Monday, 5 October 2009

Hu og Hei!

I think that really is just about it for orienteering this year. As I write this, it's snowing outside my home and there is around 20cm of snow up in some areas of the forest.

This weekend was the Hu og Hei race. Saturday is a 30 minute ish random event where you have to get any 5 (out of about 20) controls in the fastest time. Sunday is a chasing start. However, its next to irrelevant as the course is 30km through the marshy forests. Winning time is around 4-5 hours (very impressive given the actual distance covered is nearing 40km and including probably 1000m climb). Some take over 8 hours, including a former world o-champion, who is now nearly 70 and flew from Oslo to take part! He's run the race 40 times, which is about the distance of a Olso-Trondheim return trip. True legend.

Needless to say, I didn't compete. I helped with the food station. But I did manage to get out for a run myself with a map both days.

On Saturday I ran some of the course for the Middle-Norway Championships from 2008. I wanted to correct the mistakes that I had made that time. Last year I had got lost on the way to number 1 although I found it ok once in the circle. This time it was the opposite! I ran awesomly on the straight line ticking off features and then at the last moment saw a flag on a boulder just beyond the control. I ran to that before realising that it was for a completely different event. I did two things wrong. Firstly I didn't quite realise I was in the long marsh before the control. A bit more difficult to pick out than I expected. Secondly, I had over simplified and just expected to run into a steepish reentrant slope rather than realising it was on a different level to the other crags.

Previously on 3 I had lost serious amounts of time by having no real plan. This time I nailed it. The key was hopping between marshes. Boosch.

I tried a bit of map memory to 4. I ran down the path and memorised the route in. It worked fine until I was about 100m in the white (i.e. just running straight down the marsh). I continued giving myself only 3 chances to look at the map. I found the control, but it was definitely not quicker!

I took some controls on the last loop in reverse order on the way back to my bike. I hadn't done these at all in 2008 because I went over on my ankle. Was keen to do a few legs in greener low visability forest. I nailed both 14 and 13, just ticking off everything on the compass and being very disciplined. Before next year, I need to be doing that at speed.

On Sunday I ran higher up in the forest. I just took 4 controls as I only had an hour and I had to run to the start and then all the way back. I navigated very well to all of them, though a bit to the left on number 1. The most interesting was route choice to number 2. I hit the bend in the track and then came in along various marshes. I don't know if its one of those awesome choices or plain stupid. The good thing was that I didn't have too much climb and it was a better way into the control. But it was a fair bit of extra distance, especially on a 1:15000 map.


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