For once, spring like conditions prevailed and we were racing in shorts and T-shirt (I wore the brightest one I owned, for all the road crossings we were likely to encounter). I’d not done any running at all in the week – my right quad was just too stiff – but after an extensive warm-up I didn’t notice it at all. I wore a lightweight compression sleeve on my thighs but in retrospect they were not enough.
After a bit of confusion at the start about which course I was doing (d’oh), I forgot to start my Garmin (d’oh again), until about 10 minutes in when I glanced at it and realised it wasn’t ticking away. Quickly into my stride around the University Science Area I immediately hit a dead end – something to pay attention to on this course – but after that I had a pretty good run. Didn’t bother carrying a compass, but I had a route description holder on my arm. With 43 controls, the type was tiny and hard to read though. Overshot a couple of controls, and took some long routes through the colleges we were using to avoid getting trapped in any more dead-ends. There was a moment of amusement in LMH when I ran through a portrait shot – it was a Degree Day and graduates were having their photos done for the parents – but I don’t think I can have been the only orienteer to have interrupted that particular photo shoot. Clearly I was getting tired towards the end as I navigated myself around three sides of a football pitch instead of one to get to the penultimate control, I think with 43 controls I’d had enough!
I ended up tieing for 27th place on my course, out of 77 finishers, and 22nd in my M40 age group, so not too bad, although this city race played into my fast running ability. OUOC’s webpage for the race is HERE. There seems to be a city race series in the south and this one was fun but but I’m not sure I’ll have much time to go to any others with other racing taking precedent through the summer.