Peak Raid – Hayfield – 22 October 2017
Over the years fell runners and P & B in particular have gained a bit of a reputation for going for a bit of a wander off-piste. You need look no further than our very own website for a plethora of amusing examples.
However we have sneaked in a few good ‘uns over the years.
Currently Dave Alcock consistently performs well in all kinds of different events from urban stuff right up to OMM elite. Other mentions for Ian Nixon and Al Powell.
But the star of the show has to be Yvette Baker, World ‘Short Distance’ Orienteering winner in 1999 – and according to Gary Devine she even managed to get a guest spot on Question of Sport!
Boff got me into these type of events and I have done several in the past but usually on my lonesome. However we now have a few more unusual P & B members who are also showing an interest.
Indeed for this first event in the Peak Raid 3 series we had 6 scratching around for their compasses. Unfortunately, due to Andrew Birkinshaw throwing himself off a ladder and David Anderson having man flu, we were whittled down to 4 on the day itself.
Storm Brian was bearing down and the RO had kept us updated on the possible implications ranging from full steam ahead to cancellation. In the end, a sensible compromise was reached of omitting the more distant checkpoints to shorten the course which kept everybody happy.
We trotted off to the remote start point, dibbed, grabbed a map and set off pretending like we knew what we were doing.
There was a bit of a train on the early checkpoints but further around things strung out and got a bit more interesting.
You have no clue how you are doing until you get back to the start and download your time and points scored.
Last time I did one of these in 2016 at Crowden I couldn’t find a particular checkpoint in the clag. I became more & more frustrated and set off for the finish without a compass bearing. I then somehow managed to complete a beautiful full circle and ended up back where I started. I finally made it back but late, so lost all my points, and finished a strong last. Lots of lessons learnt for next time!
For Hayfield Storm Brian didn’t come out to play, other than a few strong gusts of wind, so navigation wasn’t really an issue. It was all down to route choice and speed over the ground.
A couple of really fast orienteering types came whizzing past me about 2 thirds of the way around. Philip Vokes from Loughborough University Orienteering Club went on to win getting round all the checkpoints in less than 2 hours.
Mid packers were around 30 minutes behind, a fair few also getting all the checkpoints due to the shortened course.
Us P & Bers all finished in respectable shape and, unlucky for some? I finished 13th!
Next race in the series November 5th; Hopefully Andrew and David will be available for selection.
(Photos from Explorer Events Facebook page)