Tuesday, 16 December 2014

O Sprint Cup at PBG

On Sunday morning we had the last orienteering event of the year - the annual Sprint Cup at the Pretoria Botanical Gardens. I haven't been here for years and after the recent rains the Gardens are looking amazing.

Sprint Cup works on a different format. Participants first run a preliminary round and their finish times and positions determine where they start for the final round. The fastest runner after the prelim starts first and the other runners then set off at the time interval that they finished the first round. Say the second placed runner in the prelim finished 23seconds behind the winner, they will start the final 23secs after the first runner - and so on.

Why this format is so much fun is that if you catch the runner ahead of you, you gain an overall position. And, of course, there are runners behind trying to catch you!

I was fourth after the first round and there was too much of a gap (just over three minutes) between me and the third-placed runner to realistically look at third place... so I aimed to keep ahead of the next runner behind me - I had about a 1min20 lead on her. This time difference can be gobbled up quickly if you make a mistake; or even if you lose a few seconds per control.

I managed to hold on to my position - although Kirsten did gain a little ground on me - to finish in 4th overall.

Orienteering events pick up again in January.

Running into the finish. Photo by Val.

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