Shoreham Training Day
Following its postponement back in April, the training day was rescheduled for May with fifteen members now able to attend, including our youngest member, Isla. It took place in Shoreham Woods which were looking beautiful with all the bluebells out in bloom, see photos. This training day was not going to be for the faint-hearted, with a 20-25 minute steep walk in from the village followed by lots of running or walking through rough terrain.
There were four exercises planned: a pacing exercise, a compass bearing exercise (with an optional brown only map for the more experienced, see map), an attack point exercise and finally a control flow exercise. Everyone completed the pacing exercise with Isla managing to put all the adults to shame with her maths skills!! The compass bearing exercise was next and was based all off path. The aim was to be accurate with the compass and go straight to the control with most people achieving this first time or managing to correct themselves where they had gone slightly off course.
Meanwhile, Isla had her own set of exercises playing a map symbol game, matching word to symbol and a cones exercise that involved lots of map orientation and more maths!
The next course for the adults worked on identifying attack points, that is, finding a known location close to the control and compass bearing in from there. Everyone was encouraged to think beyond the path junction as an attack point, trying to select more subtle attack points such as an earth wall/path junction. The last course focused on control flow, that is, planning your exit route before you reach the control so you don’t actually have to stop there. This is a very useful skill to develop so that you avoid alerting others to the control and keeps up the flow of your run.
This was all rounded off with a “fun” star relay, where members were in pairs and alternately had to visit controls using the map and dibber as a baton. Antoine, who thought he and Colin were leading, was disappointed when the quieter team of Richard and Ella suddenly dibbed the finish having completed the course ahead of them!!
Well done to everyone who attended the training day. It was a physically and mentally demanding morning but a useful way to develop those skills that we don’t get to practise enough during competitive events with the reward being a pub lunch afterwards!!