Race 7: Hogsmill Open Space

This was an evening race put on by Mole Valley as part of the London summer evening orienteering series. Hogsmill is down by Ewell, and getting there involved a commute on a packed train from Waterloo. I am so glad I don’t have to do this every weekday.

The map is very small, but excellent planning squeezed out a 4.7km course which felt a lot like a sprint race – there were plenty of route choice legs, and “tricks” – including one where the straight line led straight across a bridge, only to later recross the river, with no bridge in sight. I ended up having to double back for this one. Another leg had a choice of running through the streets, or a straighter but trickier course through woodland. I took the former route which paid off, I think – but then found myself stuck on the wrong side of a high fence, having not read ahead carefully enough. Also at this time of year, “white” forest was often actually an impenetrable sea of nettles. The locals also proved an interesting distraction – a groups of girls blocking a crucial set of stepping stones, and the local stoned youth enquiring as to the nature of the sport.

These challenges notwithstanding, I had a good race, running hard as I knew Ed was somewhere behind me. In the end, he beat me by three minutes. Nick B was only a minute ahead of me, having also made some small mistakes.

A real sprint classic! Still waiting on the results list due to “technical problems” but I think I finished a good third.

N.B. These race articles compliment my training/race log, which includes mistake analysis, ratings, times and distances.

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