NI Orienteering Score and Night Championships

25Feb09

Last Saturday the Northern Ireland Score and Night championships took place at Woodburn forest, just north-west of Carrickfergus. Due to an endurance horse event happening at the same location the orienteering did not start until late afternoon. The NIOA AGM also took place in the Woodburn Church Hall the hour before the score event kicked off. Jonny, Mark and I arrived just at the end of the AMG, which just gave us time to register and sort ourselves out before the first event.

Paul's routeThe score event had a time limit of 1 hour to collect as many ‘high scoring’ controls as possible. The 20 odd controls were dotted over both the north and south side of the reservoir. The mass start kicked off at around 4:15pm and people quickly checked their maps before rushing off in various directions. I decided to do a rough clockwise route to collect the controls. I felt early on that I was not running fast enough to collect all the controls so I decided to adjust my route accordingly. Perhaps this was an error on my part and I should have just ‘gone for it’, but a mistake early on at the most northern control lost me time, which basically forced me to adjust my route whether I wanted to or not. Jonny had a more successful run and collected all of the controls easily within the one hour limit. He narrowly beat Ivan Millar who arrived within a minute of Jonny. Overall Jonny won the event and become the 2009 NIOA Score Champion. I was happy with my 4th place run, but clearly a few improvements still needed to be looked at.

Paul's RouteDuring the Night Championship race I was much happier with my route choices and only made a couple of minor errors – well it was dark! Even with an hours rest between the two events I felt a lot more fatigued than I thought I would and my pace was over 1 minute per km slower than the Score event (that equates over 5 minutes lost over the 5.1km course – not good). My heart rate was averaging 173 bpm over the 46 minute run and it was at a much higher intensively that I was use to. Who says orienteering was not a demanding sport? However, I still had a much better run that the score event and even though I again finished 4th in a time of 46:29, I was only 4 minutes behind 2nd (Ivan Millar) and 3rd (Jonny) place. Patrick Higgins came 1st in a time of 37:08, but started fresh as he did not compete in the Score Champs. Sean Knight finished 5th in a time of 51:42.

Results (Night Champs)

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