Orienteering 3:48:09  24.0 km (9:30 / km) +1134m 7:41 / km
Mournes day 2
Missed our alarm, but woke up around 7:45, not the end of the world. Mark started cooking, I started packing up stuff. 1 complain and some museli + water later we were fairly ready to go. I squeezed in a ham sandwich and some leftover chocolate.
We wandered up to the start just after Paul & Phil, but they looked to be sorting out last details so we just started. They must have started only a minute after us, but as we only marked in 3 controls again, on the walk, we didn’t see them early on.
People were faffing on 1, but the contours made sense to me and we cruised it, a bit more sceptical what line we should be on for 2, but as we got closer it became more obvious.
Grand through the next one, and seemed only one option for the cluster, up the fence round into the one on the path, and then over to the lake.
Coming down to the road Paul & Phil caught us, not ideal but sure. We stayed ahead a little of the way contouring to the next cluster on Hen mtn, but they were moving better and eventually went away from us.
We took a different route on the cluster, and went for the south most control first. I could feel we were going a little far on the first, but mark was being pulled by some C or B classers who were convinced the control was round the other side of the tor. This involved faffing and we lost 3-4mins no doubt on this. But we got it and moved through the next couple cleanly with me directing and mark running as he hadn’t marked these on his map.
Got the last one and down to the mourne way. We’d been moving fairly well so far, but I could feel a little tired on the track. It was a little uphill, and we took the opportunity to mark in the final controls & fill up on water.
We slogged up to it and got it grand. Different route to the rest on the next as we went straight through the valley, up the re-entrant far side and onto windy gap. The climb was a little rough but really not too bad and we were very happy with this route.
Finally, we couldn’t see any good option other than summitting eagle mtn for the last long leg, then flying the long boggy, peat-hag downhill.
We talked about going straight up the mountain, but when we saw Mahon & O’sullivan Coming back to the wall to climb, I figured if We came back to them they’d be a good aim for the climb, and maybe make the running easier above if we could follow lines. This was a mental boost, and we had almost caught them by the top, but not quite. We all hopped the wall to avoid the final climb into the summit and the running was good.
I knew in my head that this was the most important section if we were to make sure Colm & Shea didn’t beat us (11mins down day 1), it was basically the run home with a few short controls after.
So as we hit the peat hags we started pushing hard. We could see a couple teams ahead which acted as nice targets. We flew through the first half, and taking my gel I retched a few times, starting to struggle. But we had just caught Davy Hicks & partner which was a boost, and suddenly we realised the pair we were gaining on was Paul & Phil, so I knew we were flying along here.
Coming into the control we'd pretty much caught them, but relied too much on them finding the control and the 3 teams messed up with Paul & phil fixing best (as they were probably reading the map the most...). We got moving on the next leg and were still going strong and set our sights on the two in front. As we started going uphill w spotted Colm & Shea coming round into the one we'd just punched. Delirah, we knew we had 2nd now. We were gaining on the others in front, but I wasn't very happy with how wide we were going, so we started climbing higher, this worked out in the end as we contoured into the control and punched it with Paul. Still, I'd have liked to have come from a bit higher and nicer running but sure.
We were moving well on the next downhill and into a bit of rough stuff with the two teams racing each other. They got a little ahead and must have punched a little ahead on the crag. They had a little gap and Mark's shins / knee were at him on the descent so we just left them be, and took it easy. Wasn't like we had hopes of beating them anyway - they were very consistent over the two days, congrats to them, the better team.
Overall a good weekend, grim 1st day, stronger 2nd day. A shame to ship so much on a couple of controls, but in reality I just didn't train enough for this.