Heavy rain showers failed to put off a good number of orienteers from descending to New Park, in the New Forest for the November Classic.
1 - 13.5 km / 100 m climb
3 - 9.8 km / 70 m climb
4 - 8.5 km / 45 m climb
6 - 5.1 km / 45 m climb
7 - 4 km / 35 m climb
8 - 3.4 km / 35 m climb
9 - 3.7 km / 35 m climb
I had a fairly early start, so I managed to avoid a lot of the heavier rain showers whilst on the course.
Unfortunately, some significant restrictions from Natural England / Forestry England meant big areas that were out of bounds, which resulted in quite a bit of path running on legs already sore from the previous day, and there were a fair few legs where the best route was on paths. There were however a nice stretch of controls in the West and then in the East area which were interesting.
Things were going ok until around control 10 when I caught up with another runner whilst also being caught up by a runner from behind. The combined hassle and bustle meant I was pulled off line at control 13 and 16 by other runners, but I was able to find some space and get back into a rhythm for the rest of the course.
I prefer my forests a bit more grotty (I loved Cookworthy in Devon), but it was an enjoyable race, and ever-sobering to run against runners from across the country.
It was indeed a high standard for all the classes drawing in elite runners for several top competitions. Good result Phil picking up some handy ranking points no doubt. My run was mostly good and I somehow felt strong towards the last few controls but with one notable error worth sharing. Control #131 was on three courses 2,3 and 4 and looked on the map to be the easiest of the day but so many runners including at the highest level had trouble here. Being on the edge of the veg boundary I went to what I thought were the outside corners but no control and there were three of us searching. In the end I thought the control must have been stolen so started looking higher for taping and noticed some head height on a shrub, just in the open about 3m away from what looked like the corner. The control was tucked in tight and only visible by running outside the shrub. My annoyance was spending so much time searching a wider area inside the forest part compared to others and not stopping, further to that I saw @Jeff.Pakes leaving the site as I arrived in the area. On Routegadget I had a look at others and found that out of 43 routes, 17 people had similar problems here. A couple of screenshots show the mayhem…
@BrianJP for that control we were coming from the west. There were a few of us in formation - we went partially around (to the North) of the vegetation cutting off a bit and it was fairly clear as we ran around.
Sadly the ranking points from neither event has benefited my rankings!
Some run-in photos of Ollie, Roger, Jeff, Martin and Karen
(@craddocktaunton @Jeff.Pakes @KarenLewis)
He flew to the finish! He seemed happy after his run.