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11/11/12 Copeland Chase 2012 - from Frank Shillitoe

The Copeland Chase is a Long-O held annually in the West Lakes. This year the venue was Kinniside Common, south of Ennerdale, and partly in the same area as Day 2 of this year’s Saunders Mountain Marathon. I was running for Newcastle and Tyneside Orienteers; many competing are in fell running and orienteering clubs. There are three courses Long (19k), Medium (15k) and Short (10k). These are straight line distances between the controls. I entered the Long course.

It was a sunny day and navigation was straightforward, apart from within the control circles where some of the orange and white control kites were squashed into the ground, meaning you had to pretty much be right on top of them before you could see them. This could have been tough if the weather was poor. For this reason alone the navigation element of this event is more difficult than the Lake District Mountain Trial (where there is often a big tent and many people descending on the controls from different directions).

Going underfoot was pretty tough the whole way round; fairly tussocky and boggy. Never the less the I managed a steady pace the whole way round, only cramping towards the end. My legs had recovered from the OMM, but the blisters hadn’t! There was definitely a lot more running than walking which was pleasant for an event in the Lakes. Out of the 26 competitors in the Long course I was pleased to come 10th in a time of 2h43. The winner was Todd Oates 2h06. I didn’t spot any other NFRs, but some north-east names I recognised were Duncan Archer (2nd place), Andy Blackett, and Alastair Mackenzie. Results are here: http://www.copelandchase.org.uk/results2012.html

Frank Shillitoe

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