Inspired by a discussion at Attackpoint, I’m going for a modest (i.e. achievable) New Year’s resolution for 2006: 50-50-50.
- 50 hours of competitive orienteering.
- 50 hours of training (probably mainly spinning in the gym.)
- 50 hours of long-distance bike rides (i.e. >1 hour/day.)
That’s just under an hour a week for each of these. I’ll code a progress pictograph for the website here once I’ve got a decent number of hours under the belt.
Michael writes about the perfect Christmas gift for any orienteering-obsessed family – a personalised orienteering map of the house and garden.
With this in mind, I downloaded the Adobe Illustrator CS demo for Mac, the excellent free Map Studio, and some old site plan PDFs from the local council planning department. One quick survey in the snow this afternoon, followed by a bit of experimentation in Illustrator, and the result – one personal orienteering map. I reckon I could just about get a sprint race out of this map…
The full size version, is here. Note, this is the first time I’ve done a map from scratch, so bear in mind there are some “spatial scale fluctuations.”
The annual “Festive Frolic” put on by my old club, ELO was this morning. This year, for the first time, it was at the John Muir Country Park (rather than Yellowcraig) and was on a newly updated map – half the map is on a flat plantation, and the other half is on the changing dunes of “Spike Island”. This year’s race was “Sud-O-Ku” – going to each control on the score reveals a symbol (with coordinate) to be added to a grid – once all the controls are done, the Sudoku puzzle can be solved and the first back with a completed puzzle is the winner. However, 50 other features on the map were flagged with tinsel and another symbol and coordinate, so if you couldn’t do the puzzle, you could run around hoping to see as many of these as possible. In the end, I spent too long trying to find the extra tinsel features, and by the time I sat down to solve the puzzle, it was too easy – and others were already back. One of them was Jamie Stevenson, the British Champion and UK squad member – he didn’t win. Once again, nice weather – cold, with a bit of snow in the air, but no rain or gloom. The complementary soup at the end was timely, though.
The countries I’ve visited in Europe (via Alex.)
Create your own one here.
(The Lithuania highlight is slightly cheating, as I haven’t been there yet – but I’ll be there in July 2006 for the JWOC spectator races and JOK tour.)
Scotland – 1980+
England – 1990+
France – 1992, 1993, 2003
Iceland – 1994
Netherlands – 1998
Germany – 1998
Austria – 1998
Italy – 1998
Spain – 2001, 2003, 2005
Switzerland – 2001
Wales – 2001, 2002
Sweden – 2002, 2004, 2005
Greece – 2002
Lithuania – 2006
(Visits that were primarily orienteering in bold.)
After last week’s walk to the start and then painful limp home, my sprain seemed to have fixed itself more quickly. So, it was yet another cold crisp morning that found me in yet another South East London forest.
I ran down a course – Blue, so as not to push my luck with the sprain – however I didn’t feel a thing until I stepped awkwardly on a log on the way to No. 2. I went very gingerly to 3 and 4, deciding to retire, before changing my mind as the pain quickly went away this time – and went on to finish 3rd out of 25 on the course – however, this is more symptomatic of the quality of competition on a Blue standard course instead of my normal Brown – I wasted at least 5-6 minutes between 2 and 4 due to worrying about the injury, and my pace was 10+mpk – I would normally do 8-9 on an area like that.
Joydens Wood is not a great area – it has a lovely central section with fast, pleasant running (it was yet another cold, crisp and sunny day) but most of the rest of the forest is covered in thick vegetation, even in December. Also there were a couple of map inconsistencies and a real bingo control at one point. Still, it was nice to get out of the house and around another new map.
Joydens Wood has a famous dyke running through it that was built 1400 years ago to keep the (Roman) Londoners out of Saxon Kent! The planner had some fun and routed the final couple of controls directly up the dyke – nice!
1: Poor mapping [misleading detail around control]
2: Hesitation [injury!]
3: Hesitation/Poor route choice [quickly learnt to avoid all marked undergrowth on this map]
4: Hesitation [almost retired here]
10: Bingo control [in a pit in featureless, dense undergrowth]
11: Map-reading error
12: Poor mapping [control was 70m SE of indicated location, in gully]
14: Poor route choice/Navigational error
Most of these mistakes were pretty minor, still 8 on a 15 control course in an easy area – I’m clearly slacking at the moment! Mind you, 3 were through no fault of my own, so not the greatest map either.
Plenty of orienteering weblogs out there now, including quite a few UK amateurs ones like YepSport. Blogs are so 2004 though, the current buzzword is of course podcasting. Think weblogs for your ears.
Not many orienteering podcasts yet – searching for “orienteering” in iTunes reveals just two possibilities – Mat Dickinson’s Orienteering Sport Now has one test episode, and the latest Jim Dupree: Enthusiast videocast, Episode 8, is entitled: Jim Dupree: Orienteering Enthusiast – it’s actually pretty funny, although not very much to do with orienteering! Here’s the orienteering page on Podcast.net – looking a little empty.
Hopefully there’ll be more to come…
It’s suddenly just got much darker, just as I’ve got home from today’s race. Here’s why – a huge black cloud from an oil fire is spreading over London. Amazing satellite picture from the BBC here. It’s getting dark anyway at this time of day (4pm) but it’s like it went from day to night in about 2 minutes.
Made it to the assembly field of today’s event (Blackheath & Farley Heath, Surrey) but no further – a dash between trains on the way to the event resulted in much ankle pain on my right foot – dull pain when still, fine when walking, instant agony when running. I’ve managed to twist that ankle at least once at each of the previous four races (Kyloe, Epping, Esher and Banstead) so it was only a matter of time – I can’t put all the blame on Southern Trains’ cancelled train I guess. Anyway it was a nice walk to the start along country roads, the morning mist gradually burning away to leave the beautiful rolling Surrey countryside looking crisp and postcard-y. Looks like Christmas will be R&R after all – my next race will probably be in the New Year, although I might be able to hobble around Hedderwick Hill on the 27th.
A real cross country area, one glance at the map was enough to confirm the pace was fast. In the end, I didn’t really force myself to go as fast as I should have – but the map did have enough technical sections for proper orienteering. One particularly technical section, in a mine-field of pits, caused me a 3-4 minute mistake and a relocation. Shame there wasn’t much competition on the Brown course – the course was virtually deserted the entire way around. One of the most beautiful areas I have ever had the pleasure to run on, with enough technical sections to make it interesting – just very fast. Weather was good – a cold, crisp and sunny day, quite wet underfoot.
2: Parallel Error
8: Parallel Error
14: Navigational Error
17: Navigational Error
18: Poor Mapreading (Relocation)
2, 17 and 18 are all on the extract above. Fantastic detail in this section of the map.
The results for the Micro-O section of the Esher Commons orienteering event finally provide a definitive, unbiased answer to the age old question.
Out of the 91 men completing the MicroO course, 24 (26%) made no mistakes. But out of the 28 women competing, only 2 (7%) had a clean sheet.
The statistics speak for themselves…