Tilgate Forest SO District Event, 15 Jan

Tilgate Forest map extractCross posted from Attackpoint

Overcast, but not too cold today. This should have been an area I did well on – reasonably technical and flat – but I made too many mistakes, and also cramped up. The area was full of paths and differing vegetation – in fact it was quite difficult to read the map in places. Or maybe my eyesight’s just getting worse…

I got off to a good start running hard as I had another runner right behind me. Unfortunately I was running too fast to read the map properly, and so towards No. 6 I thought I was on a parallel track, so wasted a few seconds looking for a non-existent feature… 6-7 was a long leg – over 1km. My feet started to cramp up badly here which was very painful. This is not something that has happened before, and may be a combination of running hard in my cheap backup shoes (my regular ones were still covered in mud from Eridge) and tieing up the shoes too tight. From 7 to 8, I stopped for a clear 3 minutes to redo the laces and try and get rid of the cramp – it worked, but I had lost a lot of time by that point.

Control 11 was tricky, planted very low in a small ditch – a bit of a bingo control. For 12, I made a map-reading mistake and somehow ended up on the wrong side of a lake, and for 13, I got stuck in a thicket. Then followed a number of mistakes due to tiredness and poor route choice. None of these mistakes cost me more than a minute each, but they all add up… The worst one was at 19, where I first came out east when I meant to go north; then didn’t aim off, turning away in the wrong direction from my “attack point.” Finally, the 460m, slightly uphill run-in was a bit of a killer.

All in all, really not good a race at all. I much preferred the mud-bath at Eridge last week, although few would agree. Next event, I’ll use my proper O-shoes, tie them loosely and try and get a proper meal before the race!

Simon Evans had a storming run and came in in 59:38. He beat me on every leg bar one. One to watch this season.

Mistake analysis:
6 – Parallel error
7 – Hesitation (foot cramp)
8 – Hesitation (foot cramp)
12 – Poor map reading
13 – Unanticipated hazard
14 – Fatigue
17 – Poor route choice
19 – Poor navigation, poor attack point

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