Saturday, 14 June 2014

Gauteng O Champs: Sprint

Today was the first of three days of the annual Gauteng Orienteering Champs. We got started with a super fun sprint event at the Woodlands Office Park in Jo'burg. The nice thing about this year's events is that they're all quick and easy to get to (tomorrow and Monday we're at the Big Red Barn property in Irene/Olifantsfontein).

I had a decent run today - smooth with few errors. There were two less desirable options that I took, which lost me enough time to drop me at least three places. One and two seconds ahead of me were two runners; and just less than a minute ahead was another runner. I landed in a not-fabulous-but-very-comfortable 7th place (of interest, the first two runners were tied - exactly the same final time!).

So let's look at those errors...

CP3 to CP4

Ja, you can see what happened here. I  ran into the parking lot and with vegetation ahead (not allowed to cross) I had to run around. A better option would have been to run south-east from 3 (towards the water features) and through to CP4 from there.

CP7 to CP8

From CP7, seeing CP8 to be 'ahead' I ran down the water feature and saw a fence with a gate (green circle). Here's the thing... The gate was open. BUT, as a solid black line is indicated on the map, this is not a gate you're allowed to use. I hadn't noticed the line at first. So, I had to turn around to run around.

When I got to the finish I told them about the open gate, which wasn't meant to be open. Roger, one of the organisers, went through to close the gate and said he had to stop a number of orienteers from going through it (other certainly had gone through). The gate had been opened by gardeners working in this part of the property.

So... that was my Day 1. Distance as-the-crow-flies was 2.8km. I ran 3.7km.

It's middle distance tomorrow. Distance as-the-crow-flies is 5km. Way more up my alley. And, I'm most looking forward to Monday's Long Distance event: 8km as-the-crow-flies.

Of interest... The men's course tomorrow is 5.5km. That's cool - similar to the women's course. But on Monday the long distance men's course is 12km (women's is 8km). I'd like to run the 12km course. But, if I want to compete on the same course with other women, I have to run the women's course.  Grrrr... It will be interesting to see on Monday what our actual course distances are.

Aaahhh.... Our Polokwane bunch are here too!

If you recall my posts from the Big 5 O over New Year... Of the bunch that were with me then, we've got the teacher-from-heaven Mary, who has brought 20 students (junior and senior) plus three other teachers and a parent from the school's parent's body. And then there's the wonderful Ephraim, who set up the Polokwane Orienteering Club and has been hosting events and recruiting members from his college. We've got Tseke (Mary's son) as well as Tebatso and Lesedi with us again. We're missing student-teacher Juliet and bubble Diketso.

Then we've got a few of Ephraim's college club members to complete the group - and their bus driver is also participating.

There were some good and not so good runs today from the group. I'm a bit concerned that the newer people will have a bit of a rough time tomorrow - as they found today challenging. With a good debrief after tomorrow's course and Monday's event being held at the same venue, they should (maybe) fare better on Monday.

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