Once a year I have to go to Birmingham for a British Orienteering coaching meeting. Getting there is no problem, fly from Inverness to Birmingham (flying being cheaper than the train) and a night in a Premier Inn or Travelodge. Coming home is more of a problem; I can get as far as Edinburgh or Glasgow then have to spend the night and continue on the Sunday. This year there was the opportunity to take in an urban orienteering race in Glasgow on the Sunday, providing Paul would come down and collect me from Edinburgh Airport.
It was a dry and quite sunny day in Glasgow; the starts were from 10:30am so there was the potential to encounter Sunday shoppers, depending on where the course took you. Ross McLennan describes the area around the first few controls so well:
“Fine course from Terry and great new map/area, about time. Great to be back round some old haunts and great too, to see them spruced up. The real Glasgow, though, is a city like no other, made so by its people and, in the sunshine, they were out in force, a treat for a tourist:
- Pre-start - a lovely smart parade, grey-haired fellows, blue-blazered, marching to cheery pipes and drums and whistles, orange pendants fluttering in the soft westerly.
- At number 1 - a welcome party of young chaps, considerately guarding the control and recommending best routes, whilst enjoying the sunshine and light refreshment, didn't quite catch the advice; I'm sure it was helpful and motivational.
- To 2 - hoards of brightly-clad folks - Persil white and grassy green shirts, shining in the sunlight, happy and singing, faces like warm embers, clutching amber drinks, beatific, as if strolling to Paradise.
- So, quite a start! After that, it was just busy, with traffic and (fairly normal) folk. Got held up a few times and nearly run over some more, I'm sure all had a few scrapes.”
Yes, the streets were busy - but I managed to cross all without resorting to pushing the button at the lights - but the university area was very quiet (well, it was early - about 12 noon on a Sunday). A very enjoyable race but this urban stuff is just too fast for me.
When we got home, Paul found a link to a website which uploads your data from Strava and then produces a huge amount of detail. Some of this is captured below; check out ‘Veloviewer’ for yourself.
Click the image for a larger version.