So similar to last year the ButtSquad were staying in a 10 man cottage so that everyone could bring their ‘other halves’. The cottage was gorgeous but there was 2xdouble, 2xtwin rooms and then a bunk bed which surprise surprise, Adam and I got. It was a little hard to find, tucked away on a farm near Brimham rocks, causing a few navigational disputes as google directed me who directed Adam up stony steep trials.
Each day we drove in a convoy of two to the events. For the sprint we arrived pretty early to get Adam to his start and as the weather was sunny could enjoy spectating. The elites got to wear SIAir Cards – something I’d never worn before. I went off to the start after the top tips from the parents: ‘It’s really tricky, be careful’ which I probably should have listened to a bit more as I ended up being a hesitant mess on all the levels. Even on legs which I stopped to planned, I still went upstairs to blocked levels! I tried really really hard so was really disappointed with the results becoming a moody little gremlin at the prospect of trying so hard for three more days with similar depressing results.
I went home questioning what little secret everyone else had that I was missing out on to get them round so quick trying to reassure myself I was a ‘forest girl’ and that the standard had improved instead of me getting worse :’). I did however enjoy the course and thought it was good fun.
Each evening we cooked masses of food (probably enough to feed 20 not 10) before playing board games and pissing everyone who didn’t win off. Saturday was the middle distance and to our dismay a long walk to the arena followed by a freezing cold arena on the top of a hill. Another 3 hour wait for me meant we all snuggled up next to a random hay stack to maintain warmth. I left about 15 minutes before my start time not wanting to hang around at the start. The race went okay, some really fast zoom zoom legs where I was just pinging around from control to control but near the end I began to get tired and wasn’t taking anything off the map when I was looking at it. The last couple of controls I fluffed around A LOT and lost a lot of time by stumbling and wiggling around instead of just picking a line and running it. Finished overall in 12th which was just okay but I was already beginning to see the sense in slowing down and orienteering a bit more as I wouldn’t have thought I’d have lost so much time.
Everyone was a bit more tired this evening, I had a little nap but was still grumpy enough to argue over cake, demanding more than what Tom was distributing. Sunday was the day we were all grumbling about the most – with a bus transfer AND then HUAGE distances and climb! It was topped off with very inconsistent weather meaning cagoules were compulsory. Although grumbling about this to begin with about 70 minutes into my course I was so glad to have a hooded cagoule that I could pull over my face and protect my cheeks from the blistering hail. It was so so painful and I didn’t want to look up during this part of the course as A) I wouldn’t have been able to see anything and B) my face would have hurt even more. I made it off the moor feeling like a drowned rat with no feeling in my hands (one was swollen from the cold I presume!!) but to my families amazement i wasn’t too grumpy (WOOOOOO!!) as I had a really good, solid run. Even though it was a long way, I was so proud I hadn’t hit too much of a wall, popping jelly babies the whole time and making sure I actually READ THE MAP and, when I needed too, knew exactly where I was going. I was worried, whilst running, about Harry & Adam & Tom in the cold but thankfully everyone was back okay – Harry had to give up due to borderline hypothermia L. We all shivered our way to the cars and drove back to the cottage for a hot shower and fish & chips!! After the fish and chips we had the traditional Easter Egg hunt around the cottage – surprisingly less fighting than I expected and I got SUCH a good haul of eggs J. We had one final round of the ‘train game’ and some TV before we had to pack up ready for a 6:30 wake up the next day!
We were all in two minds whether to run the next day, Dad getting ill, Tom running a half marathon, Harry dropping out and I was just knackered meant we were all tempted to sack of the relay and just go home! BUT NO…we went along and ran around this little hilly slope just to completely finish ourselves off. It was okay but I’ve never taken the relays that seriously and ran off with Dad WAY TOO FAST. I was glad to finally finish and looked forward to finally getting home – which was a five hour drive away L
A good weekend in all, with the family and in regards to the racing as it helped to reinforce I really do need to orienteer to get around the course FAST –sounds obvious I KNOW.