Up at 8, packed the car, said bye to wife/mum, went over to Sutton to pick Ian (Gamlen) up, set off in the rain to Brampton Bryan. Ian suggested going M5/A456, I made the correct route choice: M54/A49. Made up for this triumph by taking 15 minutes to find the first control…

I turned right, up the path, found a White control, thought it was on the third path bend, headed south, found the wrong control. Wandered up and down, came back to the wrong control – it was still the wrong control. Gave up, went back to the White control, met the Mitchells doing the White, realised that their control was on the second path bend, all became clear, navigated to my control.

The wet morning brightened up, and by the time I came out of the forest, on the way to control 14, it was a beautiful day. Which way would you go to 14? Realising that #13 was a decoy control, I was tempted to go back up to the eastern track, but the superfast run down to the western track was even more tempting. But then there were three options of how to get to the control from the track.

6km in 1:45:00 was rubbish, but I enjoyed the run – the course was well planned. Ian had a great run on his course: approx 50 mins for 5 km, putting him in the top 3 in his age class. I suggested he should become my mentor.

Off to the campsite. There was time to get the tent up and admire the views, and for Catherine to make friends with the neighbouring families (in fact Catherine had accomplished this before I’d got the tent out of the car) before it was dinner time and ceilidh time in the little wonderland that Lynden had created out of an unprepossessing barn. Catherine likes dancing but I couldn’t persuade her to like ceilidh, no matter how much I pretended to like it, so we headed tentwards for an early night, settling in to the sounds of disappointed football reporters on the radio.

Was Ian Barca to my Man U? No, more like he was Man City to my Wigan.

Race distance tally: Adrian 6 km, Catherine 2 km

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