Wow that was a hectic November with two weekends away, lots of races and a run up the Old Man of Coniston last Sunday in the snow!
Blorenge Fell Race Report - by Megan Carter-Davies
Ben, Michael and I headed to Abergavenny today for the Blorenge race today, a brutal 400m climb in 1.5km followed by a slightly nicer descent over 2.5km. After some very nervous warming up (when you know how much pain and grim-ness you’re about to put yourself through!), we started alongside many fellow Welshies. Ben led the way from the start, Micheal not far behind and me in the second pack. I managed to keep up the running most of the way through the steep forest then we hit the open fell where it gets even steeper and it becomes a walking race! By this point Ben had pulled out a big lead, Michael was somewhere in the front group and I was in 10th. Quads burning, I eventually made it to the top, enjoyed a very brief glance at the view all around (including Skirrid, another Abergavenny hill with a fell race 16th December) then began the winding descent. I managed to overtake one guy and almost caught another at the very bottom but just didn’t have enough room. Anyway, prizes all around!
Ben was first, just 7s off the record, Michael was 5th and first under 23, and I was 9th, first lady and 18s off the female record. We’ll have to try harder next time ;) We’re sorted for New Year’s Eve with some well earned champagne and a very well selected Toblerone (Michael!)!
Southern Night Orienteering Championships Report - by Matt Pickering
It was with dreams of becoming Southern champion and a bootful of trophies that we approached Penn Common for the Southern night championships. Dobra had promised us a cloudy but dry night but by the time we pulled in to Oxford to pick up Kit that was clearly not going to be the case. A damp drizzle had set over Penn Wood and a light fog meant visibility with head torches was dropping. The sequence: Matt then Tom at six minutes then Kit at 10 minutes. The catch: At control 9 on the earthbank, Dobra catches Matt and charges off on bearing into a patch of low visibility forest hunting for a depression. The breakup: Control 11, Matt drags Tom off line for a 10 minute parallel mistake. The reunion: Control 12, we find Kit looking for 9. After these few brief moments together, the union was broken. Each went their separate ways to only catch fleeting glances of bobbing headlights for the remaining part of the course. I was first back to the warn glow of the village hall, followed by Kit who had retired and then Tom. Two breakfast baps later the boys were back on their way to Bristol looking forward to the next championships and wondering what might have been if Big Purks had showed up.
Brierley Race Report - by Sophie Gordon
Tom and Matt were straight out in the forest again on Sunday morning along with Meredith and Sophie to see what Brierley had to offer us - as it turned out, about 25% lovely soft runnable pine underfoot and the rest Matt’s favourite ‘dirty NGOC forest’. I ran the Blue and was smashing it until control 9 where I spent 15 minutes wandering around, then fine until control 17 where I killed my chances spending another 15 minutes going up and down the wrong gully. Quite amusing when I ended up in a herd of Blue runners following each other towards the end and cut through some green forest to try and lose them - then heard some branches cracking behind me and realised they had all tried to follow me! There was some tight competition between Matt and Tom, who finished 10th and 11th respectively on the Brown with only 23 seconds between them. Unfortunately Meredith Moody doesn’t appear in the results, but a suspiciously similarly-named ‘Meridith Woody’ was successful on the Green course, coming 22nd of 68. Results and routegadget.