After my shambles at the World Cup spectator races, I needed to redeem myself, and so made the journey, after work on a Wednesday evening, out to Romford and this local event. I do like summer local events, the pressure is off, it’s often warm and sunny and the maps are very different to those used in the high-power spring events.
This was a score event with a twist – you had one hour, during which you had to do 11 controls in any order, come back and copy down (and then get) up to 11 more. I managed to get a pleasing 18 (out of 22) controls, finishing under the whole and so escaping a time penalty. I was delighted to learn that I came second out of 23 runners – I got the same number of controls as the winner, but we was back just faster than I was – the tie break. The winner got 180 points in 55:48, I got 180 in 57:03. And this was despite a large blunder I made early on, and also a couple minutes of confusion after a control code didn’t match what I expected.
The only down-side, apart from some serious vegetation in some sections (inevitable for late May in southern England) was that it took me two hours to get there, and two hours to get back – mainly as I had to walk in to the event – no bikes allowed on trains during the commuter rush-hour!
Note my mistake on the extract – I had planned to run from controls 5 to 7, not realising that the fence is surrounded by an uncrossable fence around the deer park. I had to do some on-the-fly route replanning there. My main mistake was approaching control 4 from the north-east – I somehow ended up at control 18 (although I didn’t know it at the time.)