We went to the Long Mynd for training. Matthew had planned some training in conjunction with Rory. There were a series of courses designed to help with naviagation to certain features. These were 'reenterants', 'spurs' and 'depressions'. The mapper had been rather over-enthusiastic in the mapping of some rather small (or non existant) features. As a result people came back from the depressions slightly depressed.
Matthew had also planned a course using a special part of the area; the topography could be easily approximated using a square-wave (or quantised into two discrete heights). The course, Arth Helva (trans. bear hunt) was designed to encourage thinking about going round, over, up or through. As Rory described it, 'if you can manage this, all other orienteering will seem easy'.
Unfortunately this lead to the first casualty of training tour. Perhaps she was desperate not to take part in the AlcO but Sophie hurt her hand. Ben, also suddenly unenthusiastic for the AlcO decided to spend the afternoon touring A&E departments.
We moved to Bury Ditches to do a clock-relay planned by Fiona. This year she had looked at the contour interval and planned a more appropriate course. The drivers returned to the bunkhouse before driving to the hill-fort, whilst the others walked from the clock-relay.
The novice AlcO planner had put the start at the top of an exposed hill. It was just getting dark as the others arrived from the clock-relay. One participant described the experience as 'the only AlcO I've ever had to stop to put on a better waterproof'. Everyone ran around in the (slightly) impractical clothes they had been gifted the previous evening.
Despite the appaling weather, good performances were seen from Rowan and Paul. John was disqualified for running about randomly, just trying to keep warm. The Helens would have received more points for their clothing than their performance in the race.
The walk down to the road was entertaining with a certain individual falling over several times and someone asking 'do we actually have everyone?'. The only thing missing actually turned out to be a CUOC SI box which we couldn't find when collecting controls. Perhaps one of the archaeologists/treasure hunters will find it.