So one Saturday evening while sat relaxing and messing on Facebook a notification pops up on Trawden AC group. Does anyone fancy this just for the navigation skills, from Liz . I fancied it and so did Lucy Brown.
And so it started...we couldn't even work out the flyer and what time we should register but, hey, in the end we did.
Off we set on Sunday morning, parked up and followed all other runners to the start. "Have you got your dibbers ladies" we were asked. We all looked at each other "No?" we replied. "Oh, registration is on the park over there." Whoops! With ten minutes to go before the end of registration off we set off back down to register.
Lesson number one: learn to read instructions more thoroughly and don't follow other runners.
After registration we got a free brew on hand to walk back up to start point. We discussed how our main aims were to finish within three hours and get at least 40 points. We were aiming high.
We then had our briefing, I think we filled the man with confidence. He only asked us once if we had read an Ordnance Survey map before. We all explained we had and this was our first proper orienteering attempt. He said if we hadn't, he suggested a refund. This obviously got us all feeling competitive and determined to prove him wrong.
So we started and took 5-8 minutes to decide our plan. It took us 5 minutes to find where we were on the map but, hey, we managed it!
Off we trot and the first 3 miles were fairly uneventful. We missed a path and lost time, the map said it was paved but that bugga of a path had not been paved for 30 years! Let's not dwell we said, onwards.
We made another mistake later when we decided that point 13 'wasn't that far' let's give it a go. Home bound is all downhill, we can leg it.
Yes, it's all downhill but the field we ran through was like walking home after a skin full on a Saturday night. Bogs, holes, hidden streams. We looked around us and could see other runners who we nicknamed '118 118', 'Mrs Serious' and the 'Man who was at that start' falling with every step. Our Liz went down twice and this resulted in hysterical laughing from myself and Lucy. The plan to leg it quickly disappeared and we only had 30 minutes before cut off. We then couldn't control our laughing and the whole experience had become one big comedy show Trawden AC style!
On the return home we bagged 30 more points and decided to head back to the park. The man from briefing was walking towards us "Are you finishing?" "Yes," we responded, "we are heading back." He said "You can go on a path in the woods which leads to the park.". "Great! Where do we pick that up?" His response "Have a look on your map!" CHARMING, ha ha! We stuck to the road.
We arrived secnd to last and a massive timeout of 20 odd minutes which meant we finished with 54 points after collecting 190. But hey, we exceeded the 40 we aimed for and we managed not to be last.
At prize giving the man shouts "Anyone new to this?" "Yes!" we shouted like rebels in the corner. "Come and grab a bottle!" Whoop, whoop!
We will be back, everyone's got to start somewhere. We covered 10 miles and you know what, for a group of first timers we were pleased with the outcome and many lessons were learned. Many, many, many lessons....
Emily, Liz, Lucy