I went to the SEE in the Lickeys yesterday evening and I won the Green. 🙂 Although I’ve been tootling around some Orange courses with Catherine lately, this was my first proper run out since I injured my ankle, and it seems to have held up okay. 🙂

So, that’s the good news out of the way. A closer look at the results suggests that my performance was hardly impressive. Firstly, I’m younger than almost everyone who ran Green. Secondly, 58 minutes for 4.2 km is slow. Could it even be the slowest winning time this year on a Green course? Thirdly, I got lost twice, the second time so badly that I stood still in bafflement for over a minute. (It was quite a shock on the way to #15 to come out on a path and the compass said I was looking south-west…)

The truth, as always, lies somewhere in between these two assessments. John, the planner, had clearly done his job well and devised a tricky course in area that most of us should know pretty well. Apart from a couple of the guys on Blue, everyone found it tough. (Which goes to prove one of my old orienteering maxims: if you’re finding it hard, so’s everybody else, so don’t give up!) The results 3 years ago were pretty similar, though that night Colin Spears edged me out by 10 seconds. The youngsters will be here in November for the qualifying round of the Yvette Baker Cup and it’ll be interesting to see whether the Lickeys have the same disorienting effect on young brains!

Finally, I hope he doesn’t mind, but a word about David Hemmings. I caught David up at the second control, and I realise the same thing happened at Kingsford in ’08. That night I blasted round in 42 minutes (but didn’t win!) while he had a few problems. Last night was a different story – it was nip and tuck between us all the way round and in the end I was lucky to beat him. Good to see that some of us are improving!