Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

February 26, 2012

Dark/White MTB Orienteering, 3 hr, 26 Feb 12

After watching the weather forcast for Sunday steadily getting brighter and drier, I just had to sign up the Dark/White MTB Orienteering.   Plus I wanted to have a go at racing by myself again and attempt navigation all on my own.   The 3 hour race format was to grab as many points as possible and get back on time.  Seemed short and simple after my longer adventure races and with no transition involved my car wasn't as crammed full with kit as usual!

True to the forecast it was sunny, cool, and calm as we drove down that morning.  I had convinced Rob to come along by telling tales of how beautiful the scenery was along Stanage Edge (plus I wanted photos and he takes better ones than me by far!) I was one of the first to register, and set off as soon as the start table opened, which was actually earlier than 9 a.m. but I guess it doesn't matter at all with dibbers. 

I had visited this area just once before on a Dark/White Run Orienteering event back in January.  The bike course was larger, of course, but I found myself using many of the same trails/roads, so it was nice to know a little about the area as that always helps with the navigation. 

Most of the course was on roads, to be sure.  I won't complain about that as I'm still a roadie at heart, although my fat wheels did feel a little slow on tarmac.   Mixed into it were some really nice trails, which usually always required riding up or down a hill.  It is quite hilly around there...if only the race wouldn't have started at the TOP of the hill!  

It was a bit hard to regulate temperature with the steep climbs and windy downhills.  I wore a wind/waterproof top which kept me warm on the downhills, but also created that sensation of "boil in a bag" sweating on uphills.  Can't wait for the weather to get a bit warmer again so we can all shed a few layers of clothing.  Summer can't come soon enough....

With no teammate to catch my mistakes, I found myself watching the map quite carefully, measuring distance traveled on my odometer, and carefully checking intersections.  It helped out immediately, as three guys ahead of me rode right by my second control, and were far lower than me when I dibbed, scratching their heads and wondering where they were! 

End result, my navigation went perfectly, and I was happy with my route as it offered plenty of shortcuts to the finish as time got short.  BUT, I had forgotten to remember my start time, so I was just guessing when I should be back.  Oops.   It didn't much matter as the ride up the last hill was neverending, and there was no way I could go any faster on it.  So I came in 10 minutes late.   Still 2nd in my age group, and I wasn't full out racing, just enjoying the day. 

Results are here


  1. The shot of the millstones? With the fields in the background is fantastic.

    1. Cat, thanks! My husband Rob has a wonderful eye for photography. It was only our 2nd trip to the Peak District, but definitely a place to come back to soon!