Saturday saw me up bright and early heading to the Chilterns for the first Dynamic Adventure of the winter. Format is 2 hour orienteer, 3 hour mountain bike and 1.5 hour night nav, all with an hour between (assuming you complete in the allocated time) all point based. The weather was pretty grim but I maintained positive thoughts ‘how else would I manage the best part of 7 hours training in this weather’…
I was racing in a pair with a friend who I was teaching to navigate — so for once I was gonna be following and have the joys of not marking up maps between sections. We set off on the orienteering event in a gale and pissing rain – lovely. All going well, managed all but 4 controls and only got lost once due to Rob taking a direct line through a wood rather than a longer but faster and easier to navigate route – think he learnt his lesson. Final checkpoint and we had 9 mins to get back … ‘how far is it Rob ?’ ‘About a mile’ came the response … ‘is that slightly more or slightly less than a mile since it makes quite a difference to the speed we need to run’ … he concluded slightly more so we started sprinting … 4 mins later we established it was slightly less and were able to jog in.
Next was the 3 hour mountain bike orienteering. This was excellent fun though it’s the mudiest I have ever been. Some of the decents were super slick in the mud and quite a thrill — hurtling down and at times having move wheels sliding down a slope perpendicular to your direction of travel (hope you get the picture). Here we’d chosen a none too ambitous route – all but 4 checkpoints with 10 minutes to spare. A mate managed to clear the course !
Finally – night nav – the highlight of the event and the rain had stopped. Rob managed superbly on this including running through a pitch black wood on a bearing and hitting the exit bang on – it’s great when a plan comes together. We went a little wrong towards the last checkpoint largely due to my encouraging him to navigate quicker and whilst on the hoof. This time there was no question that we were out of time and had an all out sprint for the last mile to finish 2 minutes over and utterly exhausted. Spag bog with pitta has never tasted so good ;o)
Fantastic day out. I can totally recommend these events for abit of an alternative training day. You can do it in teams of 3 so you only need one navigator. The next one I plan to do is in the New Forest on March 20th (i think). This involves no technical mountain biking and the running is more on forest bridleways rather than outright off road. I did the New Forest race earlier this year and it was great. If anyones interested we could look into fielding some teams.