Sunday, October 07, 2007

Double 'O' 6?

It was with great anticipation that I set off Sunday 23rd to join my partner for the Dark and White Peak District score orienteering event. The aim – to visit as many checkpoints in 3 hours as we could, including returning to the start. The day was perfect, cool and sunny, and we reached the car park in Hayfield in good time.

The first problem emerged when the competitors realised the tourist information toilets, situated tantalisingly in the car park, had been fiendishly locked!! This meant a lengthy queue at the first rocky outcrop on the route we had taken. (Relieved (!) to hear that it's not just me that has a problem with finding the 'facilities' - Ed).

However, the competitors soon split up and the time flew by. Number 15 posed a problem as the electronic punch had been nicked. (Another ploy by unfriendly natives??) A quick phone photo of me holding the dibber at the “National Trust sign 5m east of gate” seemed to suffice.

I kept getting distracted by the staggeringly lovely views. If you like bleak moor land surrounded by peaks, this is the place to be. Luckily my partner had the map reading under control and we didn't get lost.

We arrived at the finish 11 miles later, having collected about 9 controls each with different values depending on how difficult they were to collect. The finish was very civilised with free hot drinks and biscuits as our dibbers were downloaded into the computer and we were given our total score.

Convinced we had won our age category we happily returned home to check the results. Unfortunately we finished 6th out of 6 so not quite as good as we thought. However we didn’t have the lowest score of the day and we had had a very enjoyable time so I would thoroughly recommend it as a fine way to do a run.

Nick O and JL

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