Monday, 24 May 2010

Pike O’Blisco Regional Orienteering Event

With clouds on the peaks that promised to lift the Langdale valley played host to the LOC Regional Pike O’Blisco orienteering event. An early registration for this event was required (depending on your start time) due to the start on most of the courses being some 1.5km from registration and about 350m up the path towards the Blisco summit. The trek to the start made for a good warm up though, not that a warm up would make much difference.

I’d been planning to enter this event but hadn’t managed to pre-enter. Uncertain of which course I should attempt I plumped for the Black, the basis being it was no harder than the Blues/Browns just longer (10km as the crow flies). I hadn’t run much this week so I needed a long run out anyway. On meeting a few people in the parking area I was beginning to wonder if Black was the right course for me, one comment being “are you mad!”. I enjoyed the slog to the start as it helped loosen me up as I’ve been suffering lately. Just after 11:00 I lined up at the start and headed off.

Once I looked at the map I had a good idea which direction I thought I should be heading in, just ahead off me was Paul Turner (SELOC Chairman). Then about 50m from the start Paul stepped in some soft bog and his foot came out without his shoe. After stopping to help him recover his shoe from the vacuum that was holding it in the bog I headed for point 1 and decided to take a bearing just to check I’d read the map correctly but for some reason the bearing just seemed VERY wrong. I carried on and found the 1st control then decided to take another bearing. Again it seemed wrong so I head off in the direction I thought I should go. Finding another control (Not the one I wanted) I got the compass out again and this time compared somebody else's version of NORTH to my version of NORTH. It turned out my compass has de/re-magnetised itself and now SOUTH = NORTH.

From here I seemed to drop on to the points quite well with my only problem being speed over the ground, which I knew would be my dis-advantage. I ran the three shires fell race last year so had been around this area a little and able to pick out a few points that I had run over before. After point 6 a long plod over toward Cold Pike again managing quite well to drop on or very close to the controls. By the time I left Cold Pike and started heading for point 18, I was tiring a little and there were quite a few people darting in all directions across the landscape. However point 18 took me a little longer to find after finding two other controls in the same area before the one I actually wanted.

The final few points were dotted around Blake Rigg and Bleaberry Knott and by this time I was tiring, thankful that the last three controls didn’t have much distance between them, then lastly the finish tent and a nice jog back down the hill to the parking area and a cup of tea. Back in the parking field, there was a tent selling cakes. It seemed a shame to pass by the opportunity to eat cake. I resisted the opportunity to clear out the whole stand just buying 3 small cakes. A thoroughly enjoyable event, now if only I can try and speed up a little I can do something about my position!

I finished 19th out of 20 on the Black course in 2hr 28 min which I suppose isn’t too bad, for a 10km


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