British Night Championships: Bentley's Going to Sort You Out
The British Night Champs were held on the evening of Saturday 5th February in the delightful Bentley Woods. The weather was ideal for night orienteering with a still warm evening with not a hint of rain in the sky.
Bentley Woods (named after the popular Brummie Beat combo Bentley Rhythm Ace) is a cracking piece of woodland located near to the town of Atherstone (one of the key locations of package giant TNT). It has been used in the past for the British Nights way back in 2000. Interesting fact Dave Peel was the winner in M21L that day now to be found amongst the ranks in M45L. Numerous other events have been hosted here, including a controversy strewn British Universities championship and UK Cup race amongst the number.
The forest itself is a real favourite amongst the orienteering clientele. The continental style curves and the ancient woodland makes for fast and furious racing and most of the winners were posting pace faster than 10 mins per km.
In the M21 L class Matthew Crane was the winner taking a narrow win over Nick Barrable. Ant Squire was third.
Matthew didn’t tell Nopesport: "Bit of a strange one tonight, but the main thing was I had a clean run which fortunately turned out to be just enough to take the win, only 30secs ahead of Barrable. The first half went well with only a couple of minor misses and I felt quite fresh. Caught Duncan up at 12, then on the way to 14 (~35mins in) felt something flapping about off my shoe. Looked down and the sole was hanging off, so sat down and yanked the rest of it off. So had to run the second half effectively with just a thick sock on my left foot! Fortunately Bentley is a really nice soft forest without too many brambles so it didn't cost me too much time I don't think. I got quite tired and dehydrated towards the end and was perhaps a little unnecessarily cautious on a few. Anyway, it was a lovely area with a great course and a really good map - most enjoyable."
In the W21L race Tess Hill won her first senior national title and was pretty chuffed by it all really. Rachel Elder was second and Laura Daniel was third
Tess did tell Nopesport: "Not really sure I've got anything of interest to say on my run. I wasn't expecting to find a thing out there so was very happy in the end. I was running well. I saw quite a lot of people out there, the only one I knew was Laura. I kept trying to get away from them by cutting corners and taking different routes but it never really worked, but it was fun to try. I'm sorry I'm so boring, it really wasnt that interesting. I didn't lose a shoe. I just found
a few flags and a few extra ones."
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