This was a part of the New Forest I haven’t run in before. Got a lift from Southampton (where I was out the night before) – many thanks to distracted and OUOC. Arrived very hungover and sleep-deprived and having only eaten two bowls of cereal in the last 24 hours, so I decided to do the short course.
I always like running in the New Forest, it is big, open and scenic, with ponies and the odd wild boar roaming free – and it’s all mapped. Today’s map was not technical, but it was beautiful to run in, with beautiful vistas, fast moor and varied woodland. Plus it was crisp and sunny, and not too cold for February.
I took it fairly easy for most of the race, careful not to aggravate the pain, and allowed an injury-hit distracted to still beat me by 4 minutes. What a world of difference from last weekend though – today I made no serious mistakes and only one that cost me more than a minute (and it was only because I was being lazy.)
The uphill finish was a sting in the tail but didn’t detract too much from an enjoyable, if technically easy, race.
A comment on map colouring for planners and mapping experts: For “semi-open”, please do white dots on orange, not the other way around! It was the other way around on today’s map and it meant the semi-open was virtually indistinguishable from white forest, while of course being different on the ground – and definitely threw me off my navigation in a couple of places.
Leg 10: Hesitation
Leg 19: Poor navigation
Leg 20: Poor map-reading