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At first glance the map looks green and uninviting. One soon realises that the ‘light green’ is merely a reflection on the areas of exceptional visibility and lack of undergrowth in most of the beach forest. So whilst much of the light green can be ran through quite fast, it must surly be distinguished from the clean underfoot multicoloured leaf fall within the white glorious beach forest.
The leaves hadn’t fallen on my initial inspections and it felt thicker. It was also very dry and I considered removing all the blue features – clearly would have been a mistake! I didn’t want road crossings and I also wanted to minimise the additional walk to start and finish given the inevitable road bash from parking. It is also I understand, rare to use this end of the forest for start and finish.
Black and Brown had two maps but hopefully didn’t feel they were repeating themselves – except black did have 158 control on each loop. My good controller felt I was being liberal with quantity so I economised, and given the different approaches I believe it worked fine. I marked the roads east as out of bounds, it is feasible to run down these but not the optimum route. I did not do the same for the road to the west – if you new the road you wouldn’t contemplate running down it. But even if you didn’t know the road and felt the route that side was best, the track following that direction was then the obvious choice. Apparently not so obvious to some who felt the road should have been specifically crossed out.
The was a comment or two about extra tracks and ‘bingo controls’ – I tried to explain that they were running in Epping Forest. This did not seem justification enough for their 5 minute error!
I enjoyed standing in the old fort area amongst 8 closely packed controls as competitors came up the hill. It seemed that many others enjoyed standing around there too.
The White course proved particularly difficult with few legible tracks to follow. To all those youngsters who felt that 3 marked routes was to easy I apologise, but others would have been upset if I lost their child in the thick green.
I regret the lack of control descriptions in the start lane. I spent some while cutting these out nice and neat for you all but they got mislaid after I handed them over on Saturday.
Whilst I was of course pleased to have both put out out the controls at 8am and picked up the controls at 2.30pm in glorious sunshine, I was clearly not in charge of race conditions.
The most interesting event of the day was going out at 8am to put boxes on the stakes put out the day before, to find that control 130 was failing miserably to hold up the tree of 1m girth that had decided to lay down directly on top of it during the night. Please look at photos of the event to see what I beheld this morning!
Despite the startling hail shower most people seemed to enjoy the forest and the courses. And that is all that matters.
Mike Brett – Planner