Joydens & Chalk Woods DFOK District Event, 18 December

Joydens Wood extractAfter last week’s walk to the start and then painful limp home, my sprain seemed to have fixed itself more quickly. So, it was yet another cold crisp morning that found me in yet another South East London forest.

I ran down a course – Blue, so as not to push my luck with the sprain – however I didn’t feel a thing until I stepped awkwardly on a log on the way to No. 2. I went very gingerly to 3 and 4, deciding to retire, before changing my mind as the pain quickly went away this time – and went on to finish 3rd out of 25 on the course – however, this is more symptomatic of the quality of competition on a Blue standard course instead of my normal Brown – I wasted at least 5-6 minutes between 2 and 4 due to worrying about the injury, and my pace was 10+mpk – I would normally do 8-9 on an area like that.

Joydens Wood is not a great area – it has a lovely central section with fast, pleasant running (it was yet another cold, crisp and sunny day) but most of the rest of the forest is covered in thick vegetation, even in December. Also there were a couple of map inconsistencies and a real bingo control at one point. Still, it was nice to get out of the house and around another new map.

Joydens Wood has a famous dyke running through it that was built 1400 years ago to keep the (Roman) Londoners out of Saxon Kent! The planner had some fun and routed the final couple of controls directly up the dyke – nice!

Mistake analysis:
1: Poor mapping [misleading detail around control]
2: Hesitation [injury!]
3: Hesitation/Poor route choice [quickly learnt to avoid all marked undergrowth on this map]
4: Hesitation [almost retired here]
10: Bingo control [in a pit in featureless, dense undergrowth]
11: Map-reading error
12: Poor mapping [control was 70m SE of indicated location, in gully]
14: Poor route choice/Navigational error

Most of these mistakes were pretty minor, still 8 on a 15 control course in an easy area – I’m clearly slacking at the moment! Mind you, 3 were through no fault of my own, so not the greatest map either.

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