Tarn Hows & Black Beck – Training 06/02/10

Every year the school orienteering club holds a training weekend based at Coniston Holly How YH. After the poor weather in January this was the first time most of us had been out running this year. Fortunately, we were blessed with some lovely sunshine on Saturday as we ran through all the tourists at Tarn Hows. Sunday’s overcast weather dropped the temperature and the only way to keep warm was to keep running!

46 pupils attended the training, splitting into two groups. The Year 7 beginners were coached by Mrs Browne & Mrs Farley. Saturdays training focussed on orientation, route choice and attack points. They were mainly based in the southern woods, but enjoyed a jog around the lake before lunch. A tricky orange course in the afternoon highlighted a few problems – mainly running too fast and not reading the map accurately. Meanwhile, the older pupils, coached by Mr Lecky Thompsom & Mr Wright, spent the day in the northern, more open area. Their focus was compass work and contour awareness. From a central point they completed small loops concentrating on one discipline at a time. In the morning the loops were done slowly working on accuracy. In the afternoon more speed was introduced which put the skills under pressure. The day was finished by everyone completing the long run back down to Coniston with Miss Evans at the rear sweeping up all the slowcoaches with the help of Meg & Poppy (her dogs)!!

On Sunday the group moved to Black Beck on the outskirts of Bouth. This small area is a little gem, a deciduous wood surrounded by walls with some very complex contour features. The year 7’s spent the morning practicing relocation (what to do when lost!) and also discovered what features on the map (crags, spurs, reentrants, knolls etc) looked like on the ground. The afternoon session brought all the skills together (but hopefully NOT relocation!) as they again ran an orange course. The senior group continued their work on contours and also practised some relocation. In the afternoon they completed several loops of increasing difficulty to see how their skills had improved.

Many thanks to the lead coaches and the very many helpers who made the weekend a success. Now we wait to see if the new skills produce some success in the competitions later in the year.