My legs are killing me.
Today we went orienteering at Shank’s Pony near Kaukapakapa (that place is still easier to write than to say. Barely). Husband doesn’t mind the orienteering, but is not fond of getting out of bed. While I registered, Husband worked on his enthusiasm with a cup of coffee in the car.
Last week at Stag’s Roar, we did the 3.8km Orange course. This time, I was looking forward to something a bit more challenging.
“The red courses are quite technical,” said the woman at registration. “I would recommend a beginner’s course.”
OH, SHE WOULD, WOULD SHE?
Could she not see my rugged mien, feel the accumulated years of navigational savvy, smell the faint scent of Irish 1980s woodlands on my skin? Could she not sense my natural affinity for squirrels?
There was evidently something wrong with the woman, but I wasn’t about to turn down such a blatant challenge.
“Red 2, please,” I said.
“Are you sure?” She eyed me doubtfully. I was outraged, especially since she was wearing a pair of clogs.
“Have you orienteered before?”
“Of course!” I snorted. Could she not . . . <as above>.
“The terrain is quite tricky and there’s lots of climb-”
“GOOD! I love hills! More the merrier, that’s what I say! I hope they’re REALLY VERY STEEP!”
Aaand that’s how we ended up doing the 5.0km Red 2 course.
It took us 20 minutes to find the first control – see Friggin Fig 1 below. The line of trees off the north of the track was obvious, yet for reasons that will remain classified we followed the track west to its conclusion and splashed around in the stream for a while. Or more precisely, around 15 minutes.
Friggin Fig 1
However, we hit our stride and charged down checkpoints 2-6. Husband and I were on fire, heartbreakingly in synch with each other and the universe.
The leg from checkpoint 6 to 7 was a kilometre long, which was when I started to wilt. It crept up on me spontaneously; one minute I was hurdling a fallen tree, the next I was negotiating with my legs for every step.
“Come on Niamhie!” bawled Husband, sprinting up a field. “This bit’s flat!”
He ran out of puff around checkpoint 9. I could tell, because when he found the control he kind of whimpered, instead of waving his arms around roaring: “OVER HERE! IT’S OVER HERE!”
Technically, this course was much more advanced than last week’s. There were few giveaways; you had to be right at the feature to access the control. Some of them were stuffed down rabbit holes and one was half eaten by a cow. We finished the course in just under two hours and have been subdued ever since.
To your right! Look! Over there!
Action shot: Husband tears off towards the finish. All right – he balanced on one leg for this photo, but you’ve got to admire his beauty and grace, like a constipated gazelle
Husband channels Chariots of Fire: note the proud chest, the splayed arms, the agonised grimace. Unfortunately, some of the essence is missing due to Husband’s trying to run in slow motion. Really takes it out of you – and I should know