OMM 2014 Report
Cheviot Hills

A late entry was submitted to OMM central for myself and Lee Curtis to enter the “B” race and further bung up my already packed autumn fixture list. It was really too close to home to miss however. The last time I had entered this event was 2011 whilst looking for something to do after completing a series of ultra distance races, so this year would be a good opportunity to see if my orienteering skills had improved.

 

Being so close, we just had to drop the kids at the pool before and we were off amongst the later starters . As is customary, I imagine, the first leg was designed to trash our legs with three steep climbs of increasing height gain. We were surprised to find out that we were only a few minutes inside the cut off time at CP1 so no time was wasted as we dropped into the forest where orienteering skills came in very useful. The first three controls had all been quite long and took over 3 hours so I was feeling quite tired with lots of climbing still to come. At one point we took a left across a gruelling heather clad hillside when the fence line 200 meters further on would surely have been a better line. Eventually we reached the overnight camp, this year, in daylight and a windy, squally night followed.

 

The following morning we were again off late but buoyed by a respectable result, lying 18th of about 96 teams and 3rd VET team. We set off strongly for 3 controls until losing a bit of time decision making and making some errors. As we were on the bad weather route we were able to push on harder than the Saturday. Incidentally, the weather was probably better on the Sunday in the end. A wrong turn on the final leg was frustrating but we had performed better and finished 12th team and 2nd Vets.

 

Compared to my last attempt, our navigation was much better although I have to give Lee credit for pulling me out of the wrong glen occasionally. The lack of low cloud also helped and the physical challenge was more than I was expecting. My only slight disappointment was the fact that the second day was much like the first in reverse however I am more enthusiastic about the OMM after than I was beforehand. In short, this event fits my description of “fun” pretty well!

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