Saturday, 18 January 2014

Three Events during the Big Hot week.

It's been the Big Hot this week, with temperatures into the 40's on four consecutive days. I've watched so much air-conditioned TV tennis, my neck aches. A serious attack of cabin fever led us to seek out some StreetO this week.

On Tuesday we arrived at Geoff's Blackburn event in 40+ temperatures, expecting to be the only sad punters, but there were 35 of us. I soaked my bandana in cold water and trotted off down the street, clutching my squashy water bottle. The best bit of the course was round the school – five controls in quick succession, my favourite. Approaching from the south, I did 3, 6, 4, 5, 7 but I did have to squint closely at the map. My running was fine for about 30 minutes, and then weariness hit home. I tipped water on my head, which ran down my face and wrecked my glasses. Tipping my head back was worse, when the water ended up inside my shorts. I returned with 14 controls in 40 minutes, a scarlet face and a damp bottom. Geoff thrust a welcome cup of cold water into my hand. Pat soon returned with a good haul of controls. We had survived our first 40 degree event.

For some reason, we decided to head out again on Wednesday. The courses were shortened, so I was able to cover six controls in 30 minutes, about 5km of park and street in total, on a balmy 37 degree evening.

Thursday was a 44 degree day, so we decided to stay in.

Saturday brought a humid 24 degrees, quite a difference. This proved to be the best event of the week, with 21 controls to visit in Tally Ho Business Park. A mass start long sprint event, another first for me. 3-4 caught me out when I arrived at a tall fence just before the control. 9-10 looked similar but I was ready for it. The athletics track was a hive of activity, with hundreds of youngsters running, jumping and throwing with great enthusiasm. I needed a pitstop before 16 but the toilet block was locked. I gritted my teeth and clutched my map. My brains scrambled towards the end as I meandered my way to the finish where an iced coffee restored some of my faculties. 41 minutes for a measured 5.6km was most satisfactory.

Three events completed during such a week surely proves that we orienteers are either intrepid or barmy. You choose.