Friday, 8 April 2016

Running my own Metrogaine event

I had an absolute treat on Wednesday night - an opportunity to be a participant in my own Metrogaine event. It was hosted from Fred Richardson's Mindful Runner store in Emmarentia.

A few months ago, Christie Courtnage, a young and experienced orienteer, asked if she and Timothy Chambers (another orienteer) could organise the annual April Metrogaine, especially as I've moved from Jo'burg so logistics are a bit more challenging. I immediately agreed.

Christie is based in Jo'burg; Tim is studying in Cape Town, so he assisted with clues during his varsity holidays. What a superb event they planned! Spot-on control placement and excellent clues.

They also had some excellent 'carrots' - high point-score controls and an excellent points distribution that you really had to think about. Very many options out there.

Wednesday was a cold and wet night - the coldest we've had in many, many months. My teammate wasn't keen to run in the rain (I don't blame her!) so I headed out on my own. I wasn't sure going into it how well I'd be running, considering that I had 50km in my legs from the day before.

I felt like a champ! The cooler temperatures really make a difference. I even ran the hills! Initially I was a bit too hot with my shell on, but after 90 minutes when the rain was coming down more, I then started to really feel the chill.

This is what my route looked like:

 Although my route had good flow, I did make a few mistakes.

Early on, I should have gone to #22 before #23. Plenty close enough.

I went 33, 34, 66, 37, 35... I could have gone 33, 34, 35. My map was folded over and I hadn't quite seen 35. My plan wasn't to go back past 35 but to possibly head to 46. As it happened, I was short on time and so hitting 35 as I did actually worked out fine.

I should have zapped the controls at the top of the map and left the ones on the side of #66.
That said, not knowing how my legs were going to feel, I didn't want to run too far away and then have to get over the hill to get back. I decided from the beginning not to go up there even though the points score would have definitely been far more favourable.

Metrogaine really is a super fun event. There's a definite thrill in running around the suburbs at night, claiming them for our own recreation and enjoyment. Night is, for me, a magical time of day. I also took great delight in seeing headlamps of other runners criss-crossing roads and saying hi to them when we passed each other.

We've got some other maps and routes and results on our Metrogaine Facebook page. The Strava fly-by is a really cool one to check out as you can watch the tags moving as the people run around.

My thanks to Christie and Tim for their excellent planning, to Denise for handling the admin and entries, to Brian for his event support; to Fred for opening his store doors to us, for the local Buck & Hog for letting us use their loos and supplying post-run colddrinks. We also enjoyed some samples of flavoured coconut water from Denise's connection. A special thank you too to Vix - I stayed over with her. An excellent team for a most wonderful evening. Thank you.

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