News from members’ summer travels has been covered in depth by the recent edition of CHIGChat, but I think Charlotte Cheetham’s 4th place out of 21 competitors in W45S on Day 1 of the White Rose Weekend is worthy of a second mention – an excellent result!
For me the new season started on 1st Sept, when I managed to negotiate a day off from my duties as a new father and take the train up to Saltaire to take part in AIRE’s Long-O round the Aire Valley. Choosing the cheapest train tickets (only £22 return!) meant an inflexible schedule, but fortunately I got round the 21k course in a little under 3 hours as planned, finishing 3 minutes ahead of my mountain marathon partner Darrell High (SO). The orienteering was excellent value for money – if you arrived by public transport (50p discount) and had your own v6 SI card, the 21k course with 46 controls would have cost you £4! The terrain ranged from the streets of Baildon, to moorland, canal-side towpaths, farmland, golf courses and good old-fashioned woodland! I thought it was an excellent day’s orienteering with an encouraging turn-out of over 40 starters on the Long course.
From the comments on the AIRE website forum and nopesport, there seems to be a healthy demand for Long-Os around this time of year as people prepare for the OMM at the end of October. If all goes to plan, I hope to organise/plan a local Long-O event for sometime in the autumn of 2008. Linking all the Epping Forest maps and provisionally titled “The Epping Epic”, it should also be accessible by public transport (Loughton and Snaresbrook stations on the Central Line being the most likely start/finish access points). Watch this space.
My Long-O training for this year’s 40th anniversary OMM (original Mountain Marathon) continues in early October with the Two Moors Challenge – a long-O on Dartmoor, followed by another on Exmoor the next day. What could be better?!