I didn’t enjoy this event, I have to say. It was flat and fast, and contained some areas of interesting technicality, but the map had some significant mistakes in it which impacted my run a lot. In addition, some legs were pretty uninspiring, there was one 800m leg which followed electricity pylons for pretty much the whole way, and another tedious section whcih involved going between a large road and a motorway – a necessity as the
M4 M3 bisects a lot of maps around here, but still frustrating. In addition, the more interesting parts of the map (the SW section) was largely ignored by the planner, for my course.
The extract shows one of the more interesting parts of the map, rather that one of my big mistakes (see below.) Number 15 was reached by following an unmarked path that appeared to be 100m further north than where it was. And Number 17, on the top left of the extract, was made confusing as there were 3, not 2, obvious paths radiating west from the road’s car park. If you look carefully, you can see the third as a narrow ride, whereas in reality it was just as big as the other two.
I made a massive mistake from 3 to 4, following an unmarked “linear marsh” rather than the marked one, and ending up 300m too far SW, as the second extract here indicates. Comparing my splits with other similar runners (OUOC were out in force) I lost just over 5 minutes here – compounded by running an interesting way back to No. 4 once I worked out where I was, to avoid the stream of people coming the other way (nothing more embarrasing…)
For running M21S, a 7.4km course with a pleasant 95m of climbing, I took a not-great 67:36, or 9.1 mins/km.