Kyloe Weekend I: Greensheen & Cockenheugh NATO Middle Distance Race, 12 November

Greensheen & Cockenheugh Map ExtractI got an early morning train up to Berwick-upon-Tweed on Saturday, for a middle distance race in the afternoon (the Veteran Home International Relays were in the morning) at Greensheen & Cockenheugh – just south of the Kyloe Hills. The race just happened to be the JOK Club Championships 2005 too, my handicap for this year was 12 minutes (the time subtracted from my real time to calculate my handicap position.) It was an adventure just getting to the car park, and on stepping out of the car, my dad (my parents were down for the day) declined the offer of a run. Once out on the hill, it wasn’t too bad though – first a straightfoward section in fast forest, followed by a very linear but interesting section across a steep hill filled with giant, interesting looking boulders. I then passed by St Cuthbert’s Cave (see the map extract here) somehow missing a large track to the south and wasting a few minutes bearing right, up the hill, almost going to No. 14 before my intended control No. 9. Coutour creep is a standard orienteering mistake but normally one ends up too low, not too high… As this was a middle distance race, these few minutes cost me a valuable number of places. The second half was on steep moorland, which wasn’t too bad, although the biting cold wind started to be felt again.

All in all a nice little area. The options available to the planner are somewhat limited due to the area’s size and safety concerns with teh clifs and boulders, but I enjoyed it, and had a good run overall considering this was my first serious run for five weeks.

I took 50:24 for the 5.3km course with 130m of climbing. I think I lost 90 seconds each at Nos. 2 and 5, and 4 minutes with my bad route choice/deviation at No. 9, so my mistakeless time would have been around 43 minutes.

Mistake summary:
2: Navigational error
5: Poor mapping
9: Navigational error/map reading error

Lindesfarne Priory at SunsetAfter the event the tide was just going out so my parents and I headed across the causeway to Lindesfarne to catch the sun going down through the ruins of the Priory, and the grant castle on the point on the island. It was all rather nice. I vaguely remember when I was last there – about 15 years ago.

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