most of the controls were shared, and some of the legs were identical, which doesn’t matter too much for a small event, but is a mistake when the control circle is visible from a long way off, e.g. my control #8.

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Harlequin ahoy

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