NWO Westonbirt 8th Jan 23

Excellent day out up north today. Left Taunton in heavy rain, and did think about not going. But glad I did. When I arrived everyone seemed to be wet, but I had a dry run.
I did the brown, which was a massive 10.9km. It was long and fast, tough for anyone who had a heavy Christmas.
In parts it was a bit like running around an urban park. Only made a couple of small mistakes as there were lots of paths and I found the navigating fairly easy.
Had a walk around afterwards. The tree-top walkway was really good.

I was very pleased with my run today, and managed to come 3rd on the Brown. About half way around the course I caught up a BOK runner, but unfortunately could not put a significant lead into him. For my route choice, I mainly opted for the paths, but took a few shortcuts where necessary as I knew that straight speed on the paths is one of my strengths. As I was leapfrogging the BOK runner, between controls, I noted that he often opted for the more direct route, whereas I went for the longer path route, which in the majority of cases resulted in us arriving at the control at the same time.

Jeff giving a wave as he finishes

Phil punching the finish

Roger at the finish

Treetop walk way at Westonbirt

15 QOs headed up the M5 to dodge the rain and take part in the South West League event at Westonbirt, The National Arboretum.

Great results from Bee, who was 4th on Yellow, Ollie who was 3rd on Brown and Tony who came 2nd on Short Green.


Full results | RouteGadget

Yellow (length 2.3km, climb 10m, 9 controls)

4 Bee Hemmings QO M10 27:44
11 Julia Robertson QO W70 44:08

Light Green (length 3.6km, climb 60m, 11 controls)

6 Ailani Braine-Clarke IND W20 41:12

Short Green (length 3.7km, climb 60m, 11 controls)

2 Tony Hext QO M75 38:54
18 John Trayler QO M75 57:03
22 Roger Craddock QO M80 62:46

Green (length 4.6km, climb 70m, 14 controls)

29 Rosie Wych QO W65 48:55

Blue (length 7.1km, climb 90m, 17 controls)

25 Sheila Braine QO W55 59:08
26 Andy Rimes QO M60 59:09
41 Steve Robertson QO M70 67:30
42 Hamish Braine-Clarke QO M18 67:36

Brown (length 10.9km, climb 120m, 25 controls)

3 Oliver Rant QO M21 61:33
26 Richard Sansbury QO M50 77:59
32 Philip Sorrell QO M45 82:26
34 Jeff Pakes QO M50 84:41

To echo Richard, Brown was a long and fast course and I definitely felt like I was carrying a Christmas pudding around with me as I struggled to maintain speed throughout. I was spurred on slightly by crossing paths with Jeff a few times who started behind me - so I had the sense of being chased.

I was perhaps a bit conservative with my route choices in the gloriously runnable forest that was the Arboretum - but otherwise it was straight forward orienteering just keeping focus on all the paths.

Bee had a good run on Yellow - just a minor navigational error and he even ran quite a bit, so he deserved his 4th place.

Afterwards we joined the rest of the family for lunch in the cafe then had a wander to see the giant redwood.