My final “regular” race this season, and a warmup for the Scottish 6-Day International Festival of Orienteering. Normally in late July, most forests would be consumed with undergrowth, however Thorndon North, a large forested country park just south of Brentwood in Essex, was in fine condition, with a maze of paths in the northern section providing a real challenge, and a pleasing range of terrain to provide a slight mental and physical test. And my technical skills that were just as rusty as my physical ones – my worst mistakes were at the first and the last controls – a hesitation due to mispacing at the first meant I remained too far up a bank and not far enough around. The last control was marred by distractions of walkers, a bearing error and some ambiguity in the mapping. This was my most serious mistake and I wasted 4-5 minutes here.
My time: 61:50 for a 6.39km Blue course with 90m of climb. The winner took 45:17.