British Student Championships (BUSA) 2004, organised by OUOC – Individual Race, 6th March 2004.
Sometime last I was actually planning to plan this (no pun intended) race but as events transpired OUOC chose Luke M to plan the event, and I’m glad I had the opportunity to run at least part of his excellent course. I started the race aware of my knee injury from the previous week, but any thought that I could ignore the injury soon
evaporated after the fourth control, and I had to retire from the event, in considerable pain. It was doubly frustrating because Longmoor is a superb area – fast and open, but with enough contour detail to slow down the best from Edinburgh and Sheffield. What I saw was great, and I could have run a great run, but it was not to be this year.
The area is a military training area, which always makes an event more interesting – out of bounds really means out of bounds on these maps, unless you want to step on an unexploded bomb. The army was also carrying out
riot control drills, which made control 7 a rather interesting control to visit. A smell of fuel was in the area, the gorse was burnt, and it took only a few seconds to realise that the shiny objects on the ground were – petrol bombs.
The map extract above shows the intricate bit I didn’t get near to before retiring. The numerous tracks are tank tracks and as such not trival to cross! The extract to the left is simply here for posterity, to note the damn marsh that nearly everyone on the Men’s A course fell into, including several of the elites. I
heard plenty of people swearing about this one afterwards… It’s the blue line just above Control 3 – it’s actually a lot bigger a marsh than is indicated on the map.
Anyway well done to OUOC (my old club) for organising the event professionally and slickly. I was one of the proponents at the club AGM that we should go ahead and organise, and it was great to see the project come to fruition and have familiar faces behind one of UK orienteering’s premier events, even if I was just a competitor at the end of it, and an injured one at that.