Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Harvester Trophy - night 'O' and midges!

The 'Harvester Trophy' is Britain's answer to the big Scandanavian based orienteering relays. Two classes (A & B), teams of 7 or 5, half of the legs at night, some at dawn and some in daylight, the split depending on how well the night leg runners do!! There is usually a long day leg to finish.

I've regularly taken part for CLOK over the years - some memorable events include the one at Pembrey Sand Dunes in South Wales - I never knew it could be so hot at night in Britain!

The last event I ran in was in the Derbyshire Peak District in the 5 leg (B) class. My abiding memory was MIDGES!!

Well 2006 and Teviothead near Hawick in the Scottish Borders was just the same. The little blighters drive me to distraction, but don't actually cause any marks or lumps.

I ran first leg this year, as the start time had been shifted to just before dusk, so that there would be sufficient time for people to recover for the Regional event on the Sunday. Went OK, if a little sluggish, and drifted off line a couple of times. I think I would have struggled at night!

Towards the end of the course I was struggling to see the map, and had to put the torch on. My contact lenses were playing up a bit too, and I was having trouble refocusing on the map. My latest pair of glasses were actually a little weaker, so perhaps I'm going to have to follow the path other people have gone down, with one lens for reading and one for running.

The kids had a great time, went to bed very late or very, very late, and seemed to enjoy the camping. I think the Fat Pigs catering van may have also helped their enjoyment!

Sunday's races were fine, recognised some bits from the night before. A few small mistakes, until the last control - my first control on the Harvester the night before - approaching from above rather than below, and totally lost it! 4 minute mistake! Blew all chance of a decent result. Blast!!

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