I caught sight of the area as we were driving around the North side. The first thing that struck me was that the rough open slope to the north wasn’t nearly as steep as I expected. I had geeked using the 1:15000 map and completely misinterpreted the slope. I think this was because I normally run on 1:10000 or 1:7500, and contours that close together on those scales mean steep.
The M45 course was plenty long and technical enough. My routegadget trace is here (course 13, Richard Lecky-Thompson + GPS). The first three controls providing a real challenge. Leg 3 was especially tricky, with lots of extra ditches and strange vegetation that made getting to the control very tricky. For a while I was sure I had gone down the wrong side of the block of green, because of the ditches, but found the control when I expected – pretty lucky really.
I knew I had to be careful in the birch forest/open area. I was slightly confused by the vegetation out there. There were lots of blocks of trees that weren’t marked, and I had missed the sign at the start saying this. Comparing the paper map with the one on routegadget there are significant differences. I don’t really understand what went wrong there. The effect it had on me was to begin to distrust the map and get annoyed with the mapper and the course. Clearly this wasn’t going to help and I tried hard to put this out of my mind. Luckily, the map was better through the rest of the course.
What did I learn from this event?
- Even at big events, the map can be wrong – but I need to control my response to that
- It is worth considering routes through walk and light green forest – I didn’t spot that most of the green on the map was walk rather than fight – see leg 9-10
I finished the day tired, but not exhausted. With a slightly sore knee from a fall, I was a bit concerned about Craig a Barns.