I opened my eyes and spoke to my cat. “So what do you reckon Mr Mittens,” (yes, really), “Clay Bank West, or seek redemption on Dale Town Moor?”. Mr Mittens yawned luxuriously as if to suggest there was a Third Way that involved staying in bed and going back to sleep. I compromised. Orienteering gave me a bit more time in bed, plus, I had demons to banish.

It was a gorgeous frosty morning in Boltby Forest and I hung my car keys on the dartboard, and filled in the ‘Lone Traveller form’, which always sounds gloriously ominous. I got onto the starting blocks, was given the nod, and off I sped. And for once, surprisingly, sped is what I did. One by one I ticked off the controls, usually finding they were where I expected them to be. My confidence increased and soon it was time to leave the forest and step out onto the moor.

Currently Eighteenth.

Well what a difference a day makes. As opposed to a night. You can actually see stuff. You can see for ever. The daylight was remarkably forgiving in as much that, when you arrived at the control and found it wasn’t there because it was a Gnat’s whisker to one side, the daylight smiled on you and pointed you in the right direction rather than letting you plough blindly on into the abyss.

A couple of minor errors and a bucketful of over-cautiousness later and I was finished. Not Bad. It felt like a good run. I checked my printout. Eighteenth our of Eighteen so far (why don’t they just put LAST). But by the end of the day I was 32nd out of 36. There’s hope for me yet.

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