From herein this year I’m re-branding my competitive sport Maprunning, Ill be the only person doing it haven’t tried persuading anyone from the governing body marketing department but I am my own marketing department coming to the end of 3 years freelancing, so Happy New Year from my coffice. What I’m of course referring to is Orienteering, the amazing sport from Scandinavia that love and teach children and adults. Post Maprun events and trainings all involve say they had a great time, now I wonder if the five syllable word is too much of a mouthful so its now two syllables, makes it easier to say, easier to read and dosent have any connotations – the activity is in the word unlike “Orienteering?! Whats that?” Heres a post all about the question on every sports clubs lips- how do we get new members. This year we have a spanking set of Maprun events coming up to share with a curious reader looking for a new activity, you don’t need to start a resolution, we run these all year, just come- our first one is Poole Town Night Maprun Monday 04th January with a superb Urban map that takes you around the smugglers haunts of Poole old town and right around the harbour. There will help and headtorches available for first timers.
Onto todays New year event post, hosted by the SARUM Maprun club who’s area covers all old SARUM and Salisbury. Yesterdays event used a unique place, a unique format and was attended by 233 runners. You may not be aware that Military training includes Maprunning and this year I will be working with some of these groups coaching, an exciting new aspect of work for me. There are several hidden villages that are used for Military trainings around Salisbury plain mostly passed by us unknown on the A303. Sorry if I’m boring you I’ve mentioned before one reason for Maprunning being my favourite competitive sport is that fact we get to places most outdoors people never see. So, Surrounded by Tilshead and Copehill downs the Village of Copehill Down is a place of houses, farm buildings, mature trees, accessible sewer systems and lots of walled areas. Photos below here show the whole area on a double sided map where half the control points were on the plain and half inside the village area. Runners picked up a map at the start and had to decide their strategy for covering as much as they can within a one hour Score event format. What made this unique is that there were a whole 75 control locations that could be found- an impossible task but brilliant challenge which the results show. Generally the fastest people on score events can find everything, this alternate meant that strategy was key to success, every person running on a race with no set route. SARUM club members set up this superb idea after obtaining a set of difficult permissions for the area, as you can expect we cant just walk in and crack on, unlike the permanent course areas of my club WSX which have free maps and are available today. Volunteers set up and marshal the race, then take down after leaving no trace other than muddy footprints, and boy it was muddy. Midday New Years Day and Salisbury plain wind is howling again, despite that and later rain I had a great time out. I’ve written before about sequencing on races that might interest you, little addition to that here. You’ve looked at the maps now what way would you have gone about this race?? Plain then village?, Or village then plain, or something else? Quick glance shows there were more points in the village- with highest point values on the plain at the extremities of the map. Well I set off on the plain getting into the map, and quickly decided a half hour split run in each area. Taking the chance to see the plain first and pick off exterior high point values, with a circumnavigation of the village then into for the second half hour. Stopwatch running I enjoyed the plains and sections of woods, easy navigation here then reached the village by half way on my stopwatch which meant I had to abandon the perimeter run and get stuck into the village, tight urban racing requires more decisions and given the walled areas with step through portholes provided brilliant micro navigation opportunities. Reaching the end of my anticlockwise sprint gave me a few minutes spare but not enough to leave and come back to finish. Results show that I gained 310 points from a total 379 available, the winner with 364 proving a superb piece of planning by Andy Snell of SARUM. With my 40 split times less than a minute each should give you a flavour of this race, lots of runners around, lots of decisions in amongst a spooky deserted village. Would have liked to have reached more than my 59 locations however really happy with my placing, didn’t beast myself running that much, the strategy was what worked, Mapruns which use the brain as much as the body have this brilliant aspect, as I say to students:- “ Better thinkers can beat faster runners”.
Thanks for reading do share and hope to see you at one of our WSX events this year, have a great 2016. Salutations.