I have had a while now and have decided to post a reflection on my two summer orienteering weeks – the O-Ringen and Spey2007. Before commenting on the two events I link to photo 1 and photo 2 of me on the run in on the fourth day of the O-Ringen and photo 1 and photo 2 of me on the run in on the second day of Spey2007.
A problem I have with the Scottish Six Days is the lack in variation in the courses. My course was about six kilometres each day and the winning times were: 38:11 – 49:35 – 42:39 – 39:25 – 46:54 – 41:00. At the O-Ringen there was a middle distance course and the winning times were: 34:57 – 43:01 – 23:24 – 31:26 – 37:08. The elite had a better programme at Spey2007, with a classic, two middle, and three long – something I would like, but I simply could not manage the total distance the elite covered over the six days.
In contrast Spey2007 had a better variation in terrain – sand dunes, moorland, varying types of forests. At the O-Ringen we ran three days on the same area and then had some variety on the final two days. Of course, having three days on similar terrain meant that I felt that by the third one I felt I had improved enough to orienteer reasonably well.
At the O-Ringen all the days were within walking distance of the campsite. This meant that once you were at the event you could leave the car where it was – or even get to the area by public transport and require no car at all. At Spey2007 getting to the areas meant a reasonable journey on most days.
I really enjoyed both events and the contrast between the two provided a good summer of orienteering. Now thoughts turn to planning summer orienteering trips for next year, and beyond!