Archive for August 2014

Pike O’Blisco   Leave a comment

The mountain stages of the Lakes 5 Days are always the most fun, even though they can be really physical. Yesterday was no exception: the climb up to the start at Pike O’Blisco was exhausting (and we went nowhere near the peak), and then the orienteering was as technical as it can be in such open terrain (not a tree in sight), without too much agony on the climbs. I ran well with few mistakes, notably missing control 6, but I was surprised at how slow it came out, over 10 minutes/km – 65:18 for 6.3km, and 19th place. I’m not disappointed – a year ago I wouldn’t even have been able to finish.
Unfortunately, something happened to my left ankle. I didn’t do anything to it in the terrain, but a few minutes after getting back to the hostel it started hurting and swelling up, and soon I was unable even to tread on it. Today, after some ice, pain reliever, and lots of lying down, I can limp slowly around – but driving to the last day of the orienteering would have been stupid and I stayed put.
I was 15th overall after 4 days, but I’ll probably drop down the rankings as everyone gets their worst result ignored. Maybe I’ll stay in the top 20, but it doesn’t really matter. It’s been a wonderful week, despite totally losing one day, and I’ll definitely be back.


Posted 08/08/2014 by dchissick in Uncategorized

Tough Stuff   Leave a comment

At least this time I didn’t make any big mistakes. Grizedale Forest is just as tough as Simpson Ground – the green parts are terrible, and the white forest is bad, with lots of fallen trees, muddy ruts from logging activities, and branches all over (above and on the ground). I was just as slow as yesterday, but I think the winner’s speed was slower as well, and I’ll probably improve yesterday’s 26th place to around 20th. I finished the 6.3 km course in 85:05. The GPS was squiggly again so my route is hand-drawn.
Tomorrow is a rest day, and if it doesn’t rain too much I’ll do some hiking on the mountains. Then on Thursday comes the real mountain stage of this event at Pike O’Blisco – back out of the forest onto the open fells.

Posted 05/08/2014 by dchissick in Uncategorized

Making the same mistake twice   Leave a comment

At Simpson Ground today I made the same mistake twice, which shouldn’t happen to me and is probably a symptom of a lack of orienteering in this type of terrain (forest with interesting contours and marshes). That’s not an excuse, just a fact.

In both cases, I subconsciously thought “marsh = open”, and therefore misread the map. To control 3, I was expecting to see the marsh on my right and cross it, but I was thinking of an open marsh so I just continued until I knew I had lost contact, found the track and corrected myself. To control 7 I was going up the correct marsh but the shape didn’t fit (because it continued into the forest and I ignored it), so I “corrected” myself to the west, understood what had happened, and came back. Those mistakes cost me at least 5 minutes together, giving a result of 53:00 over 3.9km when I should have finished under 50 minutes and maybe around 47.

The forest in general was OK, but there were lots of fallen trees affecting runnability. The open areas were terrible and the marshes quite slow. Yesterday I finished 15th, but I’ll be lucky to get into the top 20 today (no results yet).

My GPS track is too squiggly to be useful, so my route is drawn below. I ran with a headcam, but the wifi here is too slow to upload any videos so I’ll publish the movie next week.

Posted 04/08/2014 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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Fell Swimming   1 comment

There’s a sport in Britain called Fell Running. Today’s race at Swindale was Fell Swimming – totally open fells, gale force winds, drizzling to pouring rain, and lots of waterlogged marshes.

I’m fit, but I haven’t run on such terrain for 8 years and I felt it. Controls 1 and 2 were OK, then I turned south-west and the wind stopped me in my tracks. Running into it was tough, running into it uphill in a marsh was impossible. Luckily, at intervals it would die down a bit, and of course half of the course was in the other direction.

The marshes were runnable in patches, hard work in others, and occasionally I would suddenly go waist-deep and have to wade out. Many of the short red parts of my route are from that.

Aside from all my complaining, I had a good race, with only one small miss at control 5, and finished the 8.4km course in 1:14:53. Most controls could be run almost straight, and many of the curves in my route are in order to keep to the dryer ground. My printout says I was 7th out of 27 when I finished, and there aren’t any results on the internet yet.


Posted 03/08/2014 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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Challenging myself   Leave a comment

This trip is, more than anything else, a challenge for myself – I want to see how well I can perform as an orienteer when I’m really trying and I have no excuses. Over the coming week at the Lakes 5 Days I’ll definitely enjoy the scenery, do some shopping, and get some fresh air, but the main focus will be on racing to the best of my ability, because I don’t know when I’ll be able to do so again.
Why? First, I’m not getting younger. Second, my family deserve to get more of my time, so I’ll probably be cutting back on orienteering activities over the next few years. Next time I travel for orienteering Roni will be with me (I hope), but soon the two smaller children will be of travelling age and our trips will have different goals.
Part one of the challenge – preparation – has passed almost perfectly. As soon as I made the decision to travel (10 weeks ago) I prepared a training plan and stuck to it, despite having a baby in the middle and our usual hot weather. Physically I’m as ready as I can be.
Mentally, I’m here (almost – I’m writing this on the plane) with a heavy heart. Roni will have a tough week alone with two small kids (aged 3 years, and 7 weeks). In addition, there’s a war going on, though it hasn’t yet affected our lives at all. Coincidentally, the last time I travelled to the Lakes 5 Days, in 2006, there was a war on as well. On that occasion, I also left behind a wife (different one) and small child to take our national team to WOC 2006, and continued from there to England. The cease-fire agreement was signed on the day I returned. Roni says I should take the hint – every time I have tickets to England a war breaks out. We’ll see in 2018…
In 2006 I ran well and finished 15th in M35L. This year I’m probably fitter compared to my age group (M45L), but there are more competitors (over 60) so I don’t know what place I’m aiming for. Top 10? 20? I’ll be blogging with my routes over the next few days, and I intend to run some of the races with my headcam as well. Let’s go!

Posted 02/08/2014 by dchissick in Uncategorized

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