Race Report: Brian Gardner – Gauteng Orienteering Champs 2017

The June long weekend saw the Gauteng Orienteering Championships being held at B’sorah Farm in the Broederstroom area close to Hartbeespoort Dam. Friday the 16th was the running of the Long Distance event, and Sunday the 18th was the Middle Distance event.

Gauteng Long Distance Champs – The B’sorah area is very technical from an orienteering perspective, with many rocky outcrops and tough off-track running terrain. With my fitness a long way from where it should be, my strategy from the start was to keep it steady, and no red-lining. I had a fair start to control point 1, then unfortunately completely messed up #2. I wasn’t quite into the map scale yet, and got thrown off by another control which was not on my course. Some between-boulder grid-search later, I found it, but lost valuable time early on. After that things settled down, although I could feel my fine navigation was a bit rusty, so focused extra hard on that. The strategy seemed to work! There were 3 very long legs on the route, so keeping focus for 10-15 minutes at a time while running between the far-flung control points was quite tough. I had a very slim lead with only a few control points to go, but unfortunately lost time on the penultimate control and lost the lead. Eventually, after 1 hour and 49 minutes of intense orienteering, I came in 2nd place, only 59 seconds behind the winner, Bradley Lund.

Gauteng Middle Distance Champs – My legs were feeling Friday’s efforts on the Long Distance course! I had a solid start and good route choice to control point 2, which put me in the lead. Things were going well until some confusion at control 5, where I lost almost 2 minutes. Then leaving control 7 my exit angle was wrong, and trying to compensate without properly checking the map saw me go to the wrong thicket north of control 8, losing more time again! That was frustrating, but I picked it up after that, and was happy with the rest of the run. Lots of little things to work on going forward, as the small mistakes I made were avoidable! Once again really enjoyed the course, and always love that tough bushveld running. I ran a time of 45 minutes and 55 seconds, and got 2nd place to Bradley again.

A very enjoyable weekend of Orienteering, with superb event organising from the Rand Orienteering Club, and of course I’m happy to have got a double Silver for the efforts!

Thanks once again to Nevarest Team, Keyhealth and all the other sponsors for their continued support, it is really appreciated.