Sunday, 13 February 2011

Navigation - where it's at

This was my first chance to sample some of the delights of my club's winter navigation challenges. This one started in Hayfield and went for a very nice meander around the local area taking in four wall/fence junctions and the like. In total, it was about 9 miles.

I've not got a great sense of direction so thought it would be a good chance to develop my navigational ability. I was set off as one of the last runners, on account of my fairly good running ability - when I'm fit and I know where I'm going. Unfortunately, today I wasn't and didn't. I was also telling as many people as would listen, that I did some more cycling hill reps yesterday, so I wasn't going to be setting a good pace.

I was set off with a team-mate Darren, who seems to be running well after missing some of last year's races for a variety of reasons. For the first mile, it was easy enough to follow Darren and not really worry about navigation. I was thinking that this was kind of cheating. So it was lucky that he then ran off into the distance and I had to do some proper map reading.

In the end (1 hour and 36 minutes later), I completed the event and was rewarded with soup and cake from various Pennine members. I'd really enjoyed it, but hadn't done very well. In handicap terms, I think I was dead last. Even looking at time taken, I was a long way off the leaders and those who I should be close to. Darren beat me by over 20 minutes - nice one Darren. I'm hoping this will serve as a baseline from which I'll work up in future navigational events.

My main learning from today is this:
  • Make navigational decisions while running uphill, even if they are a fair way ahead. I can read a map running uphill without having to slow down, but I can't do this downhill.


  1. Noel, it's difficult enough trying to beat you in a race at the moment without you actually KNOWING where you are going...please cease this 'navigation' madness immediately ;-)

  2. Thanks Simon. Don't worry, it'll take more than a few meanders around Hayfield to instill a sense of direction into me. I'm just pleased I didn't get lost.