The “Fight with the night” series of Night-O events, organised by Edinburgh University Orienteering Club on Thursday evenings, has been on hold while EUOC take a break for exams and Christmas holidays. ESOC have been filling the gap with a couple of similar events of their own. I couldn’t make the first one at Cammo (although the Adamsons did), but last night, I hopped onto my bike after work and pedalled off to the event at Corstorphine Hill.
To avoid the main road, I cycled a back route via Ravelston and the golf course – the latter stages turned out to be unsuitable for a road bike! I also took a wrong turn at one point, and came out onto a rather unnerving craggy area with my way blocked by the Zoo’s zebra enclosure.
All this meant that I didn’t start until after 7:30, with the courses due to close at 8:30, but foolishly I had a go at the longer (5k) route anyway. This was proper Night-O with no ambient light (other than Edinburgh’s usual light pollution), and quite challenging for me in terms of reading the map and locating myself. Another runner overtook me early on — I noticed that she was taking all the right decisions about the smaller things: approaching a control from the easy side; looking at the contours and avoiding a steep bank; etc. There had clearly been quite a bit of rain on the hill, and it was while descending one of those steep banks that I slipped, and tore a muddy hole (several centimetres long) in my map! I bashed on, but the rip in the map lay between controls #5 and #6, and I really couldn’t figure out how to get to #6. Here was the corner of the fence where I was standing; there was #6; but the bit in-between was surprisingly difficult to match up. (I had a look at a fresh map later, and it was actually quite straightforward.) Anyway, after some running up and down, then jogging about, then walking around, with two or three re-locations, eventually I skipped #6 and continued to #7 (at the opposite end of the hill from Start). However, at this point, I realised that I ought to call it a day for the organisers’ sakes.
Lesson learned: take an A4 waterproof pocket! ESOC usually have some to hand out, but not on this occasion.
Robin and Sheila were there, and perhaps they’ll write a short report too! The ESOC report with results is here.
The next Fight with the Night event is, I believe, on Thursday 22 January, at Kings Buildings (the University of Edinburgh’s science campus).