So much going on that at the moment. I have two match reports to share with you, firstly some high quality sprint orienteering from Antwerp with success for Gavin. Secondly, GB selection events in Northumberland and great results for Lyra:
Gavin in Antwerp
ASOM is a great three days of sport. This year it was a Euro City Race plus a WRE [World Ranking Event] Sprint weekend. Thus all the top European sprint racers were there, including the likes of Yannick Michiels, Daniel Hubmann, Kris Jones, Megan Carter-Davies [Ed: Gavin Clegg] and Alice Leake. Megan beat Alice by 1 second in the final!Lyra in Northumberland Antwerp is easy enough to get to, being only 2hrs drive the other side of the tunnel. Driving wise, quicker to get to than the Lake District. Plus I have to say; the roads are somewhat better than ours. ASOM usually start off with something different and this year on the Friday evening there was a two person night relay – one man, one woman. Four sprint courses, all printed on the one map. The Men running courses 1 and 3 and the Women courses 2 and 4. Changeover you just hand the map and dibber to your teammate. There was an over 55 class and I’d emailed the organisers asking them to put me in that relay if there was some woman looking for a run. So they put me in the Open class with a Belgian W21 elite! Oh and did I say it was a massed start? Needless to say I didn’t bother pushing myself to the front of the 100 odd elite men lined up. Anyway Magali and I successfully completed which meant we beat the 30 teams who were DQ’d including teams with Martin Hubmann (Daniel’s brother), Alice Leake and Yannick Michiels. Really just a leg stretcher but frenetic fun. Saturday and the Sprints. Plenty of parkland so wearing light studs. Sprint race 1 at 14:30 then Sprint race 2 at 17:50. Fortunately I was only 15 minutes drive from my accommodation, so showered and did some sightseeing between the two races. Both were tricky in places 1 to 2 on race 1 caught a few out. I managed to keep a good rhythm going, catching my 1 and 2 minute men on both races. On to the main event: Sundays City Race, part of the Euro City League. It was great to be back on the European stage and to catch up with lots of old friends. The race was held in the North part of the City and turned out to be ideal and planned well. Bouncing you quickly round detailed park areas then long legs with plenty of route choice between the detailed areas. I’ll talk you though my race: Waiting at the start and watching, I could see most runners on my course turning immediately left at the start kite. Which is what I did, thinking ok second right then second left into the corner and the control. Second look at map, wait, you can’t get to the control from that corner its olive green! Fortunately I just had to carry on round the bend then find the lane to the car park and through that to the control. Lucky. 1-2 just choose the right entrance. 2-3 a bit scrappy as the allotments/gardens seemed more complicated than mapped. Had been mulling which way to 4. Obvious route was out to the road and NE along, first left and around to 4. On reflection I backtracked past 2 then turned into the park and diagonally across the park to four. This gave me the luxury of spotting 6 and 5 as I went past. Very frenetic again in the park as people running all over the place. 6-7 I went north. I think south may be faster but as I had the fastest split for that leg perhaps north was ok. 8 was tricky and I checked my descriptions. You might just be able to see a little wall nib and it was tucked into that corner, so out to the road and around and into the control under the canopy. Oxygen debt beginning to creep in and hesitated 8-9 again checking the description – inside corner, so went west into the park then north to the control. I think it would have quicker going direct towards 9 then then looping around and into it. 9-10-11 straight forward but left 11 NNE crossing the path rather than NEE and picking up the path, looped around loosing a few seconds whilst I sorted my brain out. 13-14 was my worst leg position entirely because the description sheet with 34 controls was so long I had to pause to unfold it in my holder. Going into 15 I was attacked by three vociferously hissing geese! 16 I lost fifteen seconds caught up in the light green – go around next time idiot! 18-19 I was making myself plan ahead. Three or four people ahead of me going towards 19. As I pass the building to the south of the control they head up the bank. I do a 90º right, staying low, and beat them all to the control. Planning ahead works! 21 was a pain as you see the control just the other side of the fence, run past it to the end then straight back to it, then turn around and out to 22. 23- second entrance, second entrance, even then it was tucked around a wall and I hesitated but saw it. It was also on the Elite Womens course and caught a few of them out. North route to 24, again trying to plan ahead for the 4 controls in the park. All clean and starting to motor for home. 27-28 straightforward but again trying to plan ahead for the long leg to 29. I kept looking thinking there must be a way into the park from the north, but no, only from the south. Surely keep to the west and loop into the park around the OOB? Secondary look, how about back past the start and loop in from the south east? This also has the advantage of taking you in past 32/31/30 allowing you to spot them. The run down that straight road wasn’t fun mind you. Fastest splits for 30, 31 and 32. Zig Zag through the estate to 33 then home! Great atmosphere in the ‘stadium’ and a winning run. A really good long weekend and home in time for tea 😁.
We travelled up to Newcastle by plane, which was great fun having not been on a plane in a few years because of Covid [along with four stag dos]. We arrived in Newcastle on the Friday in preparation for the sprint around Cramlington. I had been ill in the lead up to the weekend and so my main aim was to complete all three events. Which I managed. I tried to keep the nerves to a bare minimum and was surprised that none seeped though my defences as the weekend was selection for the talent squad and the GB team for the European Youth Orienteering Championships in Hungary.
It was a tricky sprint event with good legs for route choice. I was happy with my run and my win on day 1. The second day at Shaftoe Crags was fast and furious, and I struggled towards the end to breathe as my cold got worse. I finished the race in second [by 40 seconds] with a few costly mistakes. I was excited for Dukeshouse wood [Northern champs] as I quite like the area, many people don’t. Having raced there before I remember what the area was like. I started well and caught the people I was chasing. As I came towards the end of the course my cold began impacting my race and on the long leg I changed my mind on the route to save my breathing and went down the hill and along. Costing some seconds. [She did manage to come in first, leading by 3 1/2 minutes].
I absolutely loved the weekend. The social aspect was great, and I loved being able to talk and catch up with the friends I made at Lagganlia at the end of last year. Thank you to the organisers for a great weekend and my dad, who took me up there even when we were both cold ridden. [Dad did less well, but had fun too].
Click on the maps to enlarge