On Sunday NUFOC headed down to Ouseburn for their first urban orienteering event of the year.
As the Metro was cancelled the first challenge of the day was to actually make it to the event on time. With most people choosing to run or walk their instead, their navigational skills were put to the test before they’d even started.
By the time they’d all actually made it to the registration the sun, which had been keeping them warm up till that point went in and it became bitterly cold. Despite wearing every layer they owned they were keen to get running just to warm up. Most of them braved it in short sleeves and after a quick warm up they made the walk to the start.
For some this was only their first or second event so the start line had a mix of nerves and excitement. All of the NUFOC members were running the men or women’s open which meant they were all directly competing against each other.
They were all set off in two minute intervals, so the pressure was on to make the best, snap decision route choices and stay ahead of, or overtake each other. All of the routes crisscrossed back and forth so they were constantly passing each other and it was hard to tell who was in front of who.
The courses lead the runners down and back up hills, in and out of housing estates, up steps and muddy banks and along the canal towards the Quayside. The final few checkpoints were placed either sides of a running track and lead to competitors racing to reach them first and be the first to reach the finish.
Everyone did really well and all finished closely together, however because they were set off at different times they wouldn’t know who had been fastest until they’d received their rtimes. After they’d all finished and downloaded they had their customary team photo and compared times and route choices. Later that evening the results came in, and NUFOC had some fantastic results including second, third and fourth places in the women’s and 14th and 16th in the men’s open.