Senior Home International 2018

This year's SHI was organised by PFO at Hurstwood in Lancashire, a big area of open moorland with some very complex mining spoil. The first electronic edition of the map was traced lovingly from the hand-drawn version by Helen and John Ockenden, but for this event a newer version was used, meaning they got no credit at all. The individual courses all consisted of several sections of shorter legs in the mine workings, linked by long legs across tussocky moor, which meant they were at almost all times difficult navigation or difficult running. We experienced the full range of weather from heavy rain to threatening heavy rain, but the terrain was surprisingly dry, without much bogginess anywhere. Paul came 13th on the M21 for Ireland, while Fiona was 2nd on W20, and Aidan 5th on M20 for England.

After the race everyone went back to the outdoor education centre where we were staying, and sat around all afternoon until it was dinner time, where we were disappointed not to be supplied with pudding - various solutions were employed, some opting for buying cakes, while other teams were prepared in advance and had made cakes at home beforehand. After that the Scots, Irish, and fun English men went to the pub, and everyone else went to bed.

The next morning the relays were organised on the same map, this time at 1:7500 which made the tricky mine workings a lot easier to read. The courses all included a lap of the reservoir, running though some pengaluscious open woodland, which made a nice change to the bleak moor. Aidan's team (ENG A) won the Men's, Paul's team (IRL A) was 8th, and Fiona's team (ENG A) came in first place in the Women's.

During the relays a couple of DRONGOs turned up, who had run the SHI courses the afternoon before. Pavel, Ben S and Dan had made an all-DRONGO podium on the black course, although this was helped by the absence of any other competitors. After this, Dan and Pavel went to camp overnight at control 16, while Ben took the sensible option of not camping at control 16.

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