Friday, June 02, 2006

York City Park Race on Bank Holiday Monday

The idea of sprinting around the city centre of York may seem like a daft idea at the best of times, but doing it whilst orienteering on Whit Bank Holiday Monday - utter madness! But it works!! Alongside the JOK Chasing Sprint, this must be my favourite event in the 'O'-calendar.

OK, so I didn't do that well - perhaps 3 hours on the bike in the wind on Saturday and a 10k race the day before probably took the edge off these old legs of mine - but what the heck! Still, missed a couple of the 'puzzles' set by the planner Steve W - well OK, more than a couple - but that's what makes it so much fun. Lessons learnt - read the descriptions more carefully and try to spot the alternatives more quickly.

Dashed off at the start up the street, when the snickleway could have saved a few seconds to no.1. I knew where no.2 was (Whip-ma-whop-ma Gate), but still ran down the Shambles for the hell of it, when the road to the E would have been quieter and quicker. Now to get to 3 I totally didn't see the option of retracing my steps nearly back to 2 and going down the main road. In my defence, I executed my choice well (ie via Cliffords Tower), but it was a good 3/4 of a minute slower.

And so to no.6 - the description did say 'below high wall', which should have alerted me to the problem, but in addition, I just didn't see the loop route round to the west. I lost so much time at this control, trying to find a way in - some 3 mins on the fastest and some 2 mins or more on my 'peers'. Was the control very clever, or too clever to be fair? I guess it depends on whether you spotted the problem or not!

It's always nice to get a bit of 'park' in these races, and Rowntree Park is very pleasant - even managed to go to 11 before 10 - and at least I didn't miss the loop out completely like Charles M (his map fold was in the wrong place and went straight from 6 to 12!).

The next few were fine, but my calves still start to cramp up a bit (too much exercise in the previous 2 days, and not enough to drink either) so I had to ease off the pace a little. Missed 17 in the coal bunker, but not by as much as some, and ran straight past 18 (within 6 inches!), much to the amusement of Chris P who was 'guarding' it.

Ran quite hard to the finish, through the busiest shopping streets in York, but a bit off the pace.

Shadowed middle daughter round the Junior course, which had more controls in the city centre and snickelways than the main races - pity some these couldn't have been fitted into our course.

Managed to miss eldest daughter getting her prize at the prizegiving - shame it was held 15 mins early, as I was just killing time in the Museum Gardens with the youngest two and could easily have got back if we had known!

Finished the day off by taking the youngest two on the Yorkshire Wheel at the National Rail Museum - a good experience, even if I ended up drenched with nervous sweat! Nothing like confronting your demons!!

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