The Airenteers night orienteering kicked off this week, with the first event of the informal training race series on Wednesday. Stu and I popped along to Adel Woods for a 45 minute score event. Stu raced with his wife Roise while I ran solo. There was a fantastic turnout of some 50 runners, including Pete from my local running club Roundhay runners giving it a go for the first time.
I was pleased to finish with just 2 seconds to spare, and even more pleased to discover I was placed first overall. A few mistakes with navigation (but less than Stu and Rosie!), but on the whole a successful training day.
I used my new Silva trail plus head torch, which was very comfortable top run with, due to the light, stable head unit and hip battery belt. I was great running along the trails, but lacked the brightness to see deep into the woods. I think I’ll stick to using it for trail running in the dark, or possibly in the rain, as it seems fairly waterproof.
On Saturday there was a regional event at Temple Newsham, which despite having lived in Leeds for 3 years now, I’ve yet to visit. The course was predominately around a golf course, which was a new element of orienteering for me get used to. The course was 7.4km as a crow flies, with some fast running along the fairways and fiddly navigation in the surrounding woods. The biggest challenge was picking the best route around or between fairways. Looking at the results, I wasn’t the only one who struggled to find some of the checkpoints placed at rather minor features.
Again, very happy with the result, coming in 2nd. Looking forward to some more events throughout the winter.
For this race I used my dodgy Chinese imported torch (will update when I find the real name). It’s pretty bright, but the batteries are on the rear of the head. Compared to the Silva, it feels less stable to run with, but for orienteering I prefer the improved vision it gives. The ability to adjust the zoom comes in useful when lost, allowing me to switch to long beam to find objects in the distance, and spread to wide when running. The brightness adjuster on the back helps when the light is too bright (when reading the map or if the fog is too dense). It feels less robust, so not sure how long it’ll last.
Finally, just a quick note to thank the Airenteers for the fantastic club that they provide. There are so many quality, varied, accessible and fun events that they put on all year. And be sure not to miss THE event of the year, then Wednesday night score event at Beckett’s Park in January that I am organising