Brown course at Ightham. A really nice, quite technical area, tough going in places due to the late-May vegetation growth, but few brambles or nettles. I had a good race, although my general pace was a little slow, especially near the beginning as I was tired from biking to the event. I picked up speed later on though, and finished with too much energy to spare.
I made just one significant technical mistake – I failed to hit a pit in a green area, to be fair it was a bit of a bingo control.
As mentioned above, my start was slow, and although I didn’t make any bad route choices or get lost, I took longer than I should have. I exited 2 poorly, not seeing a path above, and getting stuck in some green. I hit 6 before 5 – but the two were only 100m from each other, and indeed the location of 6 was useful for finding 5. I failed to pick up my intended path from 6 to 7, and hand to climb up a steep bank. Leaving 9 my direction was poor – 30 degrees too far left, which meant I had to go very slow as 10 was technical.
11 was a great leg – I beat my peers here. 14-15 was an untimed road crossing leg, which I needlessly rushed. And 15-16 was very poor – more walking up a big bank, followed by the aforementioned bingo control. From then on it was flat and straightfoward. Took a bit of a tumble as I was speeding up for the penultimate leg. Was annoyed to find I’d kept too much energy in reserve as I sprinted for the finish.
Overall, I’m pleased with the result – I just wish I’d paced myself better. A nice SAX area – I’ve been to a succession of not great areas in Kent, but this (and Eridge) prove that, sometimes, Kent does have worthy orienteering areas.
Selected Results (39 starters, 34 finishers)
1st Paul Nixon 57:37 (great time!)
3rd Simon Evans 61:06
7th Simon Errington 65:35
8th Ollie O’Brien 65:59
10th Don McKerrow 71:01