Leinster Champs 2015
Lough Firrib & Oakwood
1. Choice, left or right, went right so dropped down, followed the ride and cut back up from the boulders. Lost a minute to Boyzone. I suppose I was a bit hesitant trying to stay on the ride.
2. Up up up. Tough leg. Tried to find the best running (and walking) going up, and got there faster than the others. Could see the boulder crossing the fence but not climbing. Did some planning for later in the course too, wasn't looking forward to 14.
3. Messed this up and lost at least 1 minute. Came just below it and didn't see it. Reckoned I'd gone far enough so climbed to the top to relocate, so only had to drop back down again. Went for the relocation option as needed to, to be safe, and could with the top.
4. Ran this ok, took a bearing.
5. Missed this control too, ended up very high for it. Saw a control below me so ran down to it, and it was the one I was looking for. Being honest I didn't expect it to be my control so have to admit to being lucky. Another minute lost.
6. More time loss here. Hit the saddle but was to the right. Stopped to try and make sense of things. Could see the lake but no sign of the marsh next to the control. Should have probably looked for the crag before the control. Ran on a bearing for this leg too. Definitely felt I lost more time than the splits would suggest.
7. Longest leg on the course but also an easy one with the boulder covered hill behind the control. Went right I think of the uncrossable marsh en route before climbing. Could then get a better picture of the hill where 7 was. Could also see Turlough Hill. Looked like Eoin in front of me too so i'd a target to aim for.
8. Ran hard for this leg trying to gain on Eoin. Hit it ok.
9. Still chasing Eoin but running a different line.
10. Shouldn't have missed this one but did. Near 7 so was hoping to see it as I approached 10 but didn't. Stopped to try and work things out, didn't expect the control to be on the steeper part of the slope since the control was on a marsh. Could see the V shaped crag too above me so losing time wasn't sensible.
11. Was happy with my line down but took longer than I expected to work out what hill I was heading for below me.
12. Kept a high line behind Eoin but lost track of the crags/re-entrants. Had a look around a high hill before dropping down and getting the control. So at least 1.30 lost.
13. Nothing of note here but no sign of Eoin after my time loss going to 12.
14. Knew this leg was going to be a toughy. Saw Eoin again a bit in front of me going low beneath the boulders. Didn't look like he was making much progress so I headed higher. Found a nice line too so made good ground. As a result I was surprised not to see Eoin in front of me as I approached 14.
15. Eoin was now behind me, so definitely had a nice line to 14. Saw a boulder in front of me, on a bearing, so ran towards that. As I got closer I was hoping to see a crag, slope was very barren, and did.
16. Now back down the hill. Aimed for where I'd planned to go earlier and executed it fine. Eoin caught back up on the descent, I didn't hammer it. Eoin crossed the fence in front of me but I decided to cross further left when I saw him sink up to his knees in mud. Then into the forest from the open, aimed for the clearing, and from there aimed for the next open area and into the control. Got ahead of Eoin again as he went further right once in the forest.
17. I climbed up to try and find the top ride through the white. Didn't find it.
18. I went right on this leg, Eoin went left, and not much difference in it, my option likely to have been the slower one.
19. I cut down to the open and along the power lines before popping back in at the control. Eoin went more direct and might have been a couple of seconds faster.
20. Straight line to this one and clearing with the control was a bit windblown so hard to spot. Not much lost.
21. Easy leg, out into the open and then went off the veg change.
22. Another straight option once into the light green.
23. Tough last leg to the final control with a few bits of green to cross, but got ahead of Eoin here.
Finish. Uphill so not pleasant.
Boyzone should have won handily but decided to skip 13? And Conor lost it on 21. Wasn't planning to win this race but nice to have done so nonetheless, my Leinster Champs record is going ok the last few years. Took 1 gel out there after around 40 minutes, had planned on a 2nd but didn't bother. Tough course but enjoyed the area this time. Nice to be able to see the hills, makes life much easier when navigating.
My plan was to try and orienteer properly today and not make the mistakes i've been making recently, particularly when it comes to direction. Got direction ok today, just lost time in the circle, but was orienteering by luck for some controls as I wasn't too confident interpreting the map.