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Northern Championships and Extra Special Selection Races

Aidan is too cool for folding a map normally

A few CUOC members ventured to the scary wilderness of the north east for the Northern Championships weekend held by Eborienteers in North Yorkshire. These races were selections for James, Fiona and Aidan who all ran a ‘special’ selection sprint race on the Saturday at York University.

Fiona avoiding some geese

The course was much more technical than the JK and proved exciting. Aside from some pretty aggressive geese and some fairly clueless students the area was fast running but good planning made it really hard to get up to speed. Aidan, despite thinking that not crossing a wall that was uncrossable was in some way illegal, managed to have a solid run to give him 3rd place on the M18/20. Fiona must have avoided the geese well as she came 2nd on the W18/20. James fighting a cold (as well as the geese and students of course) managed a strong 13th om M18/20.

James chasing that extra special selection

The next day was the Northern Championships race held at Wass Forrest on the southern edge of the North Yorks Moors. The forest was according to Fiona “pretty horrible” but her race must have been pretty good as she won W20. James and Aidan had a lovely run to the start with at least 5 people telling them that the woods were beautiful and they would be able to cruise round 8.1km of incredible flat white forest. Sadly these reports were not to be and neither flat nor runnable forest materialised. The Courses were specifically designed that all CUOC runners would not want to see a hill for the remaining 8 weeks of term with M20 having a huge 480m of climb. Aidan unfortunately could not count from 5 to 7 as he managed to miss seeing 6 until he was halfway to 7. Despite this he managed a strong finish but not quite strong enough as he came 2nd by 3 seconds. Luckily the fact he was in fact born in the North allowed him to ignore those 3 seconds and win a non-existent trophy. James proved that despite by his own admission “being Scottish automatically makes me bad in fast areas” it did not in fact make him slow in the fast runnable forest of Wass as he came 9th on M20.

A few rare drongos were also spotted on the slopes of Wass too with Zuzka 6th on W21E and Ben S 2nd on M21L.

Lakes weekend

This weekend 6 CUOC runners went to the Lake District to run in some decent forest. Saturday's race was at Colonel's Drive, a nice grassy forested part of Graythwaite, and surprisingly for the lake district it was sunny. The courses were quite hilly, and quite technical in places, and some people navigated well and had good runs. In the evening, Aidan drove back to the NE, having decided that the 6 hour drive was worth it for a 23 minute run, and that he couldn't stay for the race on Sunday because he had too much work to do. Some CUOC and DrongOs were staying in Lancaster, but were disappointed to learn when they arrived back for a cup of tea that there was only one malted milk biscuit left because Jeremy had eaten the rest of them.

At 6:05pm exactly they left the house to go to Spoons, where Ben, Jeremy and Phil were happy because the drinks they ordered at the bar arrived before the drinks of the people who ordered them on the Spoon's App. Everyone enjoyed their meals, particularly Phil who ate half of everyone else's onion rings because his burger didn't come with onion rings, before discovering that it was supposed to, complaining, and getting an extra 6 onion rings as well. Ice cream was then purchased in the adjacent Tesco for pudding, and consumed on the walk to the house, before the inaugural Sober-O was held in the garden and won by someone speedy.

Sunday's race was at Lingmoor, a steep moor in Langdale, and unsurprisingly for the Lake District it wasn't sunny. Paul was helping on parking and had to be there at 8:15, so everyone had to get up very early. The walk to the start was very steep, and everyone apart from Ben S, Ben W and Zuzka was very happy that they weren't on the second start shift and only had to walk up it once. Ben W managed to avoid having to go to the start again by falling over and breaking his arm, and being abducted by mountain rescue, who fortunately sent him back to Lancaster. Most people were quite tired by the time they finished, but some people managed to have some good results.

Saturday results

Jeremy35thM21E
Paul4thM21E
Helen11thW21E
Aidan3rdM20E
James29thM20E
Fiona3rdW20E

Sunday results

JeremydnfBlack (M21E)
Paul3rdBlack (M21E)
Helen26th/6th WShort Brown (W21E)
Fiona1stShort Blue (W20E)

JK Relay

Paul tries not to fall over

Today was the JK relays, at Beaudesert again. When we woke up, the ground was unusually white, which made everyone very worried. Luckily, the strange white stuff soon transformed into a more familiar brown sludge, and balance was restored to the universe. Due to the amount of wetness around, a lot of people stayed inside the DRONGO bunkhouse for as long as possible, leaving Aidan to fix the tents on his own, which had collapsed under the weight of snow overnight.

CUOC had one team entered in each of the Men's and Women's Trophy races, with Aidan, Jeremy and Paul coming 15th in the Men's, and Elizabeth, Ana and Lily being disqualified from the Women's for being just too fast. Helen, Pippa, Fiona, James and Euan all ran for their home clubs instead, in a betrayal rivalling that of Anakin Skywalker.

The terrain was the same as yesterday's, and one of the controls was even the same as number 34 from the M21E. It was still quite interesting though, with the courses being quite well planned. The main difference from yesterday is that everything was wetter, so it was quite slippy, and in some areas the map will need to be updated with all the new erosion gullies.

Lily tries not to fall over

At the end, everyone went home, except for Aidan, who went to Majorca. Hopefully it's less snowy there for him. Well done to everyone who competed over the weekend (even those running for their home clubs), and have a good couple more weeks of holiday before the start of term!

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