This was another in the TVOC Summer Evening series. Park Wood is just north of High Wycombe, it’s not an area I’ve been on before, but it’s near Hughenden which I did run on last year. Just like Hughenden, it’s a hilly map, with runnable forest mixed with plenty of green areas.
The race was a mass start, two loop race, your loop and the direction being randomised. This allowed for eight possible course combinations. I had the short loop first. Unfortunately, I misread the map on picking it up, and started off the wrong way around the loop. A high hedge prevented a quick correction, but in the end it was not so bad. The second loop was far longer, and I had Jon M on my tail (or ahead) for much of the way around, so I kept the pace up. I had a couple of unconventional route choices, and a couple of shortcuts that didn’t pay off, but I got around OK in the end and finished a pleasing third (on the A course) – the same position that I had finished in at the last TVOC summer evening race the week before.
My leg from 10 to 11 – the final big leg before the finish, and a downhill one – was an unusual one routewise. Convinced that Jon M was right behind me, I ran along the path, turning right and heading quickly down. However it was the wrong path – I took the first one down, rather than the long, wiggly one. I was the only person to do this route I think, however in the end it was probably the best route – once dropping unexpectedly on to the field junction and reorientating myself, I just had to contour through the fast field. The fence at the end was a little worrying but it proved to be not so high after all once I got there.
All in all a good race, finished up with some tasty food at the local pub, conveniently only a few hundred yards away.
Here’s an extract of the map from the previous week’s summer series event, at Hodgemoor Woods near Seer Green. Another new area for me, it was flat and generally fast, but with some vague contour features ensuring I made three mistakes in a row in the middle section. One of these mistakes was approaching the control in the extract here – I ran fast into the area from the north, overshooting and spending a while in the light green.