Sunday, 6 February 2011

A week of orienteering.....soggy sarnies and too much running

So this week at work was a GCSE orienteering group. I like to get involved with this each year, as the group are usually good fun to work with, plus I get the constant reassurance that my navigation is better than a 15 year old novices! We used a number of venues away from the centre to increasingly test the students over the course of the week. I lead a number of evening training sessions throughout the week aimed at helping the students develop skills, copy of the powerpoint I put together for a quick contours introduction can be downloaded here. From my point of view the courses involved me running around as quickly as my legs would carry me in order to avoid the inevitable "Sir, you suck I beat you", chants from the group. We used 2 parks in Leek, Knypersly reservoir, and Buxton Country Park. The week got off to a bad start for me when I forgot my water bottle, not a huge issue I took one from the staffroom. Upon reaching lunchtime at the first site, I reached for my "gourmet" sarnies I had been gloating about (BBQ chicken and cheddar in cheesey rolls), I discovered the water bottle had leaked everywhere ruining my delicious food! Needless to say the water bottle received an apt reward for its betrayal...
And while we are at it Thermos Hydro Active Sports Bottle, best price: £4.99 from Amazon, is the worst designed water bottle I have ever seen, I mean the thing has a flimsy cap with a weak rubber seal which, if knocked will come undone instantly, do not ever buy one of these water bottles!
The week progressed very well, with my evening lectures seeming to make a difference to the group, the teachers seemed impressed, and the group were doing better than any previous year, so I was feeling pretty chuffed! I managed to get hold of a copy of the map for Thursday, and calibrated it using a product called OziExplorer (useful piece of software for calibrating .jpg files into geo referenced maps). This was very effective during the thursday, especially for getting the control points in exactly the right place! All in all I was very happy with the orienteering, once again (as usual) my Osprey Talon 33, proved the most comfortable bag I have ever owned,  even running up and down hills all day it didn't chafe or hurt at all. Once again highly recommended!

My ME Fitzroy also kept me toasty warm whilst waiting around in the wind and cold for the group to come and collect various orienteering points around the place! Enclosed is a small JPG of the orienteering map of Buxton Country park, well worth a visit! Excellent park with decent toilets etc, worth a walk over to solomons temple as well, with a good view across the quarries.

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