Irish Mountain
Running Association

Nav Challenge 2


RuairĂ­ Short

First time in Wicklow since December!

IMRA Nav Challenge 2 - 2nd

A cold windy morning up at the Kippure road junction saw a good crowd show up for the second nav challenge of the year. I usually seem to miss a lot of these so was excited to get a chance to run one this year.

Self draw in maps, back to old school. Scatter format with 12 controls and skip 1. Got everything down grand, although I was a bit nervous about number 9. Conor decided to take off to put some pressure on and I jumped and followed him. Planned on the go then and we both hesitated a bit on the road before going in to get 10. With him for 10 & 11 and we both decided independently on skipping 12. There was a quite a slog up the river and Conor got a little gap. Over the ridge though he stayed high for way to long while I dropped in very nicely to number 1. Since it had cleared I could see him up the hill watching me. Tried to press the pace then over to 2 and got a bit nervous coming into it but it was grand.
Nice quick bit then along the path and down to Lough Bray for 3 but Conor could see me the whole way and was trying to close the gap. I finally got too warm in the valley and had to take off the jacket, hiding behind a rock so Conor wouldn't see me slow down. Up the road and into the new pond for 4. Saw John Bell running around above it but from the road side it was much easier. Pointed him into it anyway and could see we had a good gap so the race for the win looked like it would between us. I didn't have a good compass line to 5 and veered to the right a bit much with Conor following 30s behind the whole way. Didn't lose too much time (~1min) but was glad to still be ahead. Saw Mike Jordan then on our way up the hill to 6, which was a right slog, then and there was no space to show weakness so kept up the running for as long as humanly possible, kept the gap to the summit. Nice vague compass descent to 7 and I veered a bit again, only 30s missed but enough that Conor and I were together leaving it.
Worked hard together over to 8 but he was going just slightly faster. Gave it all I had to stay on but about half way I had a hesitation where I thought we had screwed up the direction and the gap was suddenly there. Conor was running well and try as I might I never got any closer. There was maybe a chance he could miss on 9 but once coming over the hill it was quite obvious so for me it was just run to the finish in second with Conor just out of reach in front.

Fun reintroduction to the Wicklow hills as I've been away for so long. Nice to have a good race too. Unfortunately will miss the last of the series going away orienteering in Wales. Some year I'll run all three!